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Lead Agency

UNESCO’s Global Leadership and Co-ordination Role for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014)

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Martin Gerner

In the future, advocacy in the field of International Relations will increase in importance. Mandates pertaining to particular issues have therefore been announced and officially assigned. In analysing the normative framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) the prominent and novel concept of lead agency is introduced, applied and comprehensively discussed. The major characteristics and implications of this concept are illustrated in the context of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its mandate for global leadership and co-ordination. This publication contributes to the theory and practice of organizational leadership performance by proposing viable criteria for assessing achievements and challenges. The interdisciplinary approach adopted meets the needs of both practitioners in the field of education for sustainable development and scholars dealing with regime theory and new institutionalism.

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III Theory

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III Theory........................................................................................................................................................ 37 1 Nature ............................................................................................................................................. 37 1.1 Networks ............................................................................................................................. 38 1.2 Regimes............................................................................................................................... 39 1.3 Institutions........................................................................................................................... 43 1.4 Synthesis ............................................................................................................................. 51 1.5 Conclusion........................................................................................................................... 54 2 New institutionalism....................................................................................................................... 55 2.1 Comparison ......................................................................................................................... 57 2.2 Approaches.......................................................................................................................... 60 2.3 Modes.................................................................................................................................. 61 2.4 Nexus .................................................................................................................................. 63 2.5 Regime theory ..................................................................................................................... 64 2.6 Topics.................................................................................................................................. 65 2.7 Conceptions of order ........................................................................................................... 67 2.8 Conclusion........................................................................................................................... 69 3 Closing remarks.............................................................................................................................. 69 In an analysis of UNESCO’s role as lead agency for DESD the question of both the theoretical and methodological foundations inevitably arises. Defining the appropriate theoretical background depends on the nature of DESD alone. To this end, this chapter will clarify which theoretical setting best serves to support the research objective. The approach presented here argues for DESD to be re- garded as an international regime embedded in the theoretical setting of new institutionalism. 1 Nature In international relations three main concepts may be discussed to describe ac- tors’ relations according to their specific strategies of dealing with problems.131 Networks, regimes and institutions symbolise not only different degrees of nor- mative and executive power, but also point at diverging philosophies, such as positivist132 and constructivist133 positions of institutionalism. In the positivist 131 Cf. Hasenclever, Andreas; Mayer, Peter (2007): Einleitung. Macht und Ohnmacht in- ternationaler Institutionen. In: Hasenclever, Andreas; Rittberger, Volker (eds.): Macht und Ohnmacht internationaler Institutionen. Festschrift für Volker Rittberger. Frank- furt am Main: Campus Verlag, pp. 9–37, p. 13. 132 From a positivist perspective, institutional legitimacy is obtained through legally bind- ing acts, such as norms, rules or treaties. 133 From...

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