Interplay between different international agreements is a novel field of study in regime theory. The importance of understanding this interplay is increasing, due to the rising number of international agreements with overlapping functional scopes. By including the time dimension in the study of regime interplay, per spectives are opened up, which may provide a better grasp of the dynamics of regime development. Three propositions are suggested in this article on how different development stages of overlapping international regimes affect their interplay. The propositions are illustrated with the case of overlapping regimes pertaining to the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. The regimes are the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The case study shows that an analytic grasp of the time dimension might uncover barriers to regime formation, as well as strategic opportunities.

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