1.7 Self-test

To finish this course, answer the following questions to check your understanding of the course material. (Click for each question on the answer that you think is correct)


Question 1: Which statement best describes polycentric governance?

  • Option A: Multiple independent governing authorities that produce a multi-level pattern of governing
    Correct, a crucial element of polycentric governance is that multiple independent governing authorities produce a multi-level pattern of governing. This indicates that it a process rather than an end result of agreements or decisions. This statement is based on the definition of Elinor Ostrom on polycentric systems as provided in chapter 1 of the textbook: “multiple governing authorities at different scales rather than a mono-centric unit. Each unit within a polycentric system exercises considerable independence to make norms and rules within a specific domain (such as a family, a firm, a local government, a network of local governments, a state or province, a region, a national government, or an international regime)” (Ostrom, 2010a: 552).
  • Option B: International agreements between different nation states
    Incorrect, a crucial element of polycentric governance is that multiple independent governing authorities produce a multi-level pattern of governing. This indicates that it a process rather than an end result of agreements or decisions. This statement is based on the definition of Elinor Ostrom on polycentric systems as provided in chapter 1 of the textbook: “multiple governing authorities at different scales rather than a mono-centric unit. Each unit within a polycentric system exercises considerable independence to make norms and rules within a specific domain (such as a family, a firm, a local government, a network of local governments, a state or province, a region, a national government, or an international regime)” (Ostrom, 2010a: 552).
  • Option C: Collectively binding decisions by governmental and other actors
    Incorrect, a crucial element of polycentric governance is that multiple independent governing authorities produce a multi-level pattern of governing. This indicates that it a process rather than an end result of agreements or decisions. This statement is based on the definition of Elinor Ostrom on polycentric systems as provided in chapter 1 of the textbook: “multiple governing authorities at different scales rather than a mono-centric unit. Each unit within a polycentric system exercises considerable independence to make norms and rules within a specific domain (such as a family, a firm, a local government, a network of local governments, a state or province, a region, a national government, or an international regime)” (Ostrom, 2010a: 552).

 

Question 2: What are NDC’s?

  • Option A: Nationally Differentiated Capacities
    Incorrect, a core element of the Paris Agreement are the Nationally Determined Contributions
  • Option B: Non-Governmental Deduced Contributions
    Incorrect, a core element of the Paris Agreement are the Nationally Determined Contributions
  • Option C: Nationally Determined Contributions
    Correct, a core element of the Paris Agreement are the Nationally Determined Contributions.

 

Question 3: How would you describe polycentric governance?
Make use of the 5 propositions distinguished in textbook chapter 1.

  • Feedback
    There are different ways to describe polycentric governance, for example in opposition to mono-centric governance. In your answer you should mention the 5 core propositions that are defined in Chapter 1 of the textbook: Proposition 1. Local Action: Governance initiatives are likely to emerge at a local level through processes of self-organisation. Proposition 2. Mutual Adjustment: Constituent units are likely to spontaneously develop collaborations with one another, producing more trusting interrelationships. Proposition 3. Experimentation: The willingness and capacity to experiment is likely to facilitate governance innovation and learning about what works. Proposition 4. The Importance of Trust: Trust is likely to build up more quickly when units are able to self-organise, thus increasing collective ambitions. Proposition 5. Overarching Rules: Local initiatives are likely to work best when they are bound by a set of overarching rules that enshrine the goals to be achieved and/or allow conflicts to be resolved.

 

Question 4: Which aspect of the polycentric perspective on climate governance is most promising for you?

  • Feedback
    Your answer is probably a mix of your personal interests and the reasons provided in the introduction chapter to study climate change governance from a polycentric perspective. The reasons for this course is that the polycentric governance approach enables to describe the diverse actors and their interactions in climate change governance, it provides different understandings to explain climate change governance processes and provides normative prescriptions on how climate change governance should look. This is explained in more detail in §1.1 and §1.2 of the textbook.

 

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