This chapter examines how environmental issues have become increasingly prominent on the international agenda over the last five decades. It considers whether globalization and development must come at the expense of the physical environment, whether state governments can cooperate to protect the planet, and whether climate justice is possible. The chapter first provides a brief history of the development of an international environmental agenda before discussing the functions of international environmental cooperation. It then explores efforts to addres the problem of climate change through the establishment of an international climate regime and highlights the neglect of environmental issues in traditional and realist international relations theory. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the concept of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and the other with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and its influence on international climate politics.
This chapter examines the global order, led by the United States, that emerged at the end of the cold war and asks whether it has been effectively challenged by rising powers. It begins with a discussion of the challenges to the idea of a U.S.-dominated global order, focusing in particular on the role of large, emerging developing countries as well as the idea of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in the context of the future of the global economy. The chapter then considers the more recent economic slowdown in the emerging world, along with the political and social challenges facing many emerging societies. It also analyses some of the major theoretical arguments about the impact of rising powers on international relations and whether they are powerful enough to affect international order.