The "Super-Network": Fostering Interaction Between Human Rights and Climate Change Institutions


  • Andrea Schapper Division of History, Heritage and Politics, University of Stirling



transnational advocacy networks, institutional interaction, human rights, climate change, Paris Agreement


This article contributes to understanding unique forms of actor constellations and their tactics in fostering institutional interaction. It explores interaction processes between the human rights and the climate regime, and more specifically, the incorporation of human rights in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. During the Paris negotiations, an inter-constituency alliance comprised of environmental movements, human rights organizations, gender activists, indigenous peoples’ representatives, trade unions, youth groups and faith-based organizations successfully lobbied for the incorporation of rights principles into the new climate instrument. I argue that this alliance can be grasped as a "super-network", a network above several individual transnational advocacy networks (TANs), that works across policy fields and uses information, symbols and stories, as well as accountability and leverage politics to foster interaction between a source institution (human rights regime) and a target institution (climate regime). By employing a package approach, which reiterates a core message of common principles individual networks have agreed on, the "super-network" changed the practices of governments in international negotiations and fostered inter-institutional interaction. Empirically, my research is mainly based on expert interviews and participatory observations at the strategic meetings of TANs at three different climate negotiations in Warsaw (2013), Paris (2015) and Bonn (2017), including follow-up skype interviews with key experts between 2013 and 2020.

Author Biography

Andrea Schapper, Division of History, Heritage and Politics, University of Stirling

Andrea Schapper is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling