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Brachthäuser, Christine (201) Explaining global governance—a complexity perspective . Cambridge Review of International Affairs Volume 24, Number 2: 222-244.

As patterns of global governance have undergone significant changes over time, there is a need for new theoretical concepts that are less oriented towards formal hierarchies and give more emphasis to social processes. A framework, however, that takes account of complex interactions and tangling relations bears the danger of losing analytical power. The article addresses the question of the extent to which complexity theory can overcome this problem by combining scientific rigour with contextual sensitivity. A dynamic mechanistic approach is explored that addresses the underlying processes that generate new collective patterns based on changed actor constellations and relational orders. An activator–inhibitor interaction model is introduced as a framework for analysing the multi-level processes that drive international change, using the example of climate protection. Global governance is theorized as it grows within the system fleshing out a new logic of collective action based on decentralization and clustering.

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