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State and Environment

State and Environment: The Comparative Study of Environmental Governance

Edited by Andreas Duit
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    State and Environment
    Book Description:

    Many recent studies on environmental governance focus on either the micro-level (the local and the individual) or the macro-level (the global) while neglecting governance at the nation-state level. State environmental governance is often perceived as inadequate, insufficient, or constrained by considerations of economic growth. And yet the impact of state environmental governance dwarfs that of the market or international organizations. This book of comparative studies documents the continuing relevance of the state in environmental politics and policy. The book also demonstrates the analytical power of the comparative approach to the study of environmental politics and policy, offering cross-national comparisons of environmental governance in both developed and developing countries. Some chapters are based on qualitative studies from a small number of countries; others offer statistical analyses of quantitative data from many more countries over a longer time period. Topics discussed include alternative approaches to estimating comparative environmental performance; citizens' shifting perceptions of their environmental responsibilities; U.S. and German wind policies; fisheries management in several African countries; and forestry conservation in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Peru. The studies illuminate such key issues as the effect of different political systems on the evolution of environmental policy regimes; why some countries seem to perform better than others in environmental matters; and the sociopolitical context of resource management.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-32387-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Environmental Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Series Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Sheldon Kamieniecki and Michael Kraft

    The study of comparative environmental politics and policy has come a long way from its beginnings in the 1970s. At the dawn of the modern environmental movement, scholars took up the fascinating question of why nations approached environmental problems in sometimes strikingly different ways. What difference does it make, for example, if political systems are open and encourage citizen participation in policymaking processes or, instead, rely heavily on government administrators and technical experts? Does provision for greater access to the political process by organized groups, both environmental and business groups, affect the kinds of environmental policy choices that are made?...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 Introduction: The Comparative Study of Environmental Governance
    (pp. 1-24)
    Andreas Duit

    Global environmental change is threatening prosperity and well-being in developed and developing countries alike, and environmental management is now considered a core area of state responsibility in most countries. Indeed, many states now devote substantial proportions of their public spending to environmental monitoring, protection, and restoration, and many have developed considerable administrative, institutional, regulatory, and legislative capacities in the environmental area. In spite of this expansion of regulatory capacity, society’s efforts are far from sufficient for reversing, or even just slowing, the ongoing processes of environmental degradation. It is generally recognized that mitigating the ecological crisis must entail a reorganization...

  7. I Understanding Environmental Performance

    • 2 Comparing Environmental Performance
      (pp. 27-52)
      James Meadowcroft

      This chapter addresses an important theme in the study of environmental governance: the comparative assessment of environmental performance. It considers conceptual and methodological issues involved in the attempt to compare environmental performance from one period to another and from one jurisdiction to another. The problem is of interest to students of comparative environmental politics who seek to understand how the societal management of environmental issues varies across space and time, as well as the explanations for these diverse outcomes. But the issue is of practical and not just academic concern: on the one hand, an appreciation of comparative performance can...

    • 3 Explaining Environmental Policy Adoption: A Comparative Analysis of Policy Developments in Twenty-Four OECD Countries
      (pp. 53-80)
      Christoph Knill, Susumu Shikano and Jale Tosun

      In the age of economic globalization and international cooperation, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that there exist equal global dynamics of environmental policymaking and politics. One of the implications of such global dynamics is that policy choices in one country are increasingly influenced by previous or current choices in other countries, possibly leading to cross-national policy convergence (Bennett 1991). This basic hypothesis has been evaluated by a considerable number of empirical studies of cross-national policy diffusion (see, for example, Braun and Gilardi 2006; Elkins et al. 2006; Gilardi 2005, 2008; Gleditsch and Ward 2006; Huber 2008; Meseguer Yebra 2004, 2006;...

    • 4 The Three Worlds of Environmental Politics
      (pp. 81-110)
      Detlef Jahn

      The classification of states as “green states” has received increasing attention in recent years.1,2To identify green states, a comparative analysis of the role of the state is most helpful because a judgment about the degree of a state’s greenness can be given only by comparing environmental governance. However, it is difficult to find criteria by which to classify countries into the category of green or non-green states. Moreover, to what extent states with successful environmental policies build or possess a social structure that supports environmental success is an even more difficult question. The ability to connect policy outcomes and...

    • 5 Wind-Power Development in Germany and the United States: Structural Factors, Multiple-Stream Convergence, and Turning Points
      (pp. 111-146)
      Roger Karapin

      Renewable energy is seen as a solution to problems of anthropogenic climate change, air pollution, resource scarcity, and dependence on energy imports (Vasi 2009; IPCC 2012). Of the various forms of renewable energy, wind-generated electricity has a unique set of advantages, which makes its potential environmental benefits especially large. Wind power produces relatively low levels of environmental damage over its life cycle (like solar),¹ relies on relatively mature technology, and already comprises a nontrivial share of energy production (like hydro and biomass). It is also based on a potentially enormous natural resource and has been growing rapidly in many industrialized...

