Businesses are increasingly eager to constrain their freedom to pollute and join non-state institutions that regulate corporate environmental behavior. Scholars and practitioners observe this trend with great interest, debating how voluntary regulation can mitigate collective-action problems and whether it is a promising tool for responding to environmental challenges of the 21st century. In The Voluntary Environmentalists, Prakash and Potoski argue that research provides no clear answer about the overall efficacy of voluntary environmental programs, acknowledging that while some believe that these programs create a win-win scenario for everyone involved, others see them as pro-business private regimes that lie beyond public accountability. The authors attempt to identify what distinguishes the effective voluntary programs from the ineffective ones, defining effective programs as the ones that are able to induce participants to take progressive environmental action beyond what they would otherwise take unilaterally.
Prakash and Potoski draw on the economic theory of club goods. Voluntary environmental programs are like clubs because they offer their members excludable benefits such as positive image, goodwill, legitimacy and reputation for environmental stewardship. They also produce a broader public good in the form of cleaner environment. As theoretical analysis suggests, such "green clubs" must overcome two collective action problems to be effective. First, they must attract members to join the club and pay the costs of meeting the club's standards. Second, they must prevent members from shirking, for which they may use a variety of enforcement mechanisms. Based on the variation in club standards and enforcement mechanisms, the authors identify four ideal club types: clubs with stringent standards and credible enforcement rules (Mandarins), stringent standards without enforcement (Country clubs), lenient standards with enforcement (Bootcamps), and lenient standards without enforcement (Greenwashes). The authors do not present a comprehensive test of this typology. Instead, they use an impressive multi-method analysis of a single Bootcamp-type club to test the theoretical framework.
The focus of the empirical analysis is ISO 14001, a rapidly growing international certification standard requiring members to establish an environmental management system. With respect to a club's capacity to attract members, an examination of ISO 14001 diffusion across countries and within the US demonstrates (among an array of findings) that business-government relations and sponsoring organizations play an important role in ISO 14001 adoption, and that firms are more likely to join ISO 14001 in countries where laws are stringent and flexibly enforced and where consumers are better able to use the ISO 14001 brand to discriminate among firms. With respect to ISO 14001 program efficacy, a treatment effects analysis indicates that, on average, ISO 14001 certified facilities have lower pollution emissions and better regulatory compliance records than non-certified facilities.
Prakash and Potoski define voluntary environmental programs as green clubs and institutions, which enables them to analytically connect institutional design and efficacy and expose the incentives firms and other stakeholders have in voluntary regulation. The resulting conceptual framework is generalizable enough to account for varying efficacy across programs. It is also applicable to other issue areas, so it can indeed be a foundation for a more systematic treatment of voluntary regulation. From an institutionalist perspective, the theoretical approach is compelling, because it draws from the well-established but evolving institutionalist research agenda, which has focused primarily on state-based regimes; advances it in the areas that it has overlooked; and adds a novel twist to that agenda. The theoretical analysis fits into the broader research on how institutions matter in shaping the behavior of actors in world politics. This analysis can also contribute to the rapidly emerging research within the political economy approach to international environmental governance.
The novel element that green clubs introduce is the focus on institutional brand image as the primary payoff for institutional members to produce public goods. A central observation here is that enforcement rules to mitigate shirking also influence a club's reputation: less shirking means clubs have a stronger reputation for being effective, which in turn attracts new members to join. This observation has several important implications. For example, as corporate social responsibility becomes more relevant and international in scope and voluntary programs proliferate, institutional brand image becomes central in insuring that...
International environmental accords have become important mechanisms by which nations make promises to administer natural resources and manage the global environment. Previous studies, relying mainly on single cases or small-n data sets, have shed light on the proximate political causes of participation in these agreements. However, no study has yet systematically explained the deeper social determinants of why nations sign, ignore or resist environmental treaties. We offer a theoretically-sequenced model that exploits complementarities between rational choice institutionalism and world-systems theory. Key variables posited by realists and constructivists are also examined, using a new environmental treaty participation index based on ratifications of 22 major environmental agreements by 192 nations. Cross-sectional OLS regression and path analysis strongly supports the institutionalist claim that credibility-the willingness and ability to honor one's international environmental commit-ments-"matters." But these measures also lend considerable support to the world-systems hypothesis that state credibility is strongly influenced by a legacy of colonial incorporation into the world economy. Narrow export base-our proxy for disadvantaged position in the world-economy-directly and indirectly (through institutions and civil society strength) explains nearly six-tenths of national propensity to sign environmental treaties. A nation's natural capital, its ecological vulnerability, and international environmental NGO memberships had no explanatory power in the path analysis. Our results indicate that new theoretical, methodological and policy approaches are needed to address structural barriers to international cooperation. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Global Environmental Politics 4.4 (2004) iii-iv
Marian Miller passed away November 2, 2003, following a brave fight against cancer. Marian was one of the founding associate editors of this journal and many of us knew her and her work well. Her friends and colleagues will miss her dearly, and we wanted to pause here to remember and celebrate her academic work as well as her friendship.
