Michele Betsill

Michele Betsill
Colorado State University | CSU

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83
Publications
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8,534
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
4255 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Philanthropic foundations play increasingly prominent roles in the environmental arena, yet remain largely under the radar of environmental governance scholars. We build on the small body of existing research on foundations in environmental governance to outline a research agenda on foundations as agents of environmental governance. The agenda iden...
Chapter
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legiti...
Chapter
Full-text available
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legiti...
Chapter
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legiti...
Chapter
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legiti...
Chapter
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legiti...
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Full-text available
p>The social sciences have engaged since the late 1980s in international collaborative programmes to study questions of sustainability and global change. This article offers an in-depth analysis of the largest long-standing social-science network in this field: the Earth System Governance Project. Originating as a core project of the former Interna...
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Cities have been playing an important role in global climate governance for the last two decades, providing climate responses such as mitigation and adaptation policies. The city of São Paulo has positioned itself as one of the “new leaders” combining climate responses with an active international strategy. We analyze the role of São Paulo in globa...
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This review focuses on transnational governance in the minerals and mining sector. Although several initiatives have emerged to address specific governance challenges in this sector, knowledge of these efforts is piecemeal and little is known about patterns in transnational governance development across this issue area. We address these gaps by rev...
Chapter
Climate change governance is in a state of enormous flux. New and more dynamic forms of governing are appearing around the international climate regime centred on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They appear to be emerging spontaneously from the bottom up, producing a more dispersed pattern of governing, which Nob...
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Who controls how transnational issues are defined and treated? In recent decades professional coordination on a range of issues has been elevated to the transnational level. International organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and firms all make efforts to control these issues. This volume shifts focus away from looking at organizatio...
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This article examines the political dynamics of energy transitions in a case study of the State of Colorado's (USA) efforts to create a “New Energy Economy” through a series of legislative and administrative actions between January 2007 and January 2011. Drawing on an emerging literature on the politics of social-technical transitions, we argue tha...
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This forum article outlines a research agenda focused on linkages between the UNFCCC and other governance arrangements that also address climate change. We take as our point of departure the recognition that the UNFCCC is no longer the sole site of global climate change governance, and thus the types of linkage across what we call the global climat...
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Working effectively across boundaries is a critical skill for researchers focused on environmental governance in complex social–ecological systems, but challenges remain in the acquisition of such skills given the current structure of traditional disciplinary training. In an effort to contribute to improved coordination of research across disciplin...
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State-of-the-art surveys of key research areas within the field of international environmental politics which collectively provide a comprehensive and pluralistic overview you of the field Eight thoroughly revised and updated chapters from the first edition, and five entirely new chapters Chapters covering key substantive debates as well as differe...
Book
It is increasingly clear that the world of climate politics is no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operat...
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The world of climate politics is increasingly no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public a...
Article
Greenhouse gas emissions trading (ET) systems have become the centerpiece of climate change policy at multiple scales, unexpectedly largely outside of the UN climate governance process. The diffusion of ET is best described as a case of polycentric diffusion, where ET systems diffused to multiple loci of governance, but where they all serve similar...
Article
Next year Global Environmental Change will have been in existence for 25 years. This year sees a major change in the journal's editors, as Neil Adger and Kate Brown depart after a decade of leadership. As of January, four individuals have joined Declan Conway (London School of Economics, UK) as the new editorial team: Jon Barnett (University of Mel...
Chapter
Over the last decade, there has been considerable growth in academic research on actors ‘beyond the state’ as part of a broader ‘rescaling’ of global environmental politics whereby non-state actors and institutions operating at multiple levels of social and political organization are seen to shape the politics and governance of global environmental...
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Full-text available
The study of global environmental politics has grown in both quantity and quality over the last 40 years, and international relations (IR) scholars have been increasingly more involved, particularly since the late 1980s. The goal of this book is to provide a state-of-the art review of how IR scholars approach the study of global environmental polit...
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In this conclusion, we draw on the book’s chapters to briefly reflect on the status of the field of international environmental politics (IEP) as a whole and to return to the cross-cutting themes and queries raised in the introduction — North-South relations, domestic-international linkages, and the role of the state. Although many of the field’s m...
Article
In our 2005 paper, Rethinking Sustainable Cities, we made a case for the increasing significance of climate change in the urban politics of sustainability. Taking a multilevel governance perspective, we argued that the ‘urban’ governance of climate protection was not confined to a local arena or to the actions of the state, but rather was orchestra...
Chapter
This chapter describes important geographical and socio-economic characteristics and trends in the Southwest—such as population and economic growth and changes in land ownership, land use, and land cover—that provide the context for how climate change will likely affect the Southwest. The chapter also describes key laws and institutions relevant to...
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With this paper we present an analysis of sixty transnational governance initiatives and assess the implications for our understanding of the roles of public and private actors, the legitimacy of governance ‘beyond’ the state, and the North–South dimensions of governing climate change. In the first part of the paper we examine the notion of transna...
