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International Regimes Database

Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Helmut Breitmeier, Prof. Oran R. Young (Ph.D.), und Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn



The International Regimes Database (IRD) is a tool designed by a German-American research-team in collaboration with 46 case-study experts who coded 23 international environmental regimes. The database is available on a CD-Rom added to a book by Helmut Breitmeier, Oran R. Young, and Michael Zürn published with The MIT Press in 2006. Another book by Helmut Breitmeier on "The Legitimacy of International Regimes: Findings from The International Regimes Database" has been published in 2008 with Ashgate (Aldershot).

The IRD includes data about various aspects related to the formation, attributes, consequences and dynamics of regimes. The coding of regimes has been carried out on the basis of a comprehensive data-protocol. The different sections of the codebook consider a large number of theoretical concepts that emerged in the context of regime analysis. The codebook consists of 136 questions which were developed for the measurement of variables belonging to these approaches.
The database combines data on 23 environmental regimes that were established in global, multilateral, regional and bilateral contexts. The broad majority of these regimes were coded by two experts independently of one another so that an assessment could be made in regard to whether coders using the same coding instrument come to equivalent results regarding the coding of single variables for a regime. These experts qualified for the coding because they were well-known in the scientific community for their knowledge on these regimes. The coding of these experts is based on the empirical knowledge they gained from many years of case-study research. The selection of coders was based on a rule of thumb that only experts who are well-known for their knowledge on specific regimes should be involved with the coding.

The regimes have been coded from their formation to the year 1998 as a common end-point of analysis. This common end-point allows the exploration of various aspects related to the performance of these regimes by the end of the twentieth century. Regimes were subdivided into several components that reflect legal-institutional complexity of governance systems. The development of the case structures used for the coding took place in so-called ‘pre-coding negotiations’. These negotiations were carried out between the project team and regime experts.

The coding did not focus on the macro-level of a regime but took into account the existence of different legal and institutional forms which make up a regime as a whole. For example, the Antarctic regime has been subdivided into components such as the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Flora and Fauna, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the Convention on the Conservation of Seals, or the Protocol on Environmental Protect-ion. This distinction between institutional forms allows to determine whether the level of consensual knowledge varies for different issues in a regime (e.g., the conservation of seals, conservation of flora and fauna).

The Database can be downloaded here:

International Regime Database





Antarctic Regime 1959-1998 Antarctic Treaty (1959-1980) (1980s) (1989/91-1998) • Conservation of Flora and Fauna (1964-1980) (1980s) (1989/91-1998) • Conservation of Seals (1972-1980) (1980s) (1989/91-1998) • CCAMLR (1980s) (1989/91-1998) • Protocol on Environmental Protection (1989/91-1998)
Baltic Sea Regime 1974- 1998 Principles of Co-operation (1974-1992) (1992-1998) • Environment Protection Principles (1974-1992) (1992-1998) • Regulations for all Sources of Marine Pollution (1974-1992) (1992-1998) • Nature Conservation (1992-1998)
Barents Sea Fisheries Regime 1975-1998 Norwegian-Russian Cooperation on Fisheries in the Barents Sea Region (1975-1998)
Biodiversity Regime 1992-1998 Convention on Biological Diversity (1992-1998)
CITES-Regime (Trade in Endangered Species) 1973-1998 CITES-Convention (1973-1989) (1989-1998) • TRAFFIC-Network on Monitoring and Compliance (1978-1989) (1989-1998)
Climate Change Regime 1992-1998 United Natoins Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC] (1992-1997) (1997-1998) • UNFCCC Financial Mechanism (1992-1997) (1997-1998) • Kyoto-Protocol (1997-1998)
Danube River Protection Regime 1985-1998 Danube River Protection (1985-1991) (1991-1994) (1994-1998)
Great Lakes Management Regime 1972 - 1998 Great Lakes Water Quality (1972-1978) (1978-1998) • Great Lakes Water Quantity (1972-178) (1978-1998) • Great Lakes Ecosystem Management (1978-1998)
Hazardous Waste Regime 1989-1998 Basel Convention (1989-1995) (1995-1998) • Amendment to the Basel Convention (1995-1998) • OECD/EU/Lome IV-Regulations (1989-1995) (1995-1998) • Bamako Convention (1991-1995) • Bamako/Waigani Conventions (1995-1998)
IATTC Regime (Interamerican Tropical Tuna Convention) 1949-1998 Conservation and Management of Tunas and Tuna-Like Fishes (1949-1976) (1976-1998) • Conservation and Management of Dolphins (1976-1998)
ICCAT Regime (Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) 1966-1998 ICCAT-Convention (1966-1998)
Regime for the International Regulation of Whaling 1948-1998 Whaling Regime (1946-1982) (1982-1998)
London Convention Regime 1972-1998 Wastes and Substances the Dumping of which is Prohibited (1972-1991) (1991-1998) • Wastes and Substances which, in Principle, may be Dumped (1972-1991) (1991-1998) • Regulation of Incineration at Sea (1978-1991) (1991-1998)
ECE-Regime on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) 1979-1998 LRTAP-Convention (1979-1982) (1982-1998) • First Sulphur Protocol (1985-1998) • Nox-Protocol (1988-1998) • VOCs-Protocol (1991-1998) • Second Sulphur-Protocol (1994-1998)
North Sea Regime 1972/74-1998 OSCOM/PARCOM (1972/74-1984) • OSCOM/PARCOM/OSPAR (1984/92-1998) • North Sea Conferences (1984-1998)
Oil Pollution Regime 1954-1998 Oilpol (1954-1978) • MARPOL (1973/78-1998) • Regional Memoranda of Understanding (1982-1998)
Regime for Protection of the Rhine Against Pollution 1963-1998 Berne Convention (1963-1998) • Chloride Pollution Convention (1976-1998) • Chemical Pollution Convention (1976-1998)
Ramsar Regime on Wetlands 1971-1998 Ramsar Convention (1971-1987) (1987-1998)
Regime for Protection of the Black Sea 1992-1998 Bucharest Convention and Protocols (1992-1998) • Black Sea Strategic Action Plan (1996-1998)
South Pacific Fisheries Forum Agency Regime 1979-1998 General Management of Fisheries (1979-1982) (1982-1995/97) (1995/97-1998) • Compliance of Fisheries Management (1979-1982) (1982-1995/97) (1995/97-1998)
Stratospheric Ozone Regime 1985-1998 Vienna Convention (1985-1990) (1990-1998) • Montreal Protocol (1987-1990) 1990-1998) • London Amendment (1990-1998) • Copenhagen Amendment (1992-1998) • Multilateral Fund (1990-1998)
Tropical Timber Trade Regime 1983-1998 International Tropical Timber Agreement (1983-1998)