Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance and Human Security

First Advisor

Maria Ivanova

Second Advisor

J. Samuel Barkin

Third Advisor

Heather MacIndoe


International forest governance, that is, the set of international organizations, norms, and rules related to forest protection, has expanded considerably since the 1980s. This expansion created a wide array of forest-focused and forest-related institutions. The literature on international forest governance warns against this expansion, arguing that “fragmentation” leads to incoherent norms and policies and ineffectiveness of the governance system in general. The purpose of this dissertation is to challenge this assumption, and examine the consequences of institutional complexity in international forest governance. Complexity usually leads to interactions among institutions that stem from overlap of specific issue areas. To understand these effects, I map out the institutional landscape, and divide it into two dimensions: functional complexity, and normative complexity. Using network and textual analysis, I identify two impacts of institutional complexity: division of labor, and interplay management. Understanding these effects may provide a more granular understanding of what institutional complexity looks like, and what kinds of efforts might work best to improve global governance.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Dissertation is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this dissertation through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.