  8. II Environmental Governance and Citizenship from a Comparative Perspective

    • 6 Early Bird or Copycat, Leader or Laggard? A Comparison of Cross-National Patterns of Environmental Policy Change
      (pp. 149-178)
      Thomas Sommerer

      On the occasion of international environmental negotiations, like the UN Climate Summit held in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, media commentators regularly divide participating countries into leaders and laggards.¹ In their periodic reviews, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) evaluates and compares differences in the environmental performance of governments in the industrialized world. These are only two of numerous illustrations of how, in times of globalization and expanding international cooperation, national governments still play a dominant role in environmental policymaking (see chapter 1, “Introduction: The Comparative Study of Environmental Governance”). Some countries implement ambitious targets and act as...

    • 7 The Role of the State in the Governance of Sustainable Development: Subnational Practices in European States
      (pp. 179-202)
      Susan Baker and Katarina Eckerberg

      This chapter investigates the role of the state in the governance of sustainable development at the subnational, regional, and local levels in Europe. It is a well-established fact that the nation-state, with its hierarchical formal bureaucracy, is no longer the sovereign power in environmental policymaking (if indeed it ever was). However, we also know that the state, despite having lost its privileged position, is far from absent in most areas of policymaking. In fact, while the state has been severely criticized by scholars of environmental politics and green theory (as discussed in chapter 1, “Introduction: The Comparative Study of Environmental...

    • 8 Sustainable Citizenship: The Role of Citizens and Consumers as Agents of the Environmental State
      (pp. 203-236)
      Michele Micheletti, Dietlind Stolle and Daniel Berlin

      “There is no notion more central in politics than citizenship, and none more variable in history, or contested in theory” is how political theorist Judith Shklar (1991) explains citizenship’ s importance as a political configuration.¹ Other scholars call it a “momentum concept” (Lister 2007, 49, quoting Hoffman 2004, 138), developing in response to societal problems. How citizenship is conceptualized and practiced, therefore, has a central relevance to reaching political goals. Thus, citizenship as a notion on how individuals relate to the state, interact in civil society, and assume responsibility for the collective good should play a key role in the...

  9. II Natural Resource Management in a Comparative Perspective

    • 9 Decentralization and Deforestation: Comparing Local Forest Governance Regimes in Latin America
      (pp. 239-264)
      Krister Andersson, Tom Evans, Clark C. Gibson and Glenn Wright

      In the last three decades, governments around the world have taken a creative approach to state building, often moving away from the traditional approach of centralization toward policies of decentralization. Indeed, the governments of most less-developed countries have decided to decentralize at least part of their natural resource governance regimes.¹ The results have been extremely mixed. In addition, despite the length of time that these policy experiments have been in force, there is little scientific evidence on what makes decentralized natural resource governance work.

      This chapter responds to an ongoing public policy debate about the contextual conditions that affect the...

    • 10 Enforcement and Compliance in African Fisheries: The Dynamic Interaction between Ruler and Ruled
      (pp. 265-292)
      Martin Sjöstedt

      Millions of African small-scale fishers and their families depend on fish and fishing for income and nutrition, and fish exports and licensing agreements with foreign fleets constitute an important source of foreign exchange and revenue for the cash-strapped African states. Yet many fisheries suffer from overexploitation and ecological stress, endangering the livelihoods of some of the poorest segments of society, putting pressure on public finances, and also severely threatening the overall health of the oceans (FAO 2006; Devine, Baker, and Haedrich 2006; World Bank 2004; Myers and Worm 2003).

      Overexploitation certainly comes as no surprise to scholars of institutional theory...

    • 11 Causes and Consequences of Stakeholder Participation in Natural Resource Management: Evidence from 143 Biosphere Reserves in Fifty-Five Countries
      (pp. 293-320)
      Andreas Duit and Ola Hall

      A central assumption in many contemporary environmental management paradigms, such as adaptive management and adaptive comanagement, is that stakeholder participation is a crucial component in successful conservation programs. As a consequence, policy prescriptions tend to focus on increasing the number of stakeholders involved in conservation efforts of various kinds. The assumption that stakeholder participation leads to better management of ecosystems mainly has been investigated using case study techniques, and there have been few studies aimed at reaching more generalizable conclusions regarding the pivotal role attributed to stakeholder participation. A first objective of this chapter is thus to conduct an extensive...

    • 12 Conclusion: An Emerging Ecostate?
      (pp. 321-342)
      Andreas Duit

      As argued in chapter 1, “Introduction: The Comparative Study of Environmental Governance,” studies of environmental governance can be viewed as analyses of the large-scale transformation of society’s relationship with nature that is currently unfolding. This transformation is visible in most areas of society, but the studies in this volume have primarily focused on understanding the role of the state in environmental governance from a comparative perspective. Using a variety of methods, study designs, and data sources, the work reported in all the chapters of this book have contributed new knowledge about how the state influences and is influenced by accelerating...

  10. Appendix to Chapter 8
    (pp. 343-348)
  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 349-352)
  12. Index
    (pp. 353-364)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 365-366)