Marian received her PhD in International Relations from the University of Southern California Los Angeles in 1988 and began work at the University of Akron in 1990. At the time of her death, she was Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Akron, where she was also active in the Pan-African Studies and International Development Programs and was recognized as an excellent teacher and colleague. She was also an active participant in the International Studies Association, in both the Environmental Studies and Global Development Sections, serving as Chair of the Global Development Section in 1998-1999.
Marian's work, which focused on the intersection between development studies and environmental studies in a global context, has inspired many scholars. Her award-winning book, The Third World in Global Environmental Politics, was an influential and impressive contribution to scholarship, receiving the 1996 International Studies Association's Sprout Award for the best book in global environmental politics. This was the first book to analyze systematically the concerns and issues facing developing countries in the formation of international environmental regimes, and to put them in a political and economic context. The book has been widely assigned in university courses and has been the foundation for many further studies by other scholars.
Marian published an impressive list of articles and book chapters on a remarkable variety of topics and themes. In her too-short career she published on a wide range of complex problems, including biodiversity loss, marine conservation, the toxic waste trade, ozone depletion, and environmental change in the Caribbean. She covered an imposing number of themes, including the formation of international environmental regimes, ecotourism, intellectual property rights, transnational corporations, environmental governance, environment and sovereignty, as well as gender and race. Admirably, she always managed to analyze these issues in the context of the global political economy, highlighting the great inequalities between rich and poor regions of the world.
We knew Marian best as an enthusiastic member of the editorial team that founded the journal Global Environmental Politics. She openly shared her visions [End Page iii] which helped to shape the journal, and took on an active editing role. We are planning a special issue of this journal in her memory, which will be published in the coming year, on the theme of the Global South and the Environment.
Even after she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, then just a short time later with ovarian cancer, Marian remained dedicated to the issues she felt so strongly about. Right up until the time of her death, she was actively publishing and carrying on her work as associate editor of Global Environmental Politics. Less than a month before her death she wrote to us, apologizing for only having enough "creative energy" for "critical reading," letting us know that with her new treatment she expected to "rebound in 3 to 6 months."
Marian was an inspirational colleague to work with, and her friendship and scholarship will be deeply missed.
Donations may be sent in Marian's name to: Caribbean Health Outreach, 4300 West 58th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90043.
Global Environmental Politics 3.4 (2003) iii-iv
Ronie-Richele Garcia-Johnson died on 15 April 2003 after a courageous fight against cancer. As her friends and colleagues mourn her passing, they also celebrate her joyous and productive life. Ronie's captivating and generous personality, coupled with her intellectual capacity and curiosity, distinguished her as an inspiring colleague, mentor and friend.
Born in Ventura, California, Ronie graduated with a double major from Harvard University in 1991. She received her doctorate in political science at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1998. As a graduate student, one mentor recalls, she had the kind of inquiring mind and breadth of interests that made it a pleasure serving on committees, reading drafts, and advising. And the speed with which she finished her coursework, secured funding, conducted field research and completed her dissertation amazed many.
At the time of her death, Ronie was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. Specializing in international environmental politics, Ronie brought valuable contributions to the faculty and students at Duke. The early success of her first book, Exporting Environmentalism: Multinational Firms in US, Mexico and Brazil, bespoke her talent for identifying fascinating environmental questions and tackling them insightfully and enthusiastically. Published in 2000 by MIT Press in the Global Environmental Accord series, the book examines the increasingly multifaceted role of multinational corporations in environmental politics. It is a thorough comparative analysis of the role of multinational interests in diffusing voluntary standards and as carriers of global influence in domestic environmental politics. For scholars undertaking similar intellectual pursuits, it was immediately obvious that Ronie had pinpointed a phenomenon of growing significance in international politics. The book's contribution to the study of international environmental politics was recognized by the International Studies Association in 2001 with the award of the prestigious Harold and Margaret Sprout Award.
Having made a notable mark in the study of business and civil society actors in global politics, Ronie's intellectual curiosity pushed her towards further exploration of the political strategies of transnational actors in a variety of contexts. She was deeply interested in the role of non-governmental actors such as scientists, indigenous peoples' coalitions, environmental advocates, criminal networks, and multinational firms, in influencing environmental decisions across borders. Exploring these actors' modes of collective action, the version of [End Page iii] environmental ideas that they transmit across cultures, and their impacts on public policy and private behavior, she argued that the globalization of environmentalism is best understood at an intermediate level of analysis—above the level of the individual but below that of global civil society writ large. She was also interested in the interactions of governmental agents outside the bounds of traditional international environmental regimes. At the time of her death, she was involved in a project evaluating the cooperative efforts of Brazilian and US environmental agencies to promote pollution prevention programs.
Building on her analyses of voluntary environmental programs, in the three years before her death, Ronie focused considerable energy on understanding the emerging phenomenon of certification, in industries ranging from chemicals to coffee to automobiles. In a collaborative project sponsored by the Ford Foundation, Ronie considered why certification and other voluntary programs were emerging in so many sectors, and what impact these programs would have on the behavior of entire industries. Connecting these questions to her interest in transnational actors, she evaluated the participation of firms, non-governmental organizations, and governments in certification programs, building a powerful transactions-cost framework to explain the dynamics driving firms' decisions. She was poised to evaluate the effectiveness of voluntary approaches when she became ill. Ronie also planned to be part of a project investigating the role of multinational corporations across regions and the networked structure of their transnational political organizations. Though her death interrupted all of this research, the multiple intellectual agendas her work has set will continue to influence those seeking to unveil new phenomena in global environmental politics.
In addition to her research accomplishments, Ronie had a deep commitment to the educational aspect of her craft. At Duke University she taught courses in Global Environmental Politics, Natural Resource and Environmental...
The authors situate treadmill of destruction theory in a comparative international perspective to assess the environmental impacts of national militaries. Results of cross-national panel models indicate that high-tech militarization in the form of expenditures per soldier contribute to the scale and intensity of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the per capita ecological footprints of nations. Likewise, all three of these environmental outcomes are positively associated with military participation in the context of the number of soldiers relative to the size of domestic populations. Overall, the findings support the proposed theorization and highlight the need for social scientists to consider the environmental and ecological consequences of nations' militaries, regardless of whether or not they are engaged in conflicts. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The role of nonstate actors in international environmental politics has been given increased scholarly attention during the last decade. While most analyses are focused on direct nonstate influence at the international level, one main objective of this article is to develop a multi-level approach that allows analysis of nonstate influence channeled via the domestic decision making level. The point of departure for the analysis is the International Whaling Commission (IWC) during the period from 1970 to 1990, with a particular focus on the competition for influence characterizing the relationship between the scientific community and the environmental and animal rights movement. The analysis shows that domestic channels of influence may be equally, or even more important than channels of influence linked to the international decision making level. In the case of the IWC, for instance, the environmental and animal rights movement succeeded in mobilizing domestic public support, particularly in the United States, and had a key ally in the US government, Congress and Administration. The domestic role of this nonstate actor was of key importance to its success in influencing the development of the international whaling regime. The analysis shows, therefore, that examining the role of the domestic channel is integral to understanding nonstate influence on international policy-making, and particularly how some nonstate actors acquire influence at the expense of others. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2001, the Japanese government committed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change against industry pressures and in spite of the US decision to withdraw from the agreement. This commitment was crucial for the survival of the protocol. Japan has subsequently introduced substantial-yet, mostly voluntary-measures. To explain the puzzle of Japan's ratification, this article builds upon the agenda-setting literature and advances the concept of embedded symbolism. During the 1990s, political leaders elevated climate change and the Kyoto Protocol to the level of a national symbol. Thus, although in 2001 successful implementation of the Kyoto target looked extremely difficult and industry opposition was strong, the symbolism of Kyoto backed by strong public support tipped the balance in favor of ratification. (c) 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The EU emissions trading scheme has been characterized as one of the most farreaching and radical environmental policies for many years, and "the new grand policy experiment." Given the EU's earlier resistance to this market-based instrument with no international track record and with US origins, the EU decision-making process, which took less than two years, can be characterized as a puzzlingly ultra-quick political "pregnancy." In order to understand this, it is necessary to take three explanatory perspectives-and the interaction between them-into account. First, the emissions trading issue was more mature within the EU system than immediately apparent, given that emissions projections were worrying and no effective common climate policies had been adopted. Second, the Commission acted as a strong and clever policy entrepreneur, dealing with other basically positive EU bodies. Third, when the US pulled out of the Kyoto process in March 2001, it provided a window of opportunity for the EU to take the reins of global policy leadership. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sustainable Development Councils were among the few specific recommendations for institution building to come out of Rio in 1992. At their best the councils manifest Agenda 21's call for new participatory arrangements. At their worst they represent the frustrations and unmet challenges of the thirteen years since Rio. The article compares attempts to establish councils in three Caribbean states: Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia. The cases offer lessons in the survivability of deliberative bodies concerned with sustainable development policy and raise questions about their efficacy. We conclude that such bodies survive when members derive significant if intangible benefits; and that by surviving, they help optimize limited human resources for the implementation of international environmental conventions and provide needed venues for deliberation and accountability. But the relationship between efficacy and survivability is not linear and councils may have to avoid direct challenges to government decision-makers and established relationships between the state and private sector. