The North-East Atlantic : a study of the process behind the adoption of the ecosystem approach in OSPAR
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This thesis seeks to explain why the Commission of the OSPAR Convention decided to adopt a vision for an ecosystem approach to the North-East Atlantic in 2003. A process tracing method was applied to seek out explanations for this decision, and a tentative hypothesis was developed to establish whether there was an epistemic community that influenced the decision. The hypothesis was refuted under doubt, and likely explanations would instead rest with the interests of the contracting parties, in addition to the global diffusion of the idea of sustainable development.