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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Dispute Resolution in International Regulatory Frameworks

Alternative title: A study on dispute resolution in international arenas

Awarded: NOK 0.89 mill.

Countries resolve conflicts and manage cooperation in many fields of scarce resources. For instance, conflicts over the use of land or sea, or conflicts about the emission of greenhouse gases, should ideally be resolved in a manner that is both efficient and equitable. A critical question in the social sciences is what stands in the way of such resolution of conflict. Take, for instance, the question of emission abatement: what prevents countries from establishing agreements that secure an efficient and fair allocation of abatement? Importantly, this is not a zero-sum game: countries can all benefit if abatement takes place in countries where it is more cost-efficient; such countries can be compensated by the others for undertaking a disproportionate share of abatement and all can thereby be made much better off. Yet, efficient solutions are notoriously difficult to reach, and it is fundamental question exactly why this is so. One answer is that countries disagree about what fairness means. Fairness notions are to some extent subjective and may depend on many factors, including how one understands the current situation and the history that has led up to it. Another possibility is that countries cannot reach agreement because they think the other countries misrepresent their true costs of abatement, or because the countries do not share the same perspective on the costs of emissions. Likewise, conflict resolution is hampered by conflicting notions of fairness and by asymmetry of information, among other factors, when it comes to resource use in the Arctic, and to many other areas of international politics. The project seeks to create a network of scholars studying the question of international conflict resolution (or negotiation) mechanisms from an interdisciplinary perspective, including perspectives from law, economics, negotiation studies, and psychological game theory.

The application's underlying subject matter concerns how negotiations and conflict resolution mechanisms should be designed for nation-states to be able to reach efficient and equitable (or fair) agreements and resolutions of conflicts, with emphasis on the green transition. The funding will be allocated to network activities that contribute to building new scientific knowledge in a field of vital societal importance. The project will prioritize activities that can bring together experts in international dispute resolution. Therefore, activities such as frequent workshops, research stays by leading scholars and participation in relevant seminars and major international conferences are prioritized. The project includes development of a research grant application. and a Ph.D. course. In addition, an international conference will be organized mid-way in the project period, and the project closes with a special workshop with invited contributors.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam