The Nature Of Institutions

Political institutions can be defined broadly as formal rules, compliance procedures, and standard operating procedures to shape strategies, goals, and actions of social actors. When discussing institutions, what first comes to mind are the executives, legislatures, courts, and bureaucracies of the modern state. These all are embodiments of important and legitimate purposes of the state such as the making of law typically in EDCs they have sufficient power to accomplish the purposes of...

Creation of Environmental Philosophy

Since the late 1980s, new issues and topics in moral philosophy have caused scholars to re-examine the sufficiency of dominant philosophical perspectives regarding the environment. The new topics include animal rights and liberation, species and ecosystem protection, eco-feminism, and deep ecology among others. Although it is difficult to establish cause and effect, these newly synthesized ways of thinking about the environment are associated with new movements that have affected values and...

Democracy Dictatorship and the Environment

There is reason to expect that democratic regions will respond more effectively to environmental crisis.66 As discussed in chapters 2 and 3, democracy allows freedom for social movements and NGOs to operate legally, and opens multiple points of access to policy makers. In addition, green movements can spawn green parties. Democratic regimes are also typically middle and upper income countries and therefore more likely to take a longer view of resource-related issues and find more support for...

The Merits Of Comparative Political Analysis

Comparative political analysis seeks to understand decisions by tracing the interplay of values, institutions, behaviors and processes within the historical, socio-cultural and economic contexts established by nations-states. By tradition, comparative politics confines itself to the national and subnational levels. Interactions among states are reserved for the sub-fields of international relations and international political economy. But these sub-disciplinary boundaries have never been...

Global Environmental Issues

Since the 1960s, environmental issues have entered the agendas of most nation-states. Pollution of land, air, and water have endangered ecosystems and public health, and called for a governmental response. Problems of water scarcity and depletion of other critical natural resources, such as forest and agricultural land, elevated the salience of environmental issues, as did the incessant accumulation of garbage. These issues introduced new sets of problems to the political arena and brought new...

Summary

Chapter 1 introduced the subject of comparative environmental politics, first through contrasting examples of how nation-states have responded to ecosystem crises. It also introduces the environmental problems with global ramifications, specifically climate warming, biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, transboundary air pollution, and marine pollution and over-fishing. Then, it explains the subject matter of comparative environmental politics and differentiates it from recent...

Global Environmental Policy Learning

The case studies29 show a close relationship between per capita GDP and environmental indicators. Wealthier countries both need and can afford more environmental protection. Although the relationship between affluence and environmentalism is significant, it also is contradictory economic development leads to both improvements and deterioration in environmental quality, with significant differences in environmental area. For example, reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions and the extension of...

Who Governs Environmental Outcomes

A leading question in environmental politics, indeed in any policy sector, is who has the capacity to effect environmental policy Political capacity usually is wielded by those who hold official positions in government. Government officials possess legal powers or authority to take certain actions and make decisions, but the extent of this official legal power differs from one political system to another. In democratic state systems, presidents and prime ministers enjoy statewide authority and...

Administrative Competence in Environmental Policy Making

Administrative competence refers to the policy-implementing organization of the nation-state with respect to environmental protection. It is influenced by the political institutions discussed in chapter 4, but is both analytically and practically distinct. We address two aspects of administrative competence. The first focuses on national environmental administrative institutions the second examines the degree of strategic coordination in the environmental planning system. Chapter 5 National...

Sustainable Development and Participatory Democracy

Two final aspects of the relationship between environmental politics and democracy bear mention as they affect both EDCs and LDCs. First, is the role of scientific and communications technologies especially the Internet and satellite imagery in promoting environmentalism and facilitating the organization of new social movements. In the case of the rubber tappers of Acre, Brazil, international support was stimulated, in part, by the publication of satellite imagery showing the extensive...

Summing Up

Three basic points emerge from the preceding discussion. First is the complexity of the relationship between state and society and the broad variability among nation-states in the ways that traditional beliefs and changing conditions interact to affect environmental politics. Second is that social and cultural change play a critical role in bringing environmental concerns to the national political arena but that the effects of these changes are shaped by the organizational structures, attitudes...

The Political Opportunity Structure Of Nations

The nature and structure of political institutions in states influence the development of environmental interests, parties, and movements, as well as counter-movements in opposition to them. In this chapter we have focused on three institutional arrangements federalism versus unitary state systems, concentrated versus dispersed powers, and constitutional versus authoritarian systems with a special focus on court systems . These institutional arrangements are relatively invariant. In most cases,...

Stages in Environmental Policy Development

The making of public policy is rarely a linear process. Instead, most scholars and practitioners as well consider it to be cyclical. As many as seven or eight categories can be identified in the policy cycle, but most authors include four common stages policy formation, adoption, implementation, and impact including evaluation and possibly change .38 Unlike our presentation of institutions, which is largely static, the stages of the policy cycle are dynamic. Although usually sequential, two or...