Article
We are living in a highly dynamic, human-dominated Earth System in which non-linear, abrupt and irreversible changes are not only possible but also probable. These changes require institutional structures capable of steering human society away from critical tipping points and irreversible change and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. We see...
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The United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro in June is an important opportunity to improve the institutional framework for sustainable development.
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The current institutional framework for sustainable development is by far not strong enough to bring about the swift transformative progress that is needed. This article contends that incrementalism—the main approach since the 1972 Stockholm Conference—will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level and speed needed to mitigate and ada...
Article
Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years (1, 2). Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change (3). This require...
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This special issue addresses the analytical problem of agency in earth system governance, an analytical problem that begins with the assumption that the credibility, stability, adaptiveness, and inclusiveness of earth system governance is affected by a wide range of actors, including national governments and their bureaucracies as well as the growi...
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In the face of global environmental change, a key question for the social sciences is how to organize the co-evolution of societies and their natural environment. In this context, a new long-term research program, the Earth System Governance Project, proposes several key issues to be examined: architecture, agency, adaptiveness, accountability, and...
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Abstract This article documents the evolution of “cap and trade” as a policy response to global climate change. Through an analysis of 33 distinct policy venues, the article describes how the cap and trade policy domain has developed along spatial, temporal, and institutional dimensions. This discussion demonstrates that following initial discussio...
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The Earth System Science Partnership, which unites all major global change research programmes, declared in 2001 an urgent need to develop “strategies for Earth System management”. Yet what such strategies might be, how they could be developed, and how effective, efficient and equitable such strategies would be, remains unspecified. It is apparent...
Article
In 2001, the Earth System Science Partnership declared an urgent need to develop 'strategies for Earth System management'. Yet what such strategies might be, how they could be developed and how effective, efficient and equitable such strategies would be, remain unspecified. We argue that the institutions, organizations and mechanisms by which human...
Article
Assessments of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 have tended to see it as a ‘return to realism’ — as the triumph of hard interstate bargaining over institutional or normative development about climate change. This article contests that interpretation by showing how it focuses too closely on the interstate negotiations...
Article
The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance: Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability. Edited by ParkJacob, ConcaKen, and FingerMatthias. New York: Routledge, 2008. 240p. $42.50. - Volume 8 Issue 1 - Michele Betsill
Article
For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Article
This article explores the implications of the April 2007 United Nations Security debate on the security dimensions of a changing climate for international climate change politics. Specifically, our analysis focuses on whether and how security concerns have been addressed in past international political debates on climate change and considers whethe...
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In this article we examine the emergence and implications of transnational climate-change governance. We argue that although the study of transnational relations has recently been renewed alongside a burgeoning interest in issues of global governance, the nature of transnational governance has to date received less attention. We contend that transn...
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This chapter explores the odyssey of climate policy over the past decade, describing and analyzing the unexpectedly prominent roles for state and local governments. It offers an overview of various policy initiatives at both levels and considers factors underlying such a range of actions. States began enacting climate-related policies in the late 1...
Article
According to Matthew Kahn, more than half the world's population will live in urban areas by 2030, and most of these cities will be located in capitalist economies. In Green Cities, Kahn explores the implications of these trends for the urban environment. In a clear and straightforward manner, he illuminates the complex relationship between humans...
Article
How urbanization unfolds in the text few decades and which urban development path we choose are potentially critical to the efforts aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. However, our understanding of urban, as a unit or system, and its cross-scale linkages in the context of carbon management is at infancy state. In this context, this artic...
Article
Over the past decade the governance of global climate change has evolved into a complex, multi-level process involving actors and initiatives at multiple levels of social organization from the global to the local in both the public and private spheres. This article analyzes the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) as one co...
Article
We explore how the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program, a network that is simultaneously global and local, state and nonstate, could be conceptualized as part of global environmental governance. We suggest that traditional approaches to international relations—regime theory and transnational networks—offer limited conceptual space for analy...
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Within the field of international relations, global environmental governance is frequently discussed in terms of “international regimes,” defined as “social institutions that consist of agreed upon principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures, and programs that govern the interaction of actors in specific issue areas” (Young, 1997, pp. 5...
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This chapter examines the rising practices and policies associated with global climate change within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It focuses on the possible establishment of a North American greenhouse gas emissions trading system, and explains that emissions trading is starting to be considered as a central policy response to t...
Chapter
The study of international environmental politics (IEP) has grown in both quantity and quality over the last 30 years, and international relations (IR) scholars have been increasingly more involved, particularly since the late 1980s.1 From a subdiscipline that attracted mostly American scholars, IEP has now spread throughout much of the world, alth...
Chapter
This chapter examines scholarship on transnational actors in international environmental politics (IEP). Transnational actors engage in interactions across national boundaries but do ‘not operate on behalf of a national government or an intergovernmental organization’ (Risse-Kappen, 1995, p. 3).1 While realists dismiss claims about the significance...
