Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jacques Fomerand

Second Advisor

Jean Krasno

Third Advisor

Kimberly Gamble-Payne


Climate change mitigation and adaptation requires global, coordinated responses. Each region/country must do its part, led by multinational, multilateral actors and organizations on the local, national and regional level. The European Union (EU) is the region’s representative. The effectiveness of the Union, as an actor has been the subject of constant debate and scrutiny. A review of existing International Relations (IR) theories and literature outlines the many factors and conditions that influence and facilitate the EU’s ability to exert power and authority on this issue. Drawing on that existing body of knowledge, this paper will argue the EU’s capacity as a leader/“leadiator”[1] can be determined by four basic internal factors - 1) Informed Public, 2) Consensus, 3) Oversight and 4) Challenges. Case studies of Ireland and Sweden will be presented to document these determinants, establishing a framework through which the EU’s effectiveness can be assessed. The case studies will hopefully encourage larger and more comprehensive comparative studies of the EU’s actorness.

[1] Bäckstrand, K. and Elgström, O. “The EU’s Role in Climate Change Negotiations: From Leader to ‘Leadiator.” Journal of European Public Policy. May 22, 2013.



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