Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Underdal, Arild
Location University of Oslo
Primary Field Human Environmental Sciences
Secondary Field Social and Political Sciences
 Election Citation
Underdal has transformed our understanding of what kinds of global environmental agreements work, and why. These seminal insights are grounded in his pioneering work on the effectiveness of international negotiations, cooperation, and institutions. His contributions to theory, methods, databases and training continue to shape modern scholarship on global governance regimes.
 Research Interests
Underdal's contributions to the study of international cooperation has focused on three main aspects: diagnosing problems, assessing potential "cures", and measuring regime effectiveness. In diagnosing problems, he has supplemented established political economy categories such as (global) collective goods with search for actors' "private" interests and the distribution of political power. In assessing potential cures, he has emphasized the role of political science as a partner filling gaps left by research in natural sciences and economics. More precisely, he has looked to natural sciences for assessments of (ecological) sustainability and to economics for assessments of efficiency, and then focused his own attention on exploring the political feasibility of the policy options that best meet those two criteria. In measuring effectiveness his main interest has been to determine how much of potential collective gains are in fact delivered by an existing international regime (or could plausibly have been delivered by a different regime). His main contributions to international team-work often combine methodological tools designed for separating effects with tools designed to measure combined effects (such as QCA), and static accounts with dynamic approaches (such as ABM). He played an important role in establishing CICEP (Center for Research on Strategic Challenges in International Climate and Energy Policy), with CICERO as coordinator.

These pages are for the use of PNAS Editorial Board members and authors searching for PNAS member editors. For information about the National Academy of Sciences or its membership, please see
National Academy of Sciences | Copyright ©2019, All Rights Reserved