Chapter
In this conclusion, we draw on the book’s chapters to briefly reflect on the status of the field of international environmental politics (IEP) as a whole. We return to the cross-cutting themes and queries raised in the introduction, finding that some of them are reinforced and illustrated by the chapters while others need to be reformulated. Many o...
Article
While sustainable cities have been promoted as a desirable goal within a variety of policy contexts, critical questions concerning the extent to which cities and local governments can address the challenges of sustainability remain unanswered. We use a multilevel governance perspective to examine the discursive and material struggles which take pla...
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The past decade has witnessed a growing interest among scholars of international relations, and global environmental governance in particular, in the role of transnational networks within the international arena. While the existence and potential significance of such networks has been documented, many questions concerning the nature of governance c...
Article
Climate change is one of the most challenging issues of our time. As key sites in the production and management of emissions of greenhouse gases, cities will be crucial for the implementation of international agreements and national policies on climate change. This book provides a critical analysis of the role of cities in addressing climate change...
Article
This study examines opportunitie s for and obstacles to the mitigation of climate change in US cities using the example of the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign sponsored by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. The CCP experience suggests a number of ways in which municipal governments can control greenhouse gas...
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Current literature on global environmental politics largely considers NGO influence implicit and unproblematic. Responding to several weaknesses in the literature, we propose a coherent research framework for assessing NGO influence in international environmental negotiations. We contend that influence can be said to have occurred when NGOs intenti...
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Full-text available
There is a need to better understand the significance of NGOs in global environmental politics. Addressing a number of weaknesses in the current literature on NGOs, we have developed an analytical framework for analysis of NGO influence in international environmental negotiations. This paper demonstrates the utility of our framework by applying it...
Chapter
Since the threat of global climate change emerged on the international political agenda in 1988, states have been engaged in a process of creating new norms to govern their behavior in this issue area.1 This process has been situated in the negotiations of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. I...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Colorado, 2000. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [338]-357).
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In this article, we re-examine the conventional wisdom of the ozone case by focusing on the process of national and international decision making. In particular, we examine the policy process in the United States and its relation to the international policy process. In so doing, we call into question the four lessons traditionally drawn from the oz...
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A case study from souther African indicates that advance warning of climate disturbances can alleviate human suffering and reduce the cost of international assistance.
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Scientists face increasing pressure to demonstrate how their work contributes to societal objectives. Likewise, policy makers proposing environmental policies are often asked to provide the scientific basis on which their proposals are based. These twin pressures are forcing a closer connection between science and policy. In our virw, policy-for-sc...
Article
This article examines two institutions heavily involved in the US defence industry during the Cold War, Martin Marietta (later Lockheed Martin) and the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility. Analyses of these two institutions suggest that “conversion” per se is unlikely to occur at either in the near term future. Rather like plutonium, these institu...
Article
The literature on the interface between science and policy suggests that the way scientists engage in the policy process influences the use of scientific knowledge in policy making. There is a lack of scholarly attention, however, to scientists themselves and how they conceptualize the interaction between science and policy. This study seeks to imp...
Article
1. Point of Departure The dramatic increase in the number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) over the past century has been well-documented as has the fact that these organizations increasingly participate in global environmental politics. Academic interest in the role of NGOs in global environmental politics has also risen dramatically over t...
Article
Over the past decade the governance of global climate change has evolved into a complex, multi-level process involving actors and initiatives at multiple levels of social organization from the global to the local in both the public and private spheres. This article analyzes the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) as one co...

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Archived project
The EGWG is a multi-disciplinary community seeking to advance research on environmental governance at Colorado State University. For the purposes of this multidisciplinary project, we define environmental governance as the formal and informal institutions/policies/rules/practices that shape how humans interact with the environment at all levels of social organization. This broad working definition recognizes the variation in disciplinary approaches and specific research foci. The study of environmental governance includes—but is not limited to—research on environmental policies and management practices, community conservation programs, common property resource regimes, collaborative decision-making processes, and markets for environmental goods and services. Environmental governance research may investigate particular arrangements and/or address broader questions of authority, accountability, legitimacy, participation, and fairness and equity.
Project
The Earth System Governance Project is a long-term international research programme that was originally set up as a Core Project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). In 2015, the Project has become part of the new global umbrella programme ‘Future Earth’. The Earth System Governance Project’s Science Plan is implemented since 2009 through a new global network of affiliated researchers, including about 300 research fellows and 50 lead faculty members; a global series of annual open science conferences, with events in Amsterdam (2007, 2009), Colorado (2011), Lund (2012), Tokyo (2013), East Anglia (2014), Australian National University (2015) and Nairobi (2016); a global alliance of Earth System Governance Research Centres; a global network of task forces, affiliated projects, and smaller events; and a network of social media outlets, internet fora and affiliated publication series, including with MIT Press. The international project office is hosted by Lund University, Sweden. See www.earthsystemgovernance.org for more information.