Global Climate Policy Reinforces Local Social Path-Dependent Structures: More Conflict in the World?

  • Jasmin Kominek
Part of the Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace book series (HSHES, volume 8)


Climate change is a global phenomenon and there are an increasing number of attempts to discuss and solve related problems at a global level. This increasing emphasis on, and empowerment of, global institutions can have side effects on local power structures. The following analyses indicate that increasing global institutionalization can lead to an intensification of local conflicts around the world. This conclusion follows from an application and extension of the concept of path dependency. Examples are given of how local self-reinforcing structures can be used in a positive way to smoothly trigger an increase in mitigation and adaptation capacities.


Carbon Emission Ideal Type Path Dependency Local Conflict Decision Instance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adger, W. Neil; Hughes, Terry P.; Folke, Carl; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Rockström, Johan, 2005: “Social-Ecological Resilience to Coastal Disasters”, in: Science, 309: 1036–1039.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, Gerard, 2001: “Institutions, Path Dependence and Democratic Consolidation”, in: Journal of Theoretical Politics, 13,3: 249–270.Google Scholar
  3. Arthur, W. Brian, 1989: “Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events”, in: Economic Journal, 99,394: 116–131.Google Scholar
  4. Arthur, W. Brian, 1994: Increasing Returns and Path Dependency in the Economy (Michigan: University of Michigan Press).Google Scholar
  5. Barnett, Jon, 2001: “Adapting to Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries: The Problem of Uncertainty”, in: World Development, 29,6: 977–993.Google Scholar
  6. BenDor, Todd; Scheffran, Jürgen; Hannon, Bruce, 2009: “Ecological and Economic Sustainability in Fishery Management: A Multi-Agent Model for Understanding Competition and Cooperation”, in: Ecological Economics, 8: 1961–1073.Google Scholar
  7. Berger, Peter L.; Luckmann, Thomas, 1979: The Social Construction of Reality – A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Norwich: Fletcher & Son).Google Scholar
  8. Berkes, Fikret; Colding, Johan; Folke, Carl, 2000: “Rediscovery of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as Adaptive Management”, in: Ecological Applications, 10,5: 1251–1262.Google Scholar
  9. Beyer, Jürgen, 2005: “Not All Path Dependence is Alike – A Critique of the “Implicit Conservatism” of a Common Concept”, in: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 34,1: 5–21.Google Scholar
  10. Böge, Volker, 2008: “Australian Approaches to State Fragility in the South Pacific Region”, Paper presented at the 49th Annual ISA Convention, San Francisco, CA, 26–29 March 2008, in: <> (13 January 2010).
  11. Chaiken, Shelly; Trope, Yaacov, 1999: Dual Process Theories in Social Psychology (New York: Guilford Press).Google Scholar
  12. David, Paul A., 1985: “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY”, in: The American Economic Review, 75,2: 332–337.Google Scholar
  13. David, Paul A., 2000: “Path Dependence, its Critics and the Quest for ‘Historical Economics’”, in: EconWPA; at: <> (22 October 2009).
  14. David, Paul A., 2007: “Path Dependence – A Foundational Concept for Historical Social Science”, in: Cliometrica – The Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, 1, 2: 91–114.Google Scholar
  15. Esser, Hartmut, 2005: “Rationality and Commitment. The Frame-Selection Model and the Explanation of Normative Behaviour”; at: <> (10 November 2009).
  16. Garud, Raghu; Karnøe, Peter, 2001: Path Dependence and Creation (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum).Google Scholar
  17. Giddens, Anthony, 1984: The Constitution of Society – Outline of the Theory of Structuration (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  18. Kates, Robert W.; Colten, Craig E.; Laska, Shirley; Leatherman, Stephen P., 2006: “Reconstruction of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina: A Research Perspective”, in: PNAS, 103,40: 14653–14660.Google Scholar
  19. Klein, Richard J. T.; Nicholls, Robert J.; Ragoonaden, Sachooda; Capobianco, Michele; Aston, James; Buckley, Earle N., 2001: “Technological Options for Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Zones”, in: Journal of Coastal Research, 17,3: 531–543.Google Scholar
  20. Kominek, Jasmin, 2009a: “Each institutionalization elementary is a self-reinforcing process increasing path dependency”, CLISEC-4; at: <> (16 December 2010).
  21. Kominek, Jasmin, 2009b: “A New Action Model – Deducing an Ideal Type Path Dependent for Scenario Simulation”, CLISEC-5; at: <> (16 December 2010).
  22. Liebowitz, Stan J.; Margolis, Stephen E., 1995: “Path Dependence, Lock-In, and History”, in: Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, 11,1: 205–226.Google Scholar
  23. Lindstrom, David P., 1996: “Economic Opportunity in Mexico and Return Migration from the United States”, in: Demography, 33,3: 357–374.Google Scholar
  24. Mahoney, James, 2000: “Path Dependence in Historical Sociology”, in: Theory and Society, 29,4: 507–548.Google Scholar
  25. Moskowitz, Gordon B.; Skurnik, Ian; Galinsky, Adam D., 1999: “The History of Dual-Process Notions, and the Future of Preconscious Control”, in: Chaiken, Shelly; Trope, Yaakov (Eds.): Dual Process Theories in Social Psychology (New York: Guilford Press): 12–36.Google Scholar
  26. North, Douglass C., 1990: Institutions, institutional change and economic performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  27. North, Douglass C., 2005: Understanding the process of economic change (Princeton: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  28. Page, Scott E., 2006: “Path Dependency”, in: Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 1,1: 87–115.Google Scholar
  29. Pierson, Paul, 2000: “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics”, in: American Political Science Review, 94,2: 251–267.Google Scholar
  30. Scheffran, Jürgen, 2001: “Stability and Control of Value- Cost Dynamic Games”, in: Central European Journal of Operations Research, 9: 197–225.Google Scholar
  31. Scheffran, Jürgen, 2004: “Interaction in Climate Games:Google Scholar
  32. The Case of Emissions Trading”, in: Geldermann, Jutta; Treitz, Martin (Eds.): Entscheidungstheorie und –praxis in Industrieller Produktion und Umweltforschung (Aachen: Shaker): 1–18.Google Scholar
  33. Scheffran, Jürgen; Hannon, Bruce, 2007: “From Complex Conflict to Stable Cooperation”, in: Complexity, 13,2: 78–91.Google Scholar
  34. Simon, Herbert A., 1976: “From Substantive to Procedural Rationality”, in: Latsis, Spiro J. (Ed.): Method and Appraisal in Economics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 129–148.Google Scholar
  35. Simon, Herbert A., 1983: Reason in Human Affairs (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press).Google Scholar
  36. Sydow, Jörg; Schreyögg, Georg; Koch, Jochen, 2005: “Organizational Paths: Path Dependency and Beyond”, Paper for the 21st EGOS Colloquium, Berlin, 30 June – 2 July; at: <> (10 November 2009).
  37. Sydow, Jörg; Schreyögg, Georg; Koch, Jochen, 2009: “Organizational Path Dependence: Opening the Black Box”, in: Academy of Management Review, 34,4: 689–709.Google Scholar
  38. Tol, Richard S. J.; van der Grijp, Nicolien; Olsthoorn, Alexander A.; van der Werff, Peter E., 2003: “Adapting to Climate: A Case Study on Riverine Flood Risks in the Netherlands”, in: Risk Analysis, 23,3: 575–583.Google Scholar
  39. WBGU [Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung für Globale Umweltveränderungen], 2007, 2008: World in TransitionClimate Change as a Security Risk (Berlin: WBGU – London: Earthscan).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), Institute of Sociology, KlimaCampusUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations