What is it about?

This piece is interested in understanding change in governance systems. It investigates when new clauses are introduced into an international legal system. It examines the appearance of novel environmental clauses in the trade regime, and finds, contrary to expectations, no significant effect of the role of power asymmetry. Instead, it finds that particular conditions--parties with diverse portfolios of prior experience contracting for the first time--are associated with the introduction of novel changes to the system.

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Why is it important?

These findings moderate policy concerns that regimes like trade are too ossified to see further novelty, and orient policy-makers to identifying opportunities for introducing novelty in the 'structural holes' of complex regime networks.

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This page is a summary of: Structural conditions for novelty: the introduction of new environmental clauses to the trade regime complex, International Environmental Agreements Politics Law and Economics, January 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s10784-019-09464-5.
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