Discovery Guides Areas

  Environmental Policy Issues

Global Environmental Governance
(Released August 2005)



Key Citations

Web Sites


Key Citations Short Format Full Format
Choose a Category Organizations Treaties Ecosystems
  Sustainability Economic Issues
  1. The global environment: institutions, law, and policy

    Regina S. Axelrod.

    CQ Press, 2005, xx+300 pp.

    Analyzes key issues affecting protection of the global environment; topics include treaties, role of environmental NGOs, policies of the US, European Union, and developing countries, national and international implementation of sustainable development principles, China's Three Gorges Dam project, and nuclear power in the Czech Republic.

  2. Human and Institutional Capacity Enhancement for Environmental Management in Indonesia: The Experience of the University Consortium on the Environment, 1987-2002

    Tim Babcock.

    Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1, May 2003, pp, 73-88.

    The University Consortium on the Environment involved collaboration among Waterloo, York, and seven Indonesian universities in Java and Sulawesi in a comprehensive effort to enhance the capacity of Environmental Studies Centres in Indonesian universities to support good environmental management. Focussing on graduate student education (for both Indonesians and Canadians), joint faculty research, workshops, and the preparation of academic publications and practical training manuals, this large, complex project yields a number of important lessons. Important factors relating to success include forms of participation, leadership and management, institutional relations and structures, communication, and cross-cutting themes for environmental research, training, and management. The experience demonstrates the particular values and challenges of undertaking such projects in Canadian universities.

  3. Assessing the effectiveness of intergovernmental organizations in international environmental politics

    Frank Biermann and Steffen Bauer.

    Global Environ.Change, Vol. 14, No. 2, Jul 2004, pp, 189-193.

  4. Politics of Trade and Environment and the Transboundary Trade of Genetically Modified Organisms: A Study of Institutional Process, Regime Overlap and North-South Politics, in Global Rule-Making

    Michael Bressler.

    Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 64, No. 11, May 2004, pp, 4196-A.

    In this study I examine process and deliberation in global trade and environment fora which deal with overlapping trade-environment issues. I suggest that differences between fora in these previously independent areas of international co-operation can be meaningfully categorized in terms of the degree to which they promote communicative, as compared to strategic action. I find that in rule-making on the trans-boundary trade in genetically modified organisms, the existence of a forum with more inclusive and egalitarian process and greater information symmetry, worked in favor of the diffusion of green norms and rules. This pattern largely contradicts the rich-green model of trade-environment politics which posits developed countries to be the primary advocates and beneficiaries of green rule-making, and which subsequently implies that fora in which these states are most powerful are likely to be the most environment-friendly. I examine the generalizability of patterns in this case to a broader realm of international trade-environment issues by interviewing officers of relevant global environmental non-governmental organizations as to their views of what constitute the major trade-environment issues, the relative importance of these issues, and their organizations' degree of agreement with the US, G77, and EU positions on each issue. I find that with the exception of the case of overlapping issues in the WTO, the respondents tend to see their organizations as having the greatest degree of agreement with the G77. This suggests that the rule-making on trade in genetically modified organisms is not anomalous in its divergence from the rich-green model. I conclude that institutions can either intensify or mitigate the extent to which asymmetry and egoism prevail as factors in international rule-making, and that the explanatory efficacy of the rich-green hypothesis must be considered limited and conditional, most applicable in cases where power asymmetries and egoistic behavior are built into institutional process and deliberation. Its expectation that broader inclusivity, and greater empowerment of developed states will inhibit environment-friendly rule-making seems unwarranted. Greater inclusion, and more public and egalitarian process, may in fact advance the cause of environment-friendly rule-making on trade-environment issues.

  5. International influence of an Australian nongovernment organization in the protection of Patagonian toothfish

    Liza D. Fallon and Lorne K. Kriwoken.

    Ocean Development and International Law, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 221-266, July/September 2004

    Discusses a case study of the International Southern Oceans Longline Fisheries Information Clearing House, based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia; focuses on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that undermined fisheries management by coastal states and the Convention for the Conservation of Arctic Maritime Living Resources.

  6. Revealed Preferences of an International Trade and Environment Institution

    Linda Fernandez.

    Land Economics, Vol. 80, No. 2, May 2004 2004, pp, 224-238.

