International Politics and the Environment

International Politics and the Environment

Books

Ronald B. Mitchell

Abstract

International Politics and the Environment provides a sophisticated overview of the theories, concepts and methods central to the complex and contentious field of International Environmental Politics (IEP). Ronald Mitchell carefully introduces students to the political processes involved in both causing and resolving international environmental problems. Each fully integrated chapter:

  • Links environmental policy to politics, bringing in a wide range of practical real-life examples
  • Deepens students' theoretical understanding, helping them to identify and explain international environmental problems and their solutions
  • Goes beyond description and develops students' ability to evaluate claims about outcomes in international environmental politics through empirical testing.

A rounded, in-depth examination of IEP, this book has been specifically written for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in global environmental politics and modules of broader international relations programs.

  • Citations
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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • SAGE Series on the Foundations of International Relations

    NEW IN 2009

    Series Editors:

    Walter Carlsnaes Uppsala University, Sweden

    Jeffrey T. Checkel Simon Fraser University, Canada

    International Advisory Board: Peter J. Katzenstein Cornell University, USA; Emanuel Adler University of Toronto, Canada; Martha Finnemore George Washington University, USA; Andrew Hurrell Oxford University, UK; G. John Ikenberry Princeton University, USA; Beth Simmons Harvard University, USA; Steve Smith University of Exeter, UK; Michael Zuern Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany.

    The SAGE Foundations series fills the gap between narrowly-focused research monographs and broad introductory texts, providing graduate students with state-of-the-art, critical overviews of the key sub-fields within International Relations: International Political Economy, International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Organization, Normative IR Theory, International Environmental Politics, Globalization, and IR Theory.

    Explicitly designed to further the transatlantic dialogue fostered by publications such as the SAGE Handbook of International Relations, the series is written by renowned scholars drawn from North America, continental Europe and the UK. The books are intended as core texts on advanced courses in IR, taking students beyond the basics and into the heart of the debates within each field, encouraging an independent, critical approach and signposting further avenues of research.

    Forthcoming titles:

    International Security – Christopher Daase

    International Relations Theory – Colin Wight

    Globalization – James Caporaso

    Foreign Policy Analysis – Walter Carlsnaes

    Copyright

    View Copyright Page

    Dedication

    To Kai Oliver Mitchell-Reiss and Jesse Cole Mitchell-Reiss

    Acknowledgements

    For two decades, brilliant and generous colleagues have helped me learn everything I know about international environmental politics. This book introduces students to a range of arguments, concepts, theories, and cases at the core of international environmental politics, and particularly their intergovernmental aspects. Throughout, I provide citations to help the interested reader learn more and to ‘give credit where credit is due’ for the ideas on which I build. But, as I push back from my desk after completing the manuscript, I am well aware that the sources of this book run far deeper than ideas presented in particular articles or books.

    My interest in international politics and the environment owes much to Howard Raiffa who encouraged me as a Master's student and, when I started my PhD in 1989, helped me shift my intellectual focus from national security to international environmental politics by allowing me to be the rapporteur for a Harvard faculty seminar on the policy, politics, economics, and science of climate change. The late Abram Chayes was, and William C. Clark and Robert O. Keohane remain, the best mentors a person could want, introducing me to the law, science, and politics of the global environment while consistently supporting me personally and challenging me professionally. Those with whom I started my PhD – Eileen Babbitt, Steve Block, James N. Miller, Manik Roy, and David Weil – as well as those with whom I completed it – Marc Levy, Edward Parson, and the late Vicki Norberg-Bohm – have been good friends and insightful colleagues throughout my career. In particular, many years ago, Marc Levy suggested a taxonomy of perspectives similar to that presented in Chapter 3.

    My knowledge and conceptualization of international environmental politics have been expanded immensely through intense and sustained interactions through research collaborations with Thomas Bernauer, Edith Brown Weiss, David Cash, Antonia Handler Chayes, William C. Clark, Glenn Deane, Lisa Dilling, Peter Haas, the late Harold Jacobson, Robert O. Keohane, Barbara Koremenos, Charles Lipson, Karen Litfin, Ed Miles, Elinor Ostrom, Duncan Snidal, Detlef Sprinz, Arild Underdal, and Oran Young. Many scholars of international environmental politics have challenged me to think more clearly and critically, including Frank Alcock, Liliana Andonova, Steinar Andresen, J. Samuel Barkin, Michele Betsill, Frank Biermann, Jennifer Clapp, Daniel Bodansky, Ken Conca, Geoffrey Dabelko, Beth DeSombre, Tamar Gutner, Jon Hovi, Ronnie Lipschutz, Urs Luterbacher, Anthony Pattt, MJ Peterson, Tom Princen, Kal Raustiala, Miranda Schreurs, Olav Schram Stokke, Stacy VanDeveer, Paul Wapner, and JØrgen Wettestad. I also have benefited greatly from numerous invaluable exchanges on the GEPED listserv maintained by Michael Maniates of Allegheny College. More broadly, Virginia Page Fortna, Gary Goertz, Judith Goldstein, Lisa Martin, Helen Milner, Andrew Moravcsik, John Odell, Beth Simmons, and Mark Zacher have shared insights or critiqued my work in ways that have prompted me to construct arguments that generalize beyond the environment to security, economics, and human rights. Of course, I owe Jeff Checkel and Walter Carlsnaes a debt of gratitude for challenging me to put my views on international environmental politics, as well as causality, into a book that, I hope, contributes to the next generation of scholarship in this field.

    A visiting research appointment at Stanford's Center for Environmental Science and Policy from 1999–2001, working with Pamela Matson and Walter Falcon, demonstrated to me how crucial interdisciplinary is to understanding and explaining the causes of and solutions to international environmental problems. My appreciation of interdisciplinarity has been immeasurably extended by working with C. Susan Weiler and over 100 bright young scholars that have attended symposia hosted by the Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS).

    I have worked closely with superb graduate students like R. Charli Carpenter, Lada Kochtcheeva, Erin Graham, Patricia Keilbach, Jennifer Marlon, and Steve Rothman who have challenged and rewarded me throughout my teaching career. The many undergraduates who have taken my International Environmental Politics course over the years have helped me to present my views on international environmental politics more clearly and accessibly. As important, they regularly remind me of the multitude of reasons for optimism about our ability to resolve our international environmental predicament.

    This book was written while I was supported by generous grants from several funders. These include funding from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-0318374 entitled ‘Analysis of the Effects of Environmental Treaties’ (September 2003 through August 2008) and under grant No. EAR-0435719, entitled ‘Fostering Cross-Disciplinary Relationships and Early-Career Development to Advance Interdisciplinary Research on Climate Change and Impacts’ (January 2005 through February 2009). I also have been supported by the University of Oregon's Summer Research Award and Richard A. Bray Faculty Fellow programs, Stanford University's Center for Environmental Science and Policy, an International Studies Association Workshop Grant, and an American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of these funders. I also wish to thank the Hillsdale Branch of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, for providing a comfortable and beautiful place to work on so many days.

    Finally, my friends and family provide the love and concern so central to all of human life and so necessary to bringing joy and fulfillment to this mortal coil. Malka Kopell and Karen Seto seamlessly combine the skills and virtues of friend and colleague in ways too numerous to mention. My parents, Lee Mitchell and Edith Bertsche Mitchell, gave me the ocean that provides the constant background music to my life. Curtis Mitchell, Linda Mitchell, and Janet Letalien listen and understand, which often is enough. And, my life would not exist without the constant and deep love and support of Amy Susan Reiss. And Kai Oliver and Jesse Cole help me laugh and love, every day – what could be better than that!

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