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This article examines the impact of global and economic pressures on hazardous waste management practices during the 1980s and 1990s and into the twenty-first century. It charts out four sets of recent changes in these practices. These are: first, a shift in the basic regulatory problem, from one of a more local nature to the internationalization of waste management issues; second, changes in the structure of the waste disposal industry worldwide; third, changes in policies regarding hazardous waste in EU member states; and fourth, changes in waste management policies in emerging economies. The article analyzes these changes in the light of the growing involvement of the private sector in international environmental regulation, and of the complex and sometimes contradictory impacts of international regulations on domestic politics. It argues that neither a "race to the bottom" nor a "race to the top" hypothesis fully holds, but that changing public/private and domestic/international balances are a mixed blessing. Copyright (c) 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the climate change negotiations the thirteen countries that are members of OPEC obstruct progress towards reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Although these actions undermine sustainable development in developing countries, the larger Group of 77 (G-77) coalition nevertheless tacitly supports its OPEC members in the climate regime. This article explains the connection between OPEC's interests in oil exports and its inaction on climate change, and the divergence of these interests with those of the G-77. It argues that OPEC's influence within the G-77, and therefore the climate regime, stems from the desire to maintain unity within the G-77. This unity has and is likely to continue to cost the majority of developing countries in the form delayed assistance for adaptation, the possibility of inadequate reduction in emissions under the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and continued dependence on increasingly expensive oil imports. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Global Environmental Politics 5.3 (2005) 1-3
I always looked up to Marian Miller as a role model in my own academic work. Marian was just that much further along in her career and was working on similar issues as myself. She was one of the first scholars to effectively merge studies in international development, international relations, political economy, and the environment. She was blazing an interdisciplinary path that a number of us were to follow. Marian's background was in international relations and international political economy. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and she was a tenured Associate Professor of political science at the University of Akron, in Ohio, teaching courses on international development and global environmental politics.
I was fortunate to get to know Marian in the mid-1990s through discussions we had following panels on global environmental issues and the Global South at the International Studies Association annual meetings. As a relatively new faculty member myself in 1997, I invited Marian to come to speak at my university. Her book, The Third World in Global Environmental Politics, had just won the Sprout Award for the best book in international environmental affairs. I was very proud to have had Marian address students and faculty at my university, and she drew a huge crowd. I continued my friendship with Marian, sharing research ideas and sources on topics we were both researching. I also had the privilege of working with Marian on the Global Development Section of the ISA, which she chaired in 1998–99. Marian was also part of the founding editorial team of Global Environmental Politics, along with Peter Dauvergne as Editor, and Marian, myself, and Paul Wapner as Associate Editors. Marian was very dedicated to her work in these endeavors.
When Marian passed away after a brave fight against cancer in the fall of 2003, I felt a sense of profound loss—she was both a friend and an inspirational colleague. I wanted to do something that would celebrate Marian's work. This special issue is thus devoted to the area of scholarship that Marian played such an important role in defining—The Global South and the Environment. The articles in this special issue were all written as a tribute to Marian, and they draw on research themes that were important to her. Marian's own work was varied in terms of issue areas she covered—environmental regimes (especially with respect to hazardous waste, biodiversity, and ozone depletion), Caribbean environmental issues, sovereignty and the environment, gender issues, natural resource management, and transnational corporations. Though Marian covered a wide range of topics in her research, her concerns about global inequality and injustice, and the place of the Third World in the global political economy, ran through all of her research. Her emphasis was always on the marginalized, and she sought to uncover the structures and forces that lead to such marginalization as a means by which to suggest ways to reduce injustice and discrimination.
The articles we wrote for this special issue aim to speak to these themes and to Marian's approach. This issue consists of one research note, three current debate articles, and three research articles. Peter Dauvergne's research note speaks to the dearth of research on the link between global environmental change and the incidence of cancer, as well as the ways in which the global political economy works against the promotion of research on cancer prevention via environmental stewardship. Ambuj Sagar and Stacy VanDeveer's current debate article argues that capacity building efforts in the international environmental realm should not just be about improving the South's ability to implement what are typically Northern driven environmental agreements, but rather that they should focus on improving capacity—of both the South and the North—to define environmental problems and to identify the best ways to tackle them. My own current debate article discusses the evolution of formal multilateral environmental governance mechanisms designed to influence the environmental behavior of TNCs, and argues that a formal treaty on corporate accountability could go a long way toward protecting developing...
