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Chapter

Simon Caney

This concluding chapter addresses the normative issues raised by the environment. The environment includes the earth's crust, soil, and natural resources; the atmosphere; all the earth's water; and the biosphere. Human activity has a profound impact on the environment. Indeed, many of the activities that humans engage in — activities which often serve important human interests and goals — result in environmental degradation. Persons depend on the environment in many ways: for their food, health, and for many of their goals in life. As such, humans face a problem when people impact on the environment to such an extent that it undercuts people's capacity to enjoy the standard of living to which they are entitled. Thus, a just account of the environment will take into account both the fact that people have legitimate interests which involve using the environment and the fact that there must be limits on people's environmental impacts.

Chapter

This chapter examines sustainable development, an integrating discourse covering environmental issues from the local to the global, as well as a host of economic and development concerns. Sustainable development is different from Promethean discourse because it requires coordinated collective efforts to achieve goals, rather than relying on human spontaneity and ingenuity. It is also different from environmental problem solving discourses because it is much more imaginative in its reconceptualization of the terms of environmental dispute and in its dissolution of some long-standing conflicts. After explaining what sustainable development is, the chapter provides a historical background on the concept. It then considers the discourse analysis of sustainable development and concludes by reflecting on the prospects for the success or failure of sustainable development.

Book

Stephanie Lawson

Global Politics is an introduction to international relations. It introduces the key theories and concepts underpinning the discipline, providing a foundation for the study of politics on both a personal and global scale, including issues relating to gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, as well as the economy, environment, and concepts of justice. The text presents theories in their historical context, demonstrating how they can evolve over time. Case studies, both contemporary and historical, and biographies of key figures, help bring these issues to life. Additional features, such as key debates and summary questions, provide opportunities to analyse issues from a range of perspectives.

Chapter

This chapter explores policy outcomes by looking at a number of European countries. It considers some salient policy areas, including those that are decided primarily at the national level, for example health, and policies that are determined at the more macro, European Union (EU) level, for example trade. It also looks at policy areas that involve shared decision-making across different levels of government, examples here include immigration and the environment. The chapter also focuses on the role of position-taking by political parties and other groups, such as interest groups and social groups or movements. It considers how these explain variations in policy outcomes.

Chapter

Peter Newell

This chapter examines how developing countries are managing the relationship between the environment and development. Despite being widely regarded as a threat to their economic development and prospects for growth, environmental issues have come to occupy a central place on policy agendas throughout the developing world. Driven by donors, public concern, and vocal environmental movements, responses to these environmental issues have taken a number of different forms as they compete for ‘policy space’ with other pressing development concerns. The chapter links global agendas to national policy processes, highlighting differences and similarities between how countries respond to various environmental issues. It also considers patterns of continuity and change in the politics of environment in the developing world, along with new policy instruments for environmental protection. It concludes by reflecting on the likely future of environmental policy in the developing world.

Book

Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin

Issues in Political Theory provides an introduction to political theory and how it is applied to address the most important issues confronting the world today. It has a focus on real-world issues and includes case studies. The text examines important and influential areas of political theory. The text includes chapters on liberty, global poverty, sovereignty and borders, and the environment provide readers with fresh insight on important debates in political theory. Case studies in this text look at contemporary issues including same-sex marriage, racial inequality, sweatshop labour, and Brexit.

Book

The Politics of the Earth provides an introduction to thinking about the environment, through investigation of related political discourses. The text analyses the various approaches which have dominated environmental issues over the last three decades and which are likely to be influential in the future, including survivalism, environmental problem solving, sustainability, and green radicalism. This new edition includes more on global environmental politics, as well as updated and expanded examples including more material on China. The text looks at the most modern discourses, including discussions surrounding climate change, and reworks the material on justice and green radicalism to include more on climate justice and new developments such as transition towns and radical summits.

Chapter

This chapter looks at the changing nature of ideology in Europe. It also delves into the issue of voter preference and considers how that has changed over time. It is all too often assumed that voters, as well as parties, exist along a single ideological left-to-right continuum. However, the truth is that there more deviations from this continuum than we might have in the past assumed. With the emergence of new salient issues, such as immigration, the environment and European integration, the old assumptions no longer hold true. The chapter also looks at populism, which it defines as a thin-central ideology. The final questions of this chapter are: how has populism challenged our current model of democracy? What does the future hold in this regard?

Chapter

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.

