This section contains publications derived and/or related to the database.
Global Environmental Politics (2022): "Differentiation in Environmental Treatymaking: Measuring Provisions and How They Reshape the Depth-Participation Dilemma"
- by Deborah Barros Leal Farias and Charles Roger
Article will be retrievable here soon
Abstract. We advance the literature on institutional design by measuring, describing, and demonstrating the importance of differential treatment for developing countries in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Quantitative work on MEAs has made enormous strides, as researchers have explored numerous dimensions of institutional variation. So far, though, differentiation has been neglected due to data constraints and the complex nature of relevant provisions. We offer one way of relieving this constraint, exploiting the fact that MEAs with differentiation typically identify distinct sets of “developing country” parties. This allows us to collect data on these provisions more systematically and efficiently than has been possible thus far. After describing the data collection process, we present descriptive statistics, showing that these provisions are surprisingly infrequent, appearing in only 6% of MEAs. Further, while older than some think, they disproportionately appear in larger, more recent agreements. Following this, we illustrate the value of our data and the importance of these provisions by revisiting the debate on the “depth versus participation” trade-off. We demonstrate, specifically, that differentiation powerfully conditions this relationship. When MEAs do not differentiate between states, greater depth reduces participation; when they do, the relationship is reversed, making it possible to sustain high levels of both. This finding helps to reconcile conflicting findings in earlier studies and has important policy implications.
Political Geography Open Research (2022)
"Which countries are ‘developing’? Comparing how international organizations and treaties divide the world"
- by Deborah Barros Leal Farias
Third World Quarterly (2019)
"Outlook for the ‘developing country’ category: a paradox of demise and continuity"
- by Deborah Barros Leal Farias
Abstract. In the 2016 edition of its World Development Indicators (WDI), the World Bank introduced an important change in the way it categorises countries: it explicitly stated the intention to eliminate the distinction of countries as ‘developing’ and ‘developed’. This decision represents the first time one of the world’s most powerful and influential international organisation has overtly decided to move away from this fuzzy-yet-ubiquitous terminology for categorising countries (and not proposing to replace the division). This paper takes this shift to discuss country groupings based on development levels, particularly the ‘developed’/’developing’ dichotomy, focusing on the latter term. The paper argues for a paradoxical scenario, wherein the label ‘developing’ will increasingly become analytically useless while concurrently retaining – or even strengthening – its power in the context of foreign policy strategies. The analysis details the motives behind this paradox and provides a reasoning for when and why the term’s usage is likely to be weakened or strengthened. Simply put, the ‘developed’/’developing’ dichotomy is weakening in its analytical capacity, mostly due to the increasing heterogeneity among countries under the ‘developing’ label and concurrent porosity of ‘boundaries’ between the two categories, while showing little sign of being phased as a term for self-identification.