The sea turtle has become an icon ofenvironmentalist opposition to the World Trade Organization. Two decisions by the WTO in 1998 against a United States law intended to force other countries to adopt more turtle-friendly rules attracted widespread attention. A third decision in 2001 which supported the US law, however, went almost entirely unnoticed. A closer examination ofthe three decisions suggests that the WTO willingly accepts the idea ofenvironmental restrictions to international trade applied unilaterally by countries. But it requires that the restrictions be fairly applied and nondiscriminatory, show signs of being effective, and be accompanied by efforts to deal with the environmental issue cooperatively. These are all requirements that environmentalists should find unobjectionable. As such, the cause of more effective international environmental management might better be served ifenvironmental activists and NGOs worked with the WTO rather than reacting automatically against it. Copyright (c) 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Private consumption expenditures are now more than 4 times higher than in 1960. The globalization of ever-more growth and consumption has come, however, at a price: global chains of cause-and-effect that obscure social, environmental and ethical responsibility. The result in practice is a global order that accepts the deaths of millions of young people in dangerous and unhealthy environments as tragic, but largely unavoidable, accidents of economic progress. The history of what most call traffic "accidents" is revealing. The hope at the 1896 inquest into the first "accidental death" was this would never happen again. But hope is not action. Today, traffic injures as many as 50 million and kills over one million people ever year. It is, however, no accident that tragedies like these are "accidents" rather than "sacrifices," as such language softens criticism of the moral, social and ecological crises arising from the current global consumptive order. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) has been criticized for lack of effectiveness since its establishment in 1993. The main objective of this article is to describe and explain the mechanisms that affect the work of the CSD, in order to understand how it would be possible to enhance the potential for effectiveness. The study aims to apply the perspectives of "distribution of capabilities" and "institutional design" to evaluate the CSD's accomplishments during its fırst ten-year period. I conclude that the CSD has achieved some results in monitoring and reviewing the process on the implementation of Agenda 21 and promoting dialogue and building partnerships for sustainable development, due to the role of the secretariat and nongovernmental organizations. However, the member states' positions and interests have contributed to the CSD's low goal attainment, especially in the area of policy guidance. (c) 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Public-private partnerships (PPP) have been advanced as a new tool of global governance, which can supply both effective and legitimate governance. In the context of recent debates on the democratic legitimacy of transnational governance, this paper focuses on accountability as a central component of legitimacy. The aim of this paper is to map transnational climate partnerships and evaluate their accountability record in terms of transparency, monitoring mechanisms and representation of stakeholders. Three types of partnerships are identified with respect to their degree of public-private interaction: public-private (hybrid), governmental and private-private. Most of the climate partnerships have functions of advocacy, service provision and implementation. None are standard setting, which indicates that governmental actors are less willing to "contract out" rule-setting authority to private actors in the climate change. Some partnerships, such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development climate partnerships and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects represent "new" modes of hybrid governance with high degree of public-private interaction. However, many partnerships, not least the voluntary technology agreements such as the APP, rest on "old" form of governance based on the logic of lobbying, corporatism, co-optation and interstate bargaining. Private (business-to business) climate partnerships are to varying degrees geared toward quantitative targets in the Kyoto Protocol. The accountability record is higher for hybrid climate partnerships, such as the CDM, due to extensive reporting and monitoring mechanisms, while lower for the governmental networks, such as voluntary technology agreements. Partnerships do not necessarily replace or erode the authority of sovereign states, but rather propels the hybridization and transformation of authority that is increasingly shared between state and nonstate actors. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This article uses the lens of accountability to explore the shifting strategies of a range of civil society groups in their engagement with key actors in the global regime on climate change. It first reviews traditional strategies aimed at increasing the 'public accountability' of governments and UN bodies for agreed actions on climate change. This approach is then compared with the growing tendency to pursue the accountability of private corporations with respect to climate change. These strategies aim, among other things, to promote 'civil regulation': that is, governance of the private sector through civil society oversight. The final part of the article reflects on the possibilities and limitations of civil society actors performing such accountability roles in the contemporary politics of climate change and suggests key challenges for future climate advocacy. It argues that success in enhancing the accountability of public and private actors on the issue of climate change has been highly uneven and reflects both the effectiveness of the strategies adopted and the responsiveness of the target actors and institutions. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Recent years have seen a growing movement toward externally imposed regulations directed specifically at improving TNCs' environmental and social performance. This movement draws on a long history, and its most recent incarnation is largely a reaction to disappointment on the part of many with the results of private voluntary initiatives among global firms. A number of international level initiatives have emerged, including the UN's Global Compact and the inclusion of an environment chapter in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Because these efforts, while externally driven, are voluntary on the part of firms, there have been growing calls for a binding international treaty on corporate accountability. Industry has been extremely resistant to this idea. Many see such a treaty as vital for developing countries, as it could bolster their ability and willingness to monitor and enforce environmental regulations. This is especially important in the Global South, as these countries have seen the bulk of the negative environmental impacts of TNCs in recent decades. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Private rule-making features prominently on the research agenda of International Relations scholars today. The field of forest politics in particular has proven to be a lively arena for experimenting with novel policies (for example, third party certification and labeling) and procedures (for example, power-sharing in stakeholder bodies). This article focuses on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), one of the earliest and most institutionalized private certification schemes, in order to assess the role and relevance of accountability politics for global forest governance. Specifically, we ask three related questions: first, what role did a deepening accountability crisis and the resulting reconstruction of accountability play in the formation of the FSC? Second, how is accountability organized within the FSC? And finally, what accountability outcomes emerge as a result of the FSC's policies and operations? The article closes with some reflections about the limitations of private-based accountability in global environmental politics. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nonstate certification programs have formed in the past 20 years to address social and environmental problems associated with production practices in several economic sectors. These programs embody the idea that information disclosure can be a tool for NGOs, investors, governments, and consumers to support high performers and hence, advocates hope, place upward pressure on sector-wide practices. Many unanswered questions remain, however, about information disclosure's practices and outcomes. We compare the use of procedural and outcome transparency in the rule-making and auditing processes of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We highlight key differences in how transparency relates to accountability and legitimacy of the programs. The MSC uses transparency and stakeholder consultation instrumentally, whereas the FSC treats them as ends unto themselves. This underscores the importance of considering transparency alongside other governance aspects, such as who the eligible stakeholders are and who gets decision-making power. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This paper investigates a rarely visited theme in academic research, namely the reasons hindering successful trans-national networking of environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs). We visit this theme by analyzing the MEDSETCON initiative, an attempt in the late 1990s-early 2000s to create a Mediterranean Sea Turtle Conservation network, which ultimately bore no fruit. Prior research had emphasized the role played by individual and organizational characteristics as well as the issue's urgency, relevance and importance. In the case of MEDSETCON, all of these "environmental" conditions were met, yet the network did not materialize. We argue that this was because, albeit necessary, the conditions identified by other research are not in themselves sufficient. Thus we inform prior research by pointing out that networking is, ceteris paribus, also the outcome of successful resource exchanges between prospective members. Accordingly, we argue that individual ENGOs pursue networking to the extent that they feel that this will enhance some of their sources of leverage (the intellectual, political, fiscal and membership assets they need for operating and promoting their agenda), thus in effect exchanging stocks of one kind of leverage for another. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This article challenges conventional accounts of the collapse of the climate change negotiations in The Hague in November 2000. Such accounts are usually based on assumptions about the dynamics of international environmental politics, in particular the assumption that individual state interests and collective global interests always collide. It argues that the recent emergence of an ecological modernization discourse concerning global warming raises serious questions about the validity of this assumption. The article then describes the contours of the emerging ecological modernization discourse, and discusses its implications for global climate politics. Copyright (c) 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This paper considers a climate policy architecture that would be conducive to wide participation and successful compliance. Compliance in particular is an aspect of climate policy that has been under-specified in current proposals for an architecture for climate policy. Although admittedly a successful regime would have to satisfy a number of criteria, including environmental goals, dynamic efficiency and cost-effectiveness, any agreement would have to be implemented and enforced. The focus here is both on how to construct a regime that is environmentally effective, and on how to reduce problems of compliance and leakage. Other criteria will be considered in the proposal, such as cost-effectiveness and how to facilitate the negotiation process, but the primary focus will be on participation and compliance. The main argument is that a climate agreement based on both emissions targets and policies and measures is the most conducive to maximum participation and a successful compliance mechanism. (c) 2009 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The experience of the last ten years of global environmental negotiations suggests that a new and different approach to international cooperation is required if we are to achieve sustainable development. While multilateral environmental agreements have provided a valuable framework for building a consensus on broad objectives, their implementation requires a focus on the underlying activities that cause environmental degradation. Moreover, globalization encourages the development and use of innovative technologies, leading to a large degree of overlap between global environmental concerns and national sustainable development objectives. These shifts require wholly new perspectives that are based less on determining responsibilities and more on supporting mutually reinforcing transformations. The new approach also looks beyond the state to other stakeholders as contributors to achieving sustainable development. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This article examines the diversity of opinions that exists within the ENGO community regarding their diagnoses of environmental problems and their preferred solutions to them. It provides a conceptual framework that consists of two components: values and governance approaches. Different values include ecological sustainability, distributive equity and economic efficiency. Governance approaches target states, international regimes, communities and markets as alternative loci for institutional solutions to environmental problems. The framework is used to illuminate salient patterns of conflict and coalitional behavior and to project future trends in global environmental politics. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Public and private sector actors increasingly recognize the need for action to address climate change. With the introduction of "carbon sinks" into the policy dialogue, the notion of managing human activities to mitigate climate change has extended beyond energy systems and emissions of carbon dioxide to include management of the carbon cycle itself, through manipulation of the terrestrial and oceanic realms. The number of decision makers involved and scope of managing the carbon cycle deliberately for climate purposes raises enormous challenges to governance including identifying appropriate mechanisms where they do not yet exist and adding additional criteria onto existing mechanisms that are already affecting the carbon cycle. In this paper, I define effective carbon governance as limiting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This paper outlines a number of challenges to effective carbon governance at multiple scales using the example of land use in the United States and elsewhere. (c) 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It has become an accepted wisdom within academic circles and policy discourse that climate change is a global problem in need of global solutions. More than a decade after the formation of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol was ratiªed