    International cooperation on environmental problems is examined through the factors influencing a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) institution's decisions over environmental problems along the U.S.-Mexico border. An econometric study relates the approval by the NAFTA institution of environmental improvement projects to observed attributes of the proposed projects. Results show strong preference for projects solving transboundary wastewater pollution and the polluter pays principle. The institution does not prefer projects that generate revenues nor minimize costs. Bi-national grants and loans dominate the funding for approved projects, implying both countries pay. More U.S. projects have been approved than projects from Mexico.

  7. Greening the Earth with Trees: Science, Storylines and the Construction of International Climate Change Institutions

    Cathleen Ann Fogel.

    Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 64, No. 1, July 2003, pp, 279-A.

    This dissertation traces the development of a controversial international environmental policy from its inception to its application. The policy it considers is that of planting trees as a way of mitigating global climate change. The study broadens scholarly understanding of the social justice, cultural and democratic implications of environmental treaty formation through the use of constructivist and multi-sited research methodologies. It explores how knowledge and policies on global climate change have been constructed and legitimized. Drawing upon theories of discourse coalitions, environmental storylines, and asymmetrical institutional structures, I trace the emergence and spread of the idea of afforestation to mitigate climate change starting in the 1970's, identify unifying metaphors within scientific discourse and then link this discourse to political negotiations on forests and climate change in the 1980's and 1990's. I explain how and why political discourse about institutions to incorporate forests within a global climate change regime evolved from 'coercive' to 'reciprocal' and finally to 'exchange' proposals, as embodied in the Kyoto Protocol. The middle portion of my work analyzes the construction and use of 'global knowledge' through a case study of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its 2000 Special Report on forests and climate change. I analyze the IPCC as an international boundary organization that straddles and internalizes both scientific and political practices and I explicate the highly unequal access that powerful states such as the United States had to the IPCC 2000 scientific advisory process. I analyze the work of the IPCC, including its management of uncertainties, its deconstruction and reconstruction of terms and categories (for instance, what constitutes a 'forest') and its extensive boundary work, for instance between scientists and state negotiators. I conclude by examining the construction of local-global accountability mechanisms on biotic carbon sequestration within the Kyoto Protocol. To do this, I trace representations of indigenous peoples within the IPCC and the protocol since 1990 and summarize indigenous peoples' responses to their perceived invisibility. I reiterate the importance of representation, transparency and free speech within transnational policy networks and outline several distinct facets of environmental storylines, describing how improved understanding of these might contribute to the constructive resolution of environmental conflicts.

  8. The World Trade Organization, Kyoto and Energy Tax Adjustments at the Border

    Gavin Goh.

    Journal of World Trade, Vol. 38, No. 3, June 2004 2004, pp, 395-423.

  9. Globalization and the Environment: Moving beyond Neoliberal Institutionalism

    Gabriela Kutting.

    International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, spring-summer 2004, pp, 29-46.

    This article deals with the issue of the environment in international politics & makes a case that the environment as a subject matter is fundamentally different from other political issues. To this effect, the concept of eco-holistic analysis is put forward whereby environmental issues are incorporated into the analysis rather than the structural & systemic forces & constraints within which actors operate. The concept of eco-holistic analysis is based on three pillars (the historical dimension of environment-society relations, the concept of consumption, & equity) which offer new dimensions of analysis highlighting why traditional institutionalist approaches to the study of international environmental politics are lacking in offering suggestions for effective environmental improvement. 41 References. Adapted from the source document.

  10. Organizational Learning in Multinationals: R&D Networks of Japanese and US MNEs in the UK

    Alice Lam.

    Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3, May 2003, pp, 673-703.

    The institutional approach treats organizational forms and behaviour as contingent upon institutions that are durable and socially embedded and so several authors have argued that the nature and modes of operation of multinational enterprises (MNEs) vary according to their national origins. This paper examines the ways in which national patterns of organization and innovation affect Japanese and US MNEs' global R&D networks and transnational learning, based on case studies of their R&D laboratories in the UK. In particular, it focuses on how these MNEs tap into the foreign academic knowledge base and scientific labour through collaborative links with higher education institutions. Relative to many Japanese MNEs, US firms have developed a greater organizational capacity for coordinating globally dispersed learning and embedding themselves in local innovation networks because the liberal institutional environment within which US MNEs have developed enables them to extend their organizational and human resource systems across institutional and geographical boundaries. By contrast, Japanese MNEs appear to be more limited in their transnational learning because of the much more tightly integrated organizational and business system within which they are embedded. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

  11. NGOs, Organizational Culture, and Institutional Sustainability

    David Lewis.

    Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 590, No. 0, November 2003 2003, pp, 212-226.

    This paper draws on ongoing qualitative research on a sericulture project in Bangladesh to explore the ways in which the concept of organizational culture--which is rarely considered within the analysis of development interventions--can help reveal the complex roots of sustainability problems within multi agency rural development projects. The approach focuses both on local organizational realities and on power in the relationships that link project actors and process with wider systems and structures. It was observed that many of the initial project meanings have gradually fragmented over time, despite the earlier coherence expressed through the formal project culture expressed through documents and other artifacts.

  12. International law and organization: closing the compliance gap

    Edward C. Luck and Michael W. Doyle.

    Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004,

    Case studies of compliance behavior across four critical areas of international cooperation; trade and finance, climate change and the environment, human rights and humanitarian norms, and atomic weapons control and nuclear nonproliferation, Contents: Introduction: Expanding norms, lagging compliance, by Katharina P. Coleman and Michael W. Doyle; Conceptual issues surrounding the compliance gap, by George W. Downs and Andrea W. Trento; The institutional dilemmas of market integration: compliance and international regimes for trade and finance, by Kathleen R. McNamara; South Korea and international compliance behavior: the WTO and IMF in comparative perspective, by Chung-in Moon; Compliance with multilateral agreements: the climate change regime, by Philippe Sands and Jan Linehan; Crises and conflicts in the Great Lakes region: the problem of noncompliance with humanitarian law, by James R. Katalikawe, Henry M. Onoria, and Baker G. Wairama; Compliance with the laws of war: the role of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, by Luc Côté; International laws of war and the African child: norms, compliance, and strategy, by Jeffrey Herbst; Dilemmas of compliance with arms control and disarmament agreements, by Harold A. Feiveson and Jacqueline W. Shire; The American problem: the United States and noncompliance in the world of arms control and nonproliferation, by Zia Mian; Conclusion: gaps, commitments, and the compliance challenge, by Edward C. Luck.

  13. Purchasing power: harnessing institutional procurement for people and the planet

    Lisa Mastny.


    Discusses the environmental costs of purchases by governments, corporations, universities, and other large institutions, and efforts around the world to introduce and support environmentally-friendly, sustainable, or green purchasing practices.

  14. The Participation of Individuals and Nongovernmental Organizations in the Creation, Application and Control of the Implementation of International Law: The Case of the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

    Sylviane Estelle Mongbe.

    Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 63, No. 9, Mar 2003, pp, 3347-A.

  15. Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform

    Daniel L. Nielson and Michael J. Tierney.

    International Organization, Vol. 57, No. 2, Spring 2003 2003, pp, 241-276.

    Current international relations theory struggles to explain both the autonomy and transformation of international organizations (IOs). Previous theories either fail to account for any IO behavior that deviates from the interests of member states, or neglect the role of member states in reforming IO institutions and behavior. We propose an agency theory of IOs that can fill these gaps while also addressing two persistent problems in the study of IOs: common agency and long delegation chains. Our model explains slippage between member states' interests and IO behavior, but also suggests institutional mechanisms--staff selection, monitoring, procedural checks, and contracts--through which states can rein in errant IOs. We evaluate this argument by examining multiple institutional reforms and lending patterns at the World Bank from 1980 to 2000.

  16. Canada and regional fisheries organizations: implementing the UN fish stocks agreement

    Rosemary Rayfuse.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 34, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2003, pp, 209-228.

    Canada is a strong supporter of the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. Whether Canada's support is matched by its actions in strengthening regional fisheries organizations and arrangements dealing with straddling and highly migratory fish stocks is thus worthy of investigation. This contribution examines Canadian activities within regional fisheries organizations with particular reference to implementation of the precautionary and ecosystem approaches and the issue of enforcement of conservation and management measures. Although Canadian actions appear generally to be furthering implementation of the Agreement, comprehensive integration of words and deeds remains to be achieved.; Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  17. Who ratifies environmental treaties and why? institutionalism, structuralism and participation by 192 nations in 22 treaties

    J. Timmons Roberts.


    Analyzes theoretical explanations for states' decisions about participation in international environmental policy; 1946-99.

  18. Building on the strengths and addressing the challenges: the role of Law of the Sea institutions

    Donald R. Rothwell.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 35, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2004, pp, 131-156.

