Aligned Sustainability Understandings? Global Inter-Institutional Arrangements and the Implementation of SDG 2

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Aligned Sustainability Understandings? Global Inter-Institutional Arrangements and the Implementation of SDG 2


  • Helmut Breitmeier Department of Political Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
  • Sandra Schwindenhammer Department of Political Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
  • Andrés Checa Department of Political Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
  • Jacob Manderbach Department of Political Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
  • Magdalena Tanzer Department of Political Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany


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Abstract:  This article asks whether inter-institutional arrangements (IIAs) can facilitate norm understandings of sustainability in the global food regime complex to ensure the implementation of SDG 2. It refers to theories of norm implementation and regime complexes and focuses on two explanatory factors: non-material resources (authority and knowledge) and interplay management (participation and interaction). The article deals with three case studies: The Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Sustainable Food Systems Programme, and the Standards and Trade Development Facility. Qualitative empirical analysis is based on documents and expert interviews. The article assumes that both explanatory factors are beneficial for the development of an aligned sustainability understanding. The findings indicate that IIAs serve as discursive fora for institutional exchange and can, thus, facilitate the development of aligned sustainability understandings in the global food regime complex. However, the article also identifies some structural factors that provide more scope for certain actors to enforce their normative views and interests, which ultimately hampers the implementation of SDG2.

Keywords:  authority; food regime complex; inter-institutional arrangements; interplay management; SDG implementation; sustainability understandings

Published:   26 February 2021


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v9i1.3591


© Helmut Breitmeier, Sandra Schwindenhammer, Andrés Checa, Jacob Manderbach, Magdalena Tanzer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.