by a sufªcient number of states to come into effect in February 2005. Strenuous international negotiations have led to the development of important structures and processes to govern reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Many, however, consider the progress made as grindingly slow and, in the light of scientiªc evidence about the rate of change in the global atmosphere and recommendations for the need to reduce emissions by at least 60 percent over the next ªfty years, inadequate. In the absence of more effective international action, and cognizant of the big task ahead, alternative attempts at climate change governance and social action have emerged. These approaches recognize that international agreements—if implemented—provide only a partial means through which the mitigation of climate change can be directed, and in turn are reliant on actions in a variety of arenas and at different scales to be effectively implemented. They also increasingly recognize the need to respond to and plan for the impacts of climate change, thus opening up new arenas and linkages between science and policy. This special issue of Global Environmental Politics seeks to move beyond the framework of the international political processes within which the climate change issue is frequently discussed to illuminate how climate protection is sought across a myriad of different sites. In seeking to understand responses to climate change, we are interested in “the processes that create the conditions for ordered rule and collective action within the political realm” 1 —that is those processes which take place within formalized arenas of government/governance
A large literature exists regarding explanations for the emergence of cooperation in the Mediterranean basin, but there is less information regarding the effectiveness of Mediterranean cooperation and its programs. Through a case study of Israel's implementation and compliance with the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan, we evaluate the effectiveness of these international institutions. We find that international institutions and their efforts to target state capacity as the mechanism to improve compliance and effectiveness are often misguided unless their efforts are also directed towards enhancing societal capacity. We then explicate the way in which societal actors such as environmental NGOs can improve domestic compliance and effectiveness. These findings are illuminated through an assessment of the activities of several environmental NGOs in Israel to target Mediterranean pollution and coastal management policies. Where NGOs have taken action, they have often proved successful in forcing the Israeli government and the business sector to honor its environmental commitments. Copyright (c) 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
One of the key features of the post-Rio era has been how global environmental governance is mediated between local, national and global levels of government. In this article, we draw on experiences from local climate policy planning in Norway in order to discuss the ways in which climate change enters into a municipal policy setting. Based on the Norwegian case, supplemented with knowledge gained from an international literature review, we present a typology of six different categories of local climate policy. We highlight that local actors can both play the role as a structure for the implementation of national or international climate objectives, as well as that of being policy actors taking independent policy initiatives. We emphasize how the relationship between national and local authorities is a crucial factor if climate policy as a specific local responsibility should be further strengthened. (c) 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) engage in a host of activities to influence world political affairs. They lobby states, pressure economic actors and alter cultural frames to shape widespread thought and behavior. Most scholars of international relations ignore the cultural dimension of NGO work either because it seemingly lacks clear political significance or because alterations in cultural life are difficult to gauge. In this article I demonstrate that, while less direct and obvious, NGO cultural challenges may have, ironically, more political relevance than conventional forms of activism and engagement. Additionally, I show that, notwithstanding formidable methodological challenges, there are ways to measure shifts in broad ideational frameworks-even across borders-and scholars can adopt these in productive ways. I develop both these points through a study of environmental NGOs. The article's findings, however, can be generalized beyond environmental organizations to all types of NGOs. Copyright (c) 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Global Environmental Politics 4.4 (2004) 151-153
Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in the International Association for the Study of Common Property have gotten a lot of mileage out of proving Garrett Hardin wrong. Hardin coined the phrase "Tragedy of the Commons" in a seminal 1968 Science article. Hardin's brief article offered a clear and intuitively appealing account of why common property resources (CPRs) would not be managed sustainably at a local level. Ostrom and her colleagues showed that the Tragedy of the Commons was not inevitable and that a great number of different CPRs could be sustainably managed, sometimes for centuries.
The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations is the latest contribution to this research agenda. It offers some valuable new case material but lacks the clear focus that made earlier works such as Governing the Commons so compelling. The strength of that work was the combination of a rigorous theoretical framework with rich descriptions of empirical cases of commons. This combined approach yielded important, policy relevant insights into the conditions for sustainably managing common property or common pool resources. It turns out the problem with commons is not common ownership: it is open access. Thus, successful management requires restricting access to the resource, particularly by new users. Another condition is the regulation of use by existing users. These efforts are more likely to succeed in a community context, with a stable population and high levels of social capital.
There are undoubtedly new challenges in managing commons, but there don't seem to be any shared characteristics to these challenges. Many of the book's chapters seek to describe, rather than explain, particular outcomes and policies. Several chapters touch on questions of scale in managing CPRs, but the focus is primarily local or national commons, not global ones. One chapter on multilateral emissions trading within the US does seek to generate lessons for dealing with global CO2 trading. The majority of chapters deal with forests or fisheries. Two describe historical struggles between traditional, local forest regimes and centrally imposed policies, originating at the national level in Indonesia and Thailand. Several chapters, such as the one on Thai forestry policy, deal with social capital and CPRs. These chapters use social capital to explain policies. Unlike earlier work on CPRs, these pieces have little to say about policy impacts: how do policies affect how CPRs are actually managed? What affect do changes in policy have on sustainability?
The best chapters are empirical cases of specific fisheries. Fisheries supply the best examples of CPRs where Hardin has, tragically, been proven right many times. The fishery cases presented here lie within nations' Exclusive Economic Zones. Although such fisheries have been mismanaged, they are relatively easier to manage than those that cross or lie outside national boundaries.
Acheson and Brewer provide an intriguing account of traditional management of the Maine lobstering industry. The CPR literature shows that clear boundaries are important for managing CPRs, and that boundaries necessitate territories. The authors ask how territories come to be and why they change. Although the lobster industry is regulated by the state government, traditional management, at the harbor level, remains important. The Maine case offers an interesting example of how restricted access and restrictions on use work in practice. In Maine, a state permit is not sufficient for lobster fishing. Permission from the gang that controls a particular harbor is also required. Interlopers, fishing without permission of the gang, will receive a verbal warning. Persistent interlopers will find their gear tampered with and real recalcitrants will find their gear destroyed. Thus while this successful system is built on social trust, that trust is oriented towards members of the group and is used to exclude outsiders. But all groups will try to push to expand their extent of their territories. Territories not defended will be eroded. Each group will seek to defend its territory, by tampering with gear. Occasionally, gear tampering will degenerate into a conflict spiral of retaliation. However, large scale conflict rarely erupts.
Two chapters examine important cases of...
There is mounting concern about a global governance deficit for managing international environmental problems and sustainable development. This article reviews the proposals and justifications for reform, and suggests an alternative model of global governance based on diffuse networks of diverse actors performing multiple and overlapping functions. Some reform proposals are offered to improve the prospects of network-based global governance. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John McMurtry and David Korten argue that by systemically depleting its social and environmental hosts, global capitalism has reached a carcinogenic stage. While there are life-protective forces in global governance, many are rendered ineffective by the routine functioning of global capitalism. The article applies this analysis to forests at two levels: the global forests regime (that is, public international law that seeks to govern forest use); and the broader structures and processes of global governance that affect forest use. The set of interactions between the two constitutes global forest governance. It is argued that in global forest governance carcinogenic life degrading forces prevail over healthy life conservation forces. The result is worldwide forest degradation. In this respect global forest governance represents a pathogenic invasion of the world's forests. Copyright (c) 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This article analyzes the political influence of business in the context of international environmental cooperation. Locating the sources of business power in three distinct factors-organizational strength, structural privilege, and informational advantage-the article evaluates the contributions of these factors to explanations of states' ratification of, and compliance with, international environmental agreements. Using data on 35 advanced industrialized democracies, the results suggest that business influence can be best explained by reference to informational asymmetries. While countries whose economies are exposed to international trade tend to participate less in international regimes, strong domestic environmental movements can counteract incentives for non-participation by providing political decision-makers with alternative information about the costs and benefits of participation. Regime compliance also increases with the availability of independent information through environmental groups, as well as with the degree of politico-economic integration found in neocorporatist systems of interest intermediation. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) enters its implementation phase, its technical advisory bodies are endeavoring to define their purpose. Parties to the Convention have questioned the effectiveness and even the relevance of CCD science advice, recommended reforms, and estab-lished a new Group of Experts to support existing advisory processes. These efforts, however, are unlikely to bring about effective change because they overlook the mutually constitutive relationship linking natural and social order (i.e., co-production) evidenced by a century of intergovernmental cooperation on dryland degradation. Historically, knowledge about desertification has been integral to the locus of desertification governance, the definition and application of cognitive resources, and the design of policy remedies. In the CCD former sites of co-production are now sites of incongruous knowledge and policy. A comparison of past and present desertification initiatives illuminates these incompatibilities and points to ideas for fostering greater coherence in the CCD's expert advisory and implementation activities. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Environmental organizations, characterized here as transnational advocacy networks, use various strategies to "green" international financial institutions (IFIs). This article goes beyond analyzing network strategies to examine how transnational advocacy networks reconstitute the identity of IFIs. This, it is argued, results from processes of socialization: social influence, persuasion and coercion by lobbying. A case study of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as a member of the World Bank Group, is used to analyze how an IFI internalized sustainable development norms. The IFC finances private enterprise in developing countries by providing venture capital for private projects. Transnational advocacy networks socialized the IFC through influencing its projects, policies and institutions via direct and indirect interactions to the point where the organization now sees itself as a sustainable development financier. This article applies constructivist insights to the greening process in order to demonstrate how socialization can reshape an IFI's identity. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Transnational advocacy networks (TANs) targeting corporations differ from those targeting states in the strategies they employ, determinants of network effectiveness, and assessments of goal achievement. This article develops a corporate boomerang model to analyze the dynamics of corporate-focused TANs. The model is used to assess two case studies of corporate-focused TANs-targeting the US-based oil corporations Chevron and Burlington Resources-active in Ecuador's Amazon region. In both TANs, corporate shareholder activists played a central role in the networks. The comparison demonstrates that the success of the Burlington TAN relative to the Chevron TAN can be explained by differences in the cohesiveness of the two networks and in the vulnerability of the two targets. (c) 2009 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.