The dynamics of regime complexes: Microfoundations and systemic effects

Thomas Gehring, Benjamin Faude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


This article takes stock of the current debate on regime complexes. The specific relevance of such complexes for global governance is best grasped if these complexes are understood as systems that relate and organize their elemental institutions. They emerge from activities of relevant international actors, in particular the member states of their elemental institutions, as well as from interactions among these institutions. Regime complexes establish interinstitutional competition, which may lead to open conflict and turf battles, but may also produce a well-established division of labor among the elemental institutions. As they provide forum-shopping opportunities for actors, regime complexes put overlapping governance institutions under continuing competitive pressure and they do not necessarily predominantly benefit the most powerful states. In order to increase the coherence and effectiveness of global governance efforts, the management of regime complexes will become an increasingly important task of global governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Governance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Institutional interaction
  • Interplay management
  • Microfoundations
  • Regime complexes
  • Systemic effects


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