Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science


Professor Mark Sproule-Jones


Transboundary common pools include many natural resources that flow or roam across such vast areas that they encompass the territory of multiple sovereign jurisdictions. This creates a considerable degree of resource management interdependency for the governments of these jurisdictions, and there are many types of intergovernmental institutions that have been created to address this interdependency, ranging from governmental unilateralism to binding intergovernmental decision-making. This study investigates the impact that various intergovernmental institutions have on policy design and policy learning in transboundary common pool management by analyzing and comparing the development of water management policies in the Great Lakes Basin of North America and the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia. The empirical findings from this comparison suggest that the involvement of non-governmental actors as third party brokers and monitors in intergovernmental interactions can have a very beneficial impact on both short-term policy design and long-term policy learning in the management of transboundary common pools. Effective intergovernmental policy interactions are even further facilitated by intergovernmental structures featuring both a political level council and an administrative level commission, each with defined tasks but linked in sequential decision-making.

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