Skip navigation

Politics, Science, and the Environment

In a little more than a century, the Japanese diet has undergone a dramatic transformation. In 1900, a plant-based, near-subsistence diet was prevalent, with virtually no consumption of animal protein. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Japan’s consumption of meat, fish, and dairy had increased markedly (although it remained below that of high-income Western countries).

Global public goods (GPGs)--the economic term for a broad range of goods and services that benefit everyone, including stable climate, public health, and economic security--pose notable governance challenges. At the national level, public goods are often provided by government, but at the global level there is no established state-like entity to take charge of their provision. The complex nature of many GPGs poses additional problems of coordination, knowledge generation and the formation of citizen preferences.

Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests

Greater knowledge and transparency are often promoted as the keys to solving a wide array of governance problems. In Instituting Nature, Andrew Mathews describes Mexico’s efforts over the past hundred years to manage its forests through forestry science and biodiversity conservation. He shows that transparent knowledge was produced not by official declarations or scientists’ expertise but by encounters between the relatively weak forestry bureaucracy and the indigenous people who manage and own the pine forests of Mexico.

The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction

Governing the Air looks at the regulation of air pollution not as a static procedure of enactment and agreement but as a dynamic process that reflects the shifting interrelationships of science, policy, and citizens. Taking transboundary air pollution in Europe as its empirical focus, the book not only assesses the particular regulation strategies that have evolved to govern European air, but also offers theoretical insights into dynamics of social order, political negotiation, and scientific practices.

Challenges of Multilevel Management

The challenges posed by managing hazardous chemicals cross boundaries, jurisdictions, and constituencies. Since the 1960s, a chemicals regime—a multitude of formally independent but functionally related treaties and programs—has been in continuous development, as states and organizations collaborate at different governance levels to mitigate the health and environmental problems caused by hazardous chemicals.

The Politics of Objective Advice

Scientists often bring issues to the policy agenda, translating scientific questions into everyday language and political terms. When Roger Revelle characterized Earth as a spaceship in testimony to Congress in 1957, his evocative language framed the issue of our planet's climate vulnerability in a way that technical discourse could not. In this book, Ann Campbell Keller examines the influence of scientists on environmental policy and makes the novel argument that scientists' adherence to the role of neutral advisor varies over the course of the policy-making process.

Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse

In the second half of the twentieth century, worldwide attitudes toward whaling shifted from widespread acceptance to moral censure. Why? Whaling, once as important to the global economy as oil is now, had long been uneconomical. Major species were long known to be endangered. Yet nations had continued to support whaling.

The Contested Governance of European Food Safety

A series of food-related crises—most notably mad cow disease in Britain, farmer protests in France against American hormone-treated beef, and the European Union's banning of genetically modified food—has turned the regulation of food safety in Europe into a crucible for issues of institutional trust, legitimacy, and effectiveness. What's the Beef?

A History of Knowledge and Action toward Sustainability

Acid Rain Science and Politics in Japan is a pioneering work in environmental and Asian history as well as an in-depth analysis of the influence of science on domestic and international environmental politics. Kenneth Wilkening's study also illuminates the global struggle to create sustainable societies.

Generating Research at the Scripps Institution and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, 1900s-1990s

This theoretical and empirical study examines the influence of global institutions on the generation of scientific knowledge. Virginia Walsh's approach reverses the traditional focus of international relations literature—which most often deals with how scientific knowledge influences institutions—and offers an original way to look at international environmental governance.

Local and Global in Environmental Governance

Globalization today is as much a problem for international harmony as it is a necessary condition of living together on our planet. Increasing interconnectedness in ecology, economy, technology, and politics has brought nations and societies into ever closer contact, creating acute demands for cooperation. Earthly Politics argues that in the coming decades global governance will have to accommodate differences, even as it obliterates distance, and will have to respect many aspects of the local while developing institutions that transcend localism.

Challenges and Adaptation

Globalization, population growth, and resource depletion are drawing increased attention to the importance of common resources such as forests, water resources, and fisheries. It is critical that these resources be governed in an equitable and sustainable way. The Commons in the New Millennium presents cutting-edge research in common property theory and provides an overview and progress report on common property research.

Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity

Political scientists have long been concerned about the tension between institutional fragmentation and policy coordination in the U.S. bureaucracy. The literature is rife with examples of agencies competing with each other or asserting their independence, while cooperation is relatively rare. This is of particular importance in policy areas such as biodiversity, where species, habitats, and ecosystems cross various agency jurisdictions.

A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain

This long-awaited two-volume book examines how the interplay of ideas and actions applied to environmental problems has laid the foundations for global environmental management. It looks at how ideas, interests, and institutions affect management practice; how management capabilities in other areas affect the ability to deal with specific environmental issues; and how learning affects society's approach to the global environment.

A Functional Analysis of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain

This long-awaited two-volume book examines how the interplay of ideas and actions applied to environmental problems has laid the foundations for global environmental management. It looks at how ideas, interests, and institutions affect management practice; how management capabilities in other areas affect the ability to deal with specific environmental issues; and how learning affects society's approach to the global environment.

Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance

In recent years, Earth systems science has advanced rapidly, helping to transform climate change and other planetary risks into major political issues. Changing the Atmosphere strengthens our understanding of this important link between expert knowledge and environmental governance. In so doing, it illustrates how the emerging field of science and technology studies can inform our understanding of the human dimensions of global environmental change.

Communities, Institutions, and Governance

Unplanned deforestation, which is occurring at unsustainable rates in many parts of the world, can cause significant hardships for rural communities by destroying critical stocks of fuel, fodder, food, and building materials. It can also have profound regional and global consequences by contributing to biodiversity loss, erosion, floods, lowered water tables, and climate change.

Regional Perspectives on Climate Change

Although climate change is a global problem, there is a growing recognition of the need to look at its regional manifestations and management. This book takes such a regional approach to the Alpine region. The result of the ongoing Swiss research program Climate and Environment in the Alpine Region (CLEAR), it incorporates the work of an independent network of approximately fifty researchers from a variety of disciplines.The Alpine region is the perfect focus for such a study because of the wealth of historical and contemporary data.

Japan and the Politics of Timber in Southeast Asia

1998 Winner of the International Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award

Peter Dauvergne developed the concept of a "shadow ecology" to assess the total environmental impact of one country on resource management in another country or area. Aspects of a shadow ecology include government aid and loans; corporate practices, investment, and technology transfers; and trade factors such as consumption, export and consumer prices, and import tariffs.