Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward: Societal Capacity and Israel's Implementation of the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan
A large literature exists regarding explanations for the emergence of
cooperation in the Mediterranean basin, but there is less information
regarding the effectiveness of Mediterranean cooperation and its programs.
Through a case study of Israel's implementation and compliance with the
Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan, we evaluate the
effectiveness of these international institutions. We find that
international institutions and their efforts to target state capacity as
the mechanism to improve compliance and effectiveness are often misguided
unless their efforts are also directed towards enhancing societal
capacity. We then explicate the way in which societal actors such as
environmental NGOs can improve domestic compliance and effectiveness.
These findings are illuminated through an assessment of the activities of
several environmental NGOs in Israel to target Mediterranean pollution and
coastal management policies. Where NGOs have taken action, they have often
proved successful in forcing the Israeli government and the business
sector to honor its environmental commitments. Copyright (c) 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.