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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Super-Networks Shaping International Agreements: Comparing the Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons Arenas
Author(s): Schapper, Andrea
Dee, Megan
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Keywords: Political Science and International Relations
Sociology and Political Science
Issue Date: Mar-2024
Date Deposited: 25-Jan-2024
Citation: Schapper A & Dee M (2024) Super-Networks Shaping International Agreements: Comparing the Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons Arenas. <i>International Studies Quarterly</i>, 68 (1), Art. No.: sqad105.
Abstract: While research on transnational advocacy networks (TANs) is well established in international relations, knowledge gaps remain concerning TAN collaboration across policy fields. To address this gap, this article highlights how super-networks (networks above individual TANs) emerge across issue areas and explores the tactics utilized to achieve their objectives and shape international agreements. We develop an analytical framework that emphasizes the important interplay between political opportunity structures, mobilizing structures, and tactics in understanding how super-networks operate. We apply this framework via a comparative case study approach, analyzing the Inter-Constituency Alliance, whose advocacy brought about the inclusion of human rights language in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, whose activities based on humanitarian principles resulted in the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Contributing new knowledge to TANs research, we identify that super-networks utilize multilevel advocacy activities that draw upon a package approach tactic. Via the package approach, super-networks synthesize multiple voices from different issue areas into one key message grounded in humanitarian framing, thereby enhancing their moral leverage and legitimacy, making it more difficult for states to neglect their concerns.
DOI Link: 10.1093/isq/sqad105
Rights: © The Author(s) (2024). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Notes: Andrea Schapper is a Professor of International Politics at the University of Stirling, UK. Her research focuses on new forms of transnational advocacy and institutional interaction at the intersection of human rights, the environment, and sustainable development. Megan Dee is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling, UK. Her research focuses on the role and performance of state and non-state actor networks and coalitions within multilateral negotiations, specializing in nuclear disarmament negotiations. Authors' note : This work was supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE Reference Number: 1722, project: SuperSustainable). The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their constructive feedback, thoughtful comments, and helpful suggestions, along with Thomas Hickmann, Nina Reiners, Domenico Carolei, and the participants of the History, Heritage, and Politics research seminar at the University of Stirling for commenting on earlier versions of this article. We would also like to thank all of our interviewees, whose comments have made such an important contribution to this study.
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