Moments of influence in global environmental governance

Rebecca Witter*, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Rebecca L. Gruby, Sarah Hitchner, Edward M. Maclin, Maggie Bourque, J. Peter Brosius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


International environmental negotiations such as the 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) are state-dominated, and their outcomes are highly publicized. Less transparent is the role of non-state delegates who effect changes during negotiation processes through myriad strategies and relations. This article focuses on the influence of indigenous peoples and local community (IPLC) delegates in official COP10 negotiations using collaborative event ethnography to identify and evaluate ‘moments of influence’ that have gone largely unnoticed in the literature on global environmental politics. Findings indicate that IPLC delegates influenced negotiations by enrolling, shaming, and reinforcing state actors. Such relational maneuvers and interventions may appear inconsequential, but their implications are potentially far-reaching. Recognizing moments of influence improves understandings of non-state influence, relational power, and the multiple ways diverse actors reach across networks to overcome the power asymmetries that continue to characterize global environmental governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-912
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015


  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • collaborative event ethnography
  • global environmental governance
  • indigenous peoples
  • influence
  • relational power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Moments of influence in global environmental governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this