    With the Law of the Sea Convention celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2004, an opportunity arises to assess the impact of new institutions created by the Convention. An analysis is undertaken of the work of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the International Sea-Bed Authority, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It is argued that all three of these institutions are playing an important role in the evolution of the law of the sea, and giving effect to fundamental norms of the Convention, such as the common heritage principle. However, conflicts loom over the delimitation of maritime space, forum shopping, and treaty parallelism. It is concluded that these institutions will continue to play an important role for the law of the sea in the coming decade.; Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  19. Kyoto Institutions: Baselines and Bargaining under Joint Implementation

    Simon Schmitz and Axel Michaelowa.

    Environmental Politics, Vol. 14, No. 1, Feb 2005, pp, 83-102.

    The 'first track' of Joint Implementation under the Kyoto Protocol gives host & investor countries total freedom in choosing a baseline for a project reducing or sequestering greenhouse gases. This is because an overly generous granting of emission credits leads to a corresponding reduction of the host country' s emission budget. However, a majority of interests prefers lax baselines & it is unlikely that cash-strapped governments can prevent granting of a more lenient baseline than would be objectively warranted. Standardized, multi-project baselines defined by government officials can lower gaming to some extent & reduce transaction costs, especially in relatively homogeneous sectors. However, host countries need capacity not only to calculate baselines but also to decide against powerful interests. Interviews with government officials & other stakeholders in East European EU accession countries suggest that countries have not yet realized the issues of baseline definition under the first track. 3 Tables, 1 Figure, 18 References. Adapted from the source document.

  20. Mapping institutional linkages in European air pollution politics

    Henrik Selin and Stacy D. VanDeveer.


  21. International Nongovernmental Organizations and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Developing World: A Quantitative, Cross-National Analysis

    John M. Shandra, Bruce London, Owen P. Whooley and John B. Williamson.

    Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 74, No. 4, Nov 2004, pp, 520-545.

    This quantitative, cross-national study is designed to test hypotheses linking the activities of international nongovernmental organizations to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in the developing world. While many quantitative studies of variation in carbon dioxide emissions have been published, none has included a control for the presence of international nongovernmental organizations. We review the literature that discusses the many ways that international nongovernmental organizations work to reduce environmental degradation in developing nations. We then conduct a panel regression analysis in which we include a variable to estimate the effects of international nongovernmental organizations on carbon dioxide emissions while including variables suggested by other relevant theoretical perspectives. Our findings are quite clear in that nations with high levels of international nongovernmental organization presence have lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions than nations with low levels of international nongovernmental organization presence. We also find support for the ecological modernization hypothesis pertaining to the existence of an environmental Kuznet's curve between the level of economic development & level of carbon dioxide emissions. 1 Table, 83 References. Adapted from the source document.

  22. The political economy of the European Union: Institutions, policy and economic growth

    Gert Tinggaard Svendsen.

    2003, pp. 195.

    Derives new insights into the political economy of the European Union and its present institutional setup and explores how this institutional setup affects policy outcomes and economic growth. Surveys three political economy approaches--the public choice school, "collective good" analysis, and institutional economics--and combines the approaches into one general model of the political economy. Analyzes the political economy of the European Union, considering the cost sharing issue; the EU institutions; the Common Agricultural Policy; EU lobbyism and interest groups; corruption; social capital; and economic growth. Examines interest group theory and analyzes the political economy of an internal greenhouse gas market in the European Union. Provides a political economy perspective on on EU participation in the global efforts to combat the greenhouse effect. Assesses the wind energy market and considers subsidies for wind energy. Svendsen is Associate Professor of Economics at the Aarhus School of Business. Bibliography; index.

  23. Taking Institutions Seriously: How Regime Analysis Can Be Relevant to Multilevel Environmental Governance

    John Vogler.

    Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 3, No. 2, May 2003 2003, pp, 25-39.

    This article starts with the observation that in the study and practice of global environmental governance (GEG) institutions and organizations are often conflated. For regime theorists they are not the same thing and the argument is advanced that, despite its failings, the regime/institutional approach continues to have significant analytical advantages. However, the benefits of regime analysis can only be realized if it avoids becoming an arena for inter-governmental rational choice theorizing and takes institutions seriously. One way of doing this is to utilize John Searle's "general theory of institutional facts." Searle's work provides the inspiration for a re-consideration of the bases, components, domain and explanation of global environmental regimes. It is argued that it could yield a new institutional approach which overcomes some of the problems of existing regime analyses in ways appropriate to the study of multilevel environmental governance.