Monitoring by ENGOs

Most of the mainstream environmental organizations in the United States direct some attention to endangered species and habitat issues. Perhaps most influential are the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, the Environmental Defense Fund now called Environmental Defense , and the Natural Resources Defense Council. As Rosenbaum notes, these organizations are thoroughly professionalized and sophisticated in their...

Laggards

Most of the world's nations fail to address environmental problems effectively and often are called laggards. We present three cases which illustrate different problem dimensions China, Nigeria, and Russia and make brief reference to Vietnam and three post-Soviet central European states. Chapter 5 National Capacity to Protect the Environment 127 4.3.1. China14 China is a communist country with a Leninist party that controls the state. Since 1978, however, marketizing reforms have reduced the...

Environmentalism And Democratization

The rise of environmentalism in countries throughout the world has not operated in a vacuum. It has occurred simultaneously with significant economic restructuring through the expansion of global trade, the development of Third Wave democratization movements in LDCs, and the onset of post-modernization in EDCs, among other social and political forces. We consider the relationship between environmentalism and democratization first by examining the Third Wave democratization movements. Then we...

Environmental Interest Groups Origins

In the previous chapter, we examined the constellation of values and attitudes of peoples in different nation-states. Here we examine how these views are aggregated by ENGOs, which function as interest groups in the state. We shall emphasize throughout the different incentives or disincentives nations provide for the organization of ENGOs and we observe the ways in which state structures shape and are shaped by the activities of ENGOs. The first environmental organizations were formed in...

Traditional Attitudes And Values Toward The Environment

Comparative political analysis has undergone several paradigm shifts over time, and several paradigms coexist. Originally, the sub-discipline was a formal enterprise of comparing national laws and statutes, constitutions and codified political structures and processes. In the post World War II era, however, comparative political studies discovered the importance of culture, society, the non-western world, and the need to explain political behavior. The unhappy experiences with fascist...

Green Parties

Green parties symbolize the institutionalization of environmental movement protest and ENGO activity. Where they have met with electoral success, they are examples of effective interest articulation, bringing the political demands of individuals and groups for environmental protection into more comprehensive policy programs. For example, environmentalists' demands for improved water quality are not the only demands on the state they are balanced by the interests of businesses, and public...

Third Wave Democratization Movements and Environmentalism

The third wave of democratization is a phrase developed by Samuel Huntington to describe the 15-year period following the end of the Portuguese dictatorship in 1974 when democratic regimes replaced authoritarian ones in approximately thirty countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.54 By democracy, Huntington means a political system in which the most powerful collective decision makers are selected through fair, honest, and periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and...

Chapter Political Institutions And The Environment

This chapter examines the structure and organization of the state itself, and the role that its political institutions and arrangement of authorities and powers play in the development and implementation of environmental policy. The relationship between government structure and policies is close. A policy such as reduction in carbon dioxide emissions becomes effectively public only when adopted, implemented, and enforced through government institutions. Institutions give needed specificity to...

Does Federalism Make a Difference

This review suggests that administrative decentralization and or devolution may bring about the same effects as federalism. A few comparative studies have tested the effect of federalism on environmental performance of nation-states. For example, Lundqvist asks whether differences in political structures, including federalism, cause differences in selection of environmental policy alternatives. He designs a comparative study of three countries the U.S., Canada, and Sweden which are most similar...

Federal and Confederal Systems

Only 25 nation-states in the early twenty-first century have federal systems, a minority of the world's governments. Two factors tend to explain the evolution of federal systems the attempt to resolve problems of power and administration in territorially vast nations, and the attempt to dilute power of ethnic, linguistic, racial, and cultural minorities. Three of the world's four territorially largest states are federal systems Russia, Canada, and the United States, and about 40 percent of the...

New Environmental Paradigm

Whether capitalist or Marxist in origin, development strategies of the twentieth century were derived from ideologies of industrialism that revered technology and material abundance over nature. As early as 1933, Aldo Leopold observed As nearly as I can see, all the new isms - Socialism, Communism, Fascism . . . outdo even Capitalism itself in their preoccupation with one thing the distribution of more machine-made commodities to more people. Though they despise each other they are competitive...

Unitary Systems

Most of the world's nation-states are unitary state systems, in which the national government is the sole source of sovereignty. Virtually all of the unitary systems, however, have provinces, prefectures, or other sub-national levels of government, and they have municipal levels of government as well. However, the central government may transfer to or withdraw powers from these sub-national governments at any time. In some unitary states, national legislation has defined significant home rule...