Politicization, Ratification of International Agreements, and Domestic Political Competition in Non-Democracies: The Case of Iran and the Paris Climate Accords

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Abstract

While some degree of competition is present in many authoritarian regimes, the implications of such controlled competition on international issues have not received much consideration, including towards international environmental accords. We attempt to rectify this through a framework where we focus on internal political competition in a hybrid, nondemocratic system where national elections are held regularly. Specifically, we argue that the presence of multiple actors competing in elections in nondemocratic settings results in them assuming positions on various issues, justifying their positions, and attempting to mobilize their supporters with considerable implications for international environmental policies. We display our argument in the context of Iranian debates on the ratification of the Paris Climate Accords. Our findings demonstrate that the competing Iranian sides rely on different justifications for their environmental positions, resulting in extensive (negative) competitions of rhetoric where the international dimension emerges as an important feature in the internal competition. Overall, we show that political competition within non-democracies is likely to add to the complexity of international (environmental) negotiations and cooperation.

Keywords

international negotiations on climate change; competing narratives and elections in authoritarian regimes; political factions; environment and sanctions; regime survival

Citation

Reşat Bayer and Bijan Tafazzoli “Politicization, Ratification of International Agreements, and Domestic Political Competition in Non-Democracies: The Case of Iran and the Paris Climate Accords”, Uluslararasi Iliskiler, Advanced Online Publication, 20 December 2023, pp. 1-21, DOI: 10.33458/uidergisi.1406808

Affiliations

Reşat BAYER Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul. E-Mail: [email protected] Orcid: 0000-0002-6566-1622

Bijan TAFAZZOLI Phd Candidate, Department of International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul. E-Mail: [email protected] Orcid: 0000-0002-1424-0000

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