International Relations and Global Climate Change





This book surveys current conceptual, theoretical, and methodological approaches to global climate change and international relations. Although it focuses on the role of states, it also examines the role of nonstate actors and international organizations whenever state-centric explanations are insufficient.The book begins with a discussion of environmental constraints on human activities, the environmental consequences of human activities, and the history of global climate change cooperation. It then moves to an analysis of the global climate regime from various conceptual and theoretical perspectives. These include realism and neorealism, historical materialism, neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory, and epistemic community and cognitive approaches. Stressing the role of nonstate actors, the book looks at the importance of the domestic-international relationship in negotiations on climate change. It then looks at game-theoretical and simulation approaches to the politics of global climate change. It emphasizes questions of equity and the legal difficulties of implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. It concludes with a discussion of global climate change and other aspects of international relations, including other global environmental accords and world trade. The book also contains Internet references to major relevant documents.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262122405 354 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262621496 354 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Urs Luterbacher

Urs Luterbacher is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Environmental Studies and the Centre for Finance and Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Detlef F. Sprinz

Detