The promise and perils of theorizing international regime complexity in an evolving world

Karen J. Alter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


As the world becomes more complicated, so too does global governance. The political consequences of the rising density of institutions, policies, rules and strategies to address global phenomena has been a central focus of the scholarship on international regime complexity. This conclusion to a special issue grapples with the promise and perils of theorizing about international regime complexity in a constantly evolving world. It discusses the special issue contributions while uniting the different conversations about the increasingly complex global governance space we refer to as international regime complexity. The goal is to bridge existing debates about global governance, to expand the scholarly conversation by drawing from and better connecting to IR debates, and to ensure that we can address practical and pressing global governance challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-396
Number of pages22
JournalReview of International Organizations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Complex systems
  • International cooperation
  • International organizations
  • International relations theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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