Researchers studying the role institutions play in causing and confrontingenvironmental change use a variety of concepts and methods that make it difficult to compare theirfindings. Seeking to remedy this problem, Oran Young takes the analytic themes identified in theInstitutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) Science Plan as cutting-edgeresearch concerns and develops them into a common structure for conducting research. He illustrateshis arguments with examples of environmental change ranging in scale from the depletion of localfish stocks to the disruption of Earth's climate system.Young not only explores theoretical concernssuch as the relative merits of collective-action and social-practice models of institutions but alsoaddresses the IDGEC-identified problems of institutional fit, interplay, and scale. He shows howinstitutions interact both with one another and with the biophysical environment and assesses theextent to which we can apply lessons drawn from the study of local institutions to the study ofglobal institutions and vice versa. He examines how research on institutions can help us to solveglobal problems of environmental governance. Substantive topics discussed include the institutionaldimensions of carbon management, the performance of exclusive economic zones, and the politicaleconomy of boreal and tropical forests.