Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Steven R. Brechin


Biodiversity conservation, Environmental policies, Environment regime, International organizations

Subject Categories



This dissertation investigates IUCN's role in global biodiversity conservation policy as well as in national program development in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It explores how nature protection priorities and approaches are promoted or addressed by IUCN, an international organization, and how environment conservation policies are created and maintained in states with different capacities of South Asia. This study is the first detailed scholarly study on the IUCN as an organization as well as on its efforts in biodiversity conservation.

This research adds to our knowledge firstly by contributing to a small but growing body of work on the sociology of international organizations. IOs, especially International Governmental Organizations (IGOs), have long been the subject of mostly political science. Secondly, it applies a fuller sociological imagination to the study of IOs by critically exploring one of the largest and most active nature conservation organizations in the world. Thirdly, it also explores how IUCN actually goes about building protectoral programs with individual member nations. Through the use of networks; institutional, stakeholder and governance theory and qualitative research methods, this research explores IUCN's procedures to prepare both international and national biodiversity conservation related programs with specific examination of four South Asian countries [India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh]. The research outlines how the conservation objectives have been created and enhanced through state-IO engagements. It examines national conservational actions and policies that have been co-constructed as well as the skills and approaches that have been used. This research also defines where in IUCN network conservation innovation comes from and how they produce and adapt that innovation to global and national situations. Finally, the research also shows the historical development of global institutions and IUCN's activities with member nations in helping to define or redefine the concept of global governance. This dissertation makes use of and hopefully adds to our understanding of organizations as well as organizational theory.

Additionally, the dissertation also explores the recent development of the green economy (GE) concepts into IUCN's program planning today. The green economy initiative applies a people-first approach. Although the concept is relatively new, this research explores the theoretical development of a green economy and illustrates how this theory is applied in IUCN's program planning to program implementation.

Additionally, the research results may be helpful in illuminating some of the advantages and drawbacks of international membership organizations themselves, which may be helpful in future organizational policy formation and implementation efforts. Findings from this research will be useful hopefully to IUCN itself. The outcomes of this research will also be beneficial for global collaboration, networking, and for the identification of common concerns among the many environmental and conservational organizations at the international and national levels. In this broader sense the research outcomes might be beneficial to constituencies of the global North as well as global South because of the nature and coverage of IUCN and its role in conservation policy formation. This effort may serve as a model for additional research on international organizations.


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