INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2021 (4) en-us Copyright 2021 Mon, 15 Nov 2021 00:12:46 +0300 Back to the Iron Cage? Institutional Isomorphism of the AIIB During its first five years of operation, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is becoming more and more similar to traditional Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in terms of operational goals, business area, and environmental and social standards. Why has the AIIB, the newest type of multilateral development bank (MDB) initiated by an emerging economy, undergone institutional isomorphism? Based on the socialization theory, this paper argues that the institutional environment in which the AIIB is operating has a strong influence on AIIB’s institution-building, mainly through the coercive, mimetic, and normative institutional isomorphic processes. On coercion, the pressures from European donors, international credit rating agencies, and global civil society have resulted in the AIIB’s institutional isomorphism. On mimicking, the social uncertainty of the relationship between the AIIB and the Belt and Road Initiative and the technical uncertainty of infrastructure projects have triggered the AIIB’s institutional isomorphism. On normativeness, the similar educational backgrounds and working experience of the AIIB’s staff and active interactions among the MDB family members have caused the AIIB’s institutional isomorphism. The paper concludes that the international institutional environment might hamper emerging economies’ institutional innovation. Systematization and Classification of the European Union’s policy Instruments for the Implementation of the Green Deal In 2019, the new European Commission (EC) presented its vision for climate and environmental transformation in Europe and beyond in its communication on the Green Deal. The Green Deal covers all sectors of the economy, elaborates a new concept for economic growth with climate goals at its centre, and implies a review of current EU climate and climate-related policies. An analysis of the instruments for the Green Deal’s implementation and internationalization and their classification and systematization shows a wider picture of the whole complex of available and suggested new policy tools. It also clarifies the role of each of the initiatives and assesses more precisely their importance and potential for influencing the global climate agenda and relations with the Russian Federation.The analysis further reveals the balance of costs and benefits for the sectors and actors involved. The purpose of this study is to systematize the complex of the Green Deal’s implementation instruments and assess the balance of various measures in the EU’s menu of policy options.The EU’s influence on the global agenda and the interests of other countries, including Russia, is not limited to the introduction of the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), which was widely covered and analyzed as a never before applied trade and climate policy tool with potential to influence global competition. Upcoming new rules to enter the European market, including through sustainable product requirements, could affect the interests of other countries even more. This influence will also be amplified by the regulatory frameworks and rules on emerging markets, such as for climate-neutral technologies and energy sources. Analysis of the initiatives suggests that the measures may be quite burdensome, especially for citizens, while the system of redistribution and compensation is not yet sufficiently developed in terms of financing and administration. Some initiatives significantly increase the transaction and administrative costs for all market participants (exporters, importers, European companies, and consumers) with fairly limited emissions reductions on a global scale. Despite these drawbacks, the Green Deal remains the most comprehensive, elaborate, detailed and ambitious initiative aimed at reaching the net-zero target. Other actors have their own reasoning for tougher climate policy, but the influence and pressure of the Deal increases the ambition of their goals and encourages them to consider the implementation of various policy options, including strict carbon regulation. Therefore, the new EU policy could become a model to identify the best solutions and practices, as well as a catalyst for global climate transition. What Determines the Ambitiousness of Climate Policy in Different –°ountries? Climate change is considered to be the one of the most challenging problems of the 21st century and requires coordinated action by the governments across the globe. The Paris Agreement, ratified by most countries of the world, sets the goal of keeping the average temperature rise within 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. As part of the Agreement, countries set Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, determined voluntarily. Because these targets are nationally determined, they depend on domestic constraints and the additional opportunities that individual countries' emission reduction strategies present.As a result, climate policies vary widely among countries, both in terms of the emission reduction targets and the policy instruments used. This study aims to systematize the factors influencing climate policy and relies on factor and cluster analysis methods. Factor analysis is used to aggregate a set of investigated statistical indicators, reflecting the country's development level, exposure to climate risks, energy endowment, and foreign trade specialization, into a series of principal components. Based on the selected principal components, the countries are clustered into homogeneous groups and the indicators of climate policy ambition are compared among the clusters. The results of the study demonstrate that climate change vulnerability is not a determinant of climate policy. As a rule, the poorest and most vulnerable countries set the least ambitious emission reduction targets. At the same time, rich and energy-abundant countries are more likely to implement active climate policies and set more ambitious emissions reduction targets, compared to energy-intensive countries and countries that specialize in exporting carbon-intensive products. More advanced climate policy instruments, such as a carbon tax or emissions trading system, are used more frequently in more advanced and energy-deficient countries. Sustainable Recovery - Challenges and Opportunities for Russia The purpose of this article is to check Russia’s strategic planning system and anti-crisis measures against the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by monitoring the documents for policy objectives directly or indirectly corresponding to the targets of the sustainable development goals (SDG); comparing the indicators present in the Russian documents with those in the 2030 Agenda; assessing the impact of anti-crisis measures on the sustainable development outlook in the country; and tracing the changes present in the latest socio-economic development initiatives of the Russian government.The scope of the study in terms of the number of documents analyzed was determined in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of the Federal Law No. 172-FZ On Strategic Planning in the Russian Federation, and includes a vast array of federal strategies, sectoral strategic planning documents, national and federal projects, state programmes, the 2020 Presidential Decree No. 474 On the National Development Goals of the Russian Federation for the Period Until 2030 and its auxiliary documents, as well as other ad hoc anti-crisis planning instruments, such as the 2020 Nationwide Action Plan.The results of the analysis make it