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Thesis defence

Navigating the Souring Seas

The Global Experimentalist Governance of Ocean Acidification?

Add to calendar 2024-06-12 12:30 2024-06-12 15:00 Europe/Rome Navigating the Souring Seas Sala del Consiglio Villa Salviati - Castle YYYY-MM-DD


12 June 2024

12:30 - 15:00 CEST


Sala del Consiglio

Villa Salviati - Castle

Organised by

PhD thesis defence by Annika Frosch

Ocean acidification (OA) represents an urgent and complex challenge that will endanger oceanic ecosystems and human beings alike.

This thesis investigates the multifaceted governance of OA. More specifically, it explores how OA is and should be governed in light of the nature of the problem. Thus, the research delineates the scientific underpinnings of OA, including its causes, stressors, and potential adaptation options, to establish a foundation for informed governance.

Through a mapping of the international and transnational governance landscape, it can be seen that the current governance landscape yields a regime complex that encompasses a diversity of actors and instruments across various issue areas related to OA. Global experimentalist governance is explored as a governance approach that can build on the characteristics of OA as a scientific problem as well as the fragmented governance landscape. This thesis will show that global experimentalist governance is, therefore, a perfect match for the problem of OA. Employing a case study approach, the thesis then assesses the applicability of global experimentalist governance within the Ocean Acidification Alliance (OAA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It identifies shortcomings in the operationalisation of global experimentalist governance, particularly in setting precise metrics and implementing, reporting, peer review, and feedback mechanisms. These challenges reflect the complexities of OA and the reticence toward fully embracing an experimentalist governance structure. Despite these obstacles, the findings suggest that global experimentalist governance’s adaptable nature aligns well with the regime complexity of OA, advocating for an adaptive, flexible, and multilevel governance model that accommodates the scientific uncertainties of OA.


Gráinne De Búrca (EUI - Law Department)

Jolene Lin (National University of Singapore)

Karen Scott (University of Canterbury)


Annika Frosch (EUI)

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