Chapter

This chapter studies how the scope of global politics has been extended over the last half century or so to include the impact of human industrial activity on the environment. The environmental movement and ‘green theory’ have grown out of concerns with the deleterious impact of this activity and the capacity of the planet to carry the burden of ‘business as usual’ in a world driven by the imperatives of endless growth. Many now believe that the impact on the earth’s systems is so significant that the present geological period should be recognized as the ‘Anthropocene’. Climate change is probably the most prominent issue associated with the Anthropocene at present, but it is not the only one. The chapter examines a range of issues in global environment politics, starting with the reconceptualization of the present period. It then moves on to an account of the environmental movement, the emergence of various ‘green’ ideologies and theories, and the politics of science. This is essential background for considering the role of the state and its sovereign powers in the context of global environmental politics.

Chapter

This chapter examines five main approaches in comparative politics that represent important contributions: old and new institutional analysis, interest approach, ideas approach, individual approach, and the influence of the international environment. The role of ‘interaction’ is also explored. After explaining the use of theory in comparative political analysis, the chapter considers structural functionalism, systems theory, Marxism, corporatism, institutionalism, governance, and comparative political economy. It also discusses behavioural and rational choice approaches, how political culture helps to understand political behaviour in different countries, self-interest in politics, and the implications of globalization for comparative politics. The chapter concludes by assessing the importance of looking at political processes and of defining what the ‘dependent variables’ are.

Chapter

This chapter examines the common agricultural policy (CAP) in the context of political rather than economic terms. It first provides an overview of the development of the European agricultural welfare state, explaining why and how agriculture was able to claim and uphold a special position in Europe. It then considers CAP's achievements and unintended consequences and cites financial pressure as a strong incentive for CAP reform in the early 1990s, as was the pernicious international impact of the policy. It shows how concerns about the environment and food safety, and about the possible impact of European Union enlargement into Central and Eastern Europe, maintained the momentum for reform. Given the broad political commitment to supporting farm incomes, and sustaining a viable countryside in the EU, however, the chapter suggests that CAP is likely to endure in some form or other.

Chapter

Jon Barnett and Geoff Dabelko

This chapter examines the concept of environmental security, focusing on how it has both broadened and deepened the issue of security. It first traces the origins of environmental security, showing that it is the product of a merger of international environmental agreements, efforts by the peace movement to contest the meaning and practice of security, the proliferation of new security issues in the post-Cold War era, recognition that environmental changes pose grave risks to human well-being, and the growing community of research practice that seeks to build peace through natural resource management. The chapter goes on to consider the different meanings of environmental security, along with four major categories of environmental security problem: how environmental change can be a factor in violent conflict or a risk to national security, how war and preparation for war can damage the environment, and how environmental change can pose a risk to human security.

Chapter

This chapter examines four of the most important contemporary issues in international relations (IR): international terrorism, religion, the environment, and balance and hegemony in world history. It also considers the different ways in which these issues are analysed by the various theories presented in this book. The chapter begins with a discussion of what the issue is about in empirical terms, the problems raised and why they are claimed to be important, and the relative significance of the issue on the agenda of IR. It then explores the nature of the theoretical challenge that the issues present to IR and how classical and contemporary theories handle the analysis of these issues. The chapter addresses Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis, the influence of religion on politics, opposing views on the environment issue, and how throughout history different state systems have come to equilibrate on either balance of power or hegemony.

Chapter

John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.

Chapter

This chapter assesses the global political economy of the environment. The growth of the world economy is transforming the Earth's environment. Nothing is particularly controversial about this statement. Yet, sharp disagreements arise over the nature of this transformation. Is the globalization of capitalism a force of progress and environmental solutions? Or is it a cause of the current global environmental crisis? The chapter addresses these questions by examining the debates around some of the most contentious issues at the core of economic globalization and the environment: economic growth, production, and consumption; trade; and transnational investment. It begins with a glance at the general arguments about how the global political economy affects the global environment. The chapter then traces the history of global environmentalism — in particular, the emergence of international environmental institutions with the norm of sustainable development. It also evaluates the effectiveness of North–South environmental financing and international environmental regimes.

Chapter

R. Daniel Kelemen and Giandomenico Majone

This chapter examines why European Union agencies have been created and what impact they are having on European governance. It begins with a discussion of theories that explain law-makersʼ design choices and the increasing popularity of European agencies, focusing on delegation and policy credibility, the politics of agency design, and legal obstacles to delegation. It then looks at the development and operation of three regulatory agencies: the European Environment Agency, the European Medicines Agency, and the European Food Safety Authority. It also considers issues regarding the EU agenciesʼ independence and accountability before concluding with an analysis of the model in which an EU agency serves as the coordinating hub of a network of national regulatory authorities.