possible to trace the paradigm shift in Russia’s decision-making toward incorporating more elements of the sustainability discourse characteristic of the 2030 Agenda and other multilateral arrangements, particularly in regard to climate change and environment, taking place in 2020–21. The Transition of the World's Largest Economies to Carbon Neutrality: Areas of Potential Cooperation With Russia In 2020, despite the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that decarbonization and energy transition had become strategic goals rather than market trends. Moreover, they have become part of the broader and more ambitious plans of the world’s largest economies to move toward carbon neutrality by the middle of the 21st century. These economies include the European Union, the U.S., China, Japan and Korea.In Russia, these trends are typically viewed through the prism of risk: carbon neutrality implies a dramatic decrease in demand for fossil fuels, the production and export of which still play a key role in the Russian economy. However, apart from the risk to traditional sources of income, the global transition to carbon neutrality creates new opportunities for the development and diversification of the Russian economy, as well as for international cooperation in new areas. This article is devoted to the general identification of such opportunities.The authors perform a content analysis of the official plans of the largest economies related to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050–60. The main areas in which actions will be taken are identified. The current state of the corresponding industries in Russia and the possibilities for improvement are investigated. On the basis of this analysis, promising directions for the development of the Russian economy are proposed in which the implementation of large-scale international economic cooperation is possible in the coming decades. The Role of Digitalization in the Global Energy Transition In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization has become a popular topic in both practical and theoretical terms. In many areas, for example, education and communications, information and communication technologies began to play a leading role, especially during the period of limited mobility. However, in some other areas that also came under close scrutiny during the pandemic, such as the field of energy transition, digitalization has not yet fully unlocked its potential. Moreover, the digitalization of energy transition has not been researched enough.The purpose of this article is to fill this gap. The authors investigate the current stage of digitalization of the energy sector and the role of information and communication technologies in the traditional energy complex and in clean energy and identify and analyze the key groups of technologies that will have a decisive impact on the energy transition in the near future. The authors also examine the process of digitalization in the Russian energy sector in order to determine whether it is giving an impetus to the energy transition of Russia. Contingent Liabilities of Public-Private pPartnerships (PPPs) in Russia and BRICS Countries: Assessment and Risk Mitigation Mechanisms This article is devoted to the assessment of the conditional liabilities of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and measures to reduce the risks associated with them. First, a quantitative assessment of the contingent liabilities of PPP projects at the federal level is carried out. Contingent liabilities for public-private partnership projects are estimated to amount to [SA1] 2.3 trillion roubles for the period 2021–52. Second, the experience of creating a system for managing the contingent liabilities of PPPs in Russia and the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is summarized. This analysis shows that each of the BRICS countries has a legislative and technical framework for managing fiscal liabilities, but does not use it to the fullest extent. Consequently, to improve functioning it is necessary to regularly update, fill in, and expand the number of available financial indicators for PPP projects. Of the BRICS countries, South Africa is characterized by the most complete and transparent system for managing PPP-related contingent liabilities, but Russia could use some of the measures implemented in other BRICS countries to improve its own system, including the creation of a guarantee fund (Brazil), a system for operational project evaluation (India) and the practice of project approval by the fiscal authority (China). [SA1]This should either be “account for” or “amount to”…as the meaning is not precisely the same in each case, the AUs should review and determine which best fits their intention BRICS and Civil Society: Challenges and Future Perspectives in a Multipolar World This paper investigates the role of civil society (CS) in relation to issues of global concern, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, it focuses on the role of CS in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Western CS has, over time, shown certain limitations that have exposed it to a number of criticisms, while in BRICS, CS could begin to play a decisive role as a “historical bloc,” using Gramsci's expression. In fact, BRICS has repeatedly reiterated that it wants to reshape global governance (GG), and indeed its current growth has shown that it could effectively do so. Therefore, it is worth analyzing what role CS plays in this process. This analysis leads to an understanding of the many advances, and also the diverse limitations, that characterize the effectiveness of the work of CS in the BRICS countries. Thus, CS’s ability to be decisive in policymaking remains unclear. The argument in this paper proceeds as follows: some classical theories on CS are analyzed, highlighting the ethical tasks in which CS should be engaged; then, criticisms directed toward western CS are debated. Finally, the limitations and potential that CS has in the BRICS countries is considered, above all in light of the recent response to COVID-19. The conclusions highlight the fact that, if the BRICS countries want to play a leading role in GG and, broadly speaking, in future multilateralism, CS must play a decisive role within them. Specifically, a solid cooperation, or even a stable alliance, is needed between the civil societies of BRICS countries in order to address pressing issues and demands coming from the Global South. Regulating Global Stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies in Selected G20 countries Digitalization of the global economy, which has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, is leading to the development of digital currencies. Financial authorities in most countries are working to design regulation aimed at minimizing the risks associated with privately issued digital assets. At the same time, research is being carried out, and several pilot projects have been launched, on the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)—a new payment instrument that can potentially contribute to stimulating innovations, expanding access to financial services, simplifying cross-border payments, and maintaining financial stability.In this article, the author examines the approaches of some G20 members to regulating CBDCs and global stablecoins (GSC)—a financial instrument pegged to real assets, which is a potential alternative to traditional fiat currencies. The author then identifies general tendencies in the approaches of the considered jurisdictions to regulation and proposes recommendations on intensifying the development of Russia’s national rules and norms in this area, primarily for GSC, and strengthening international cooperation.