Global Environmental Politics

Global Environmental Politics
Volume 3, Number 4, November 2003


Research Articles

    Hovi, Jon, 1956-
    Skodvin, Tora.
    Andresen, Steinar.
  • The Persistence of the Kyoto Protocol: Why Other Annex I Countries Move on Without the United States
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    Subject Headings:
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992). Protocols, etc., 1997 Dec. 11.
    • Greenhouse gases -- Law and legislation.
    • Global warming -- Law and legislation.
    • Environmental law, International.
      The United States, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is not going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in the foreseeable future. Yet, a number of countries have decided to stay on the Kyoto track. Four main explanations for this apparent puzzle are considered. The first is that remaining Annex I countries still expect the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming sufficiently to outweigh the economic costs of implementation. The second is that the parties, by implementing the treaty, hope to induce non-parties to follow suit at some later stage. A third hypothesis is that EU climate institutions have generated a momentum that has made a change of course difficult. Finally, Kyoto's persistence may be linked to the European Union's desire to stand forth as an international leader in the field of climate politics. We conclude that the first two explanations have little explanatory power, but find the latter two more promising.
    Bäckstrand, Karin.
  • Civic Science for Sustainability: Reframing the Role of Experts, Policy-Makers and Citizens in Environmental Governance
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    Subject Headings:
    • Democracy and science.
    • Science and international affairs.
    • Sustainable development.
      The essay reviews the notion of "civic science" in global environmental governance and how it is articulated in international relations, science studies, democratic theory and sustainability science. Civic science is used interchangeably with participatory, citizen, stakeholder and democratic science, which are all catch words that signify various attempts to increase public participation in the production and use of scientific knowledge. Three rationales for civic science are identified: restoring public trust in science, re-orienting science towards coping with the complexity of environmental problems and installing democratic governance of science. A central proposition is that the promotion of civic science needs to be coupled with a theoretical understanding of its institutional, normative and epistemological challenges. The science-politics interface needs to be reframed to include the triangular interaction between scientific experts, policy-makers and citizens.
    Kütting, Gabriela, 1967-
  • Globalization, Poverty and the Environment in West Africa: Too Poor to Pollute?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cotton trade -- Environmental aspects -- Africa, West.
    • Sustainable development -- Africa, West.
      This article explores the linkages between the local and the global in the case of the increasing dependence on cotton in West African economies. It argues that West African states are too poor to engage in the wide spread extremely damaging environmental practices the former Soviet republics or Latin American states have followed and then suffered from. This article demonstrates that this poverty leads to relatively minor environmental damage on the one hand and, on the other hand, is caused to a large extent by external forces. Cotton is a key export crop and the region is vulnerable to price fluctuations on world markets and to domestic consequences of cotton farming such as environmental and social problems. This article explores the structural origins and environmental consequences of cotton farming in West Africa from a holistic perspective, thus outlining the position of cash-crop dependent states in the global political economy from a social and environmental perspective. Although West Africa's subordinate role in the globalization process also means that problems arising out of the privatization of nature are not as acute as elsewhere, the lack of opportunity for higher-level integration perpetuates and aggravates West Africa's position in the world, leaving little room for ecological, social and welfare improvement. It is an ideal illustration of the classic sustainable development dilemma: poverty means relatively low environmental damage but the way out of poverty can only be achieved with substantial environmental sacrifices, thus making sustainable development an oxymoron.
    Skodvin, Tora.
    Andresen, Steinar.
  • Nonstate Influence in the International Whaling Commission, 1970-1990
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    Subject Headings:
    • International Whaling Commission.
    • Whaling -- Law and legislation.
    • Environmental policy -- Citizen participation.
      The role of nonstate actors in international environmental politics has been given increased scholarly attention during the last decade. While most analyses are focused on direct nonstate influence at the international level, one main objective of this article is to develop a multi-level approach that allows analysis of nonstate influence channeled via the domestic decision making level. The point of departure for the analysis is the International Whaling Commission (IWC) during the period from 1970 to 1990, with a particular focus on the competition for influence characterizing the relationship between the scientific community and the environmental and animal rights movement. The analysis shows that domestic channels of influence may be equally, or even more important than channels of influence linked to the international decision making level. In the case of the IWC, for instance, the environmental and animal rights movement succeeded in mobilizing domestic public support, particularly in the United States, and had a key ally in the US government, Congress and Administration. The domestic role of this nonstate actor was of key importance to its success in influencing the development of the international whaling regime. The analysis shows, therefore, that examining the role of the domestic channel is integral to understanding nonstate influence on international policy-making, and particularly how some nonstate actors acquire inžuence at the expense of others.

Book Review Essays

    Ward, Veronica.
  • Global Environmental Politics in the Classroom
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    Subject Headings:
    • Broadhead, Lee-Anne, 1960- International environmental politics: the limits of green diplomacy.
    • Bryner, Gary C., 1951- Gaia's wager: environmental movements and the challenge of sustainability.
    • DeSombre, Elizabeth R. Global environment & world politics.
    • Steel, Brent S. Environmental politics and policy: a comparative approach.
    • Clinton, Richard L.
    • Lovrich, Nicholas P.
    • Environmental management.
    • Environmentalism.
    Barkin, J. Samuel, 1965-
  • Trade, Sustainable Development, and the Environment
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gallagher, Kevin, 1968-, ed. Earthscan reader on international trade and sustainable development.
    • Werksman, Jacob, ed.
    • Deere, Carolyn, ed. Greening the Americas: NAFTA's lesson for hemispheric trade.
    • Esty, Daniel C., ed.
    • Paehlke, Robert. Democracy's dilemma: environment, social equity, and the global economy.
    • International trade -- Environmental aspects.
    • Free trade -- Environmental aspects -- North America.
    Krajnc, Anita.
  • "Can Do" and "Can't Do" Responses to Climate Change
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    Subject Headings:
    • Claussen, Eileen, ed. Climate change: science, strategies & solutions.
    • Cochran, Vicki Arroyo, ed.
    • Davis, Debra P., ed.
    • Firor, John. Crowded greenhouse: population, climate change, and creating a sustainable world.
    • Jacobsen, Judith.
    • Kok, Marcel, 1968-, ed. Global warming and social innovation: the challenge of a climate-neutral society.
    • Luterbacher, Urs, ed. International relations and global climate change.
    • Sprinz, Detlef F., ed.
    • Mwandosya, M. J. Survival emissions: a perspective from the south on global climate change negotiations.
    • Victor, David G. Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the struggle to slow global warming.
    • Climatic changes.
    • Population -- Environmental aspects.

Book Reviews

    McBeath, Jerry.
  • International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Harris, Paul G., ed. International environmental cooperation: politics and diplomacy in Pacific Asia.
    • Environmental policy -- Asia -- International cooperation.
    Lohan, Dagmar.
  • Governing Global Biodiversity--The Evolution and Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Le Prestre, Philippe G., ed. Governing global biodiversity--the evolution and implementation of the convention on biological diversity.
    • Biological diversity conservation.

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