Western University Political ScienceFaculty of Social Science

Radoslav Dimitrov

Associate Professor & European Union Delegate to the UN Climate Change Negotiations


Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85023
E-mail: rdimitro@uwo.ca
Office: Social Sciences Centre 4219

Research Interests

Professor Dimitrov specializes in global environmental politics, international climate change negotiations, and UN diplomacy. Theoretical work: science and environmental policy, argumentation and persuasion in politics, and norms in world politics. His award-winning work introduced the concept of nonregimes to the field of global governance, through studies on coral reefs policy and global forest negotiations.

Current Research Projects

1. Global Climate Change Negotiations

Dr. Dimitrov participates in UN climate change negotiations as government delegate for the European Union (2009-present) and UN rapporteur (2004-2009). His work documents the history of climate negotiations from behind closed doors and explores the politics of international policymaking.

2. Persuasion in World Politics

When governments negotiate, what do they say to each other? This research project explores the microdynamics of international negotiations. It examines techniques of persuasion in world politics to discover winning political strategies in bargaining.

3. Decoy Institutions in Global Governance

Why are some international institutions without policymaking capacity? Governments sometimes create empty institutions and deliberately design them not to produce substantive policy. This article introduces the concept of ‘decoy institutions’ whose mandates exclude policy formulation or implementation. Decoy institutions camouflage the absence of governance and serve to legitimize collective inaction. They are also political tools for hiding failure at negotiations. Examples include organizations such as the United Nations Forum on Forests and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and international ‘policy’ agreements such as the Copenhagen Accord on climate change. Research is based on participatory observation of negotiations. The article provides three empirical examples of decoys, offers explanations of their occurrence, and discusses the implications of this phenomenon for academic scholarship. This phenomenon challenges IR theories that treat institutions as tools for facilitating governance. On the contrary, decoys can serve to preempt governance, by creating public impression of policy action and deflecting political calls for real institutions.

Selected Publications


Refereed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Recent Conference Presentations

Invited Talks

Awards and Distinctions