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US Foreign Policy

US Foreign Policy (2nd edn)

Michael Cox and Doug Stokes
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date: 22 May 2024

p. 35120. Global environmentlocked

p. 35120. Global environmentlocked

  • Robyn Eckersley


This chapter examines the evolution of U.S. foreign policy on environmental issues over four decades, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. It first considers U.S. environmental multilateralism and foreign environment policy before explaining how the United States, despite being widely regarded as an environmental leader during the Cold War period, has increasingly become an environmental laggard in the post-Cold War period. The chapter attributes the decline in U.S. leadership to the country’s new status as the sole superpower, the more challenging character of the new generation of global environmental problems that emerged in the late 1980s, the structure of the U.S. economy and political system, and key features of U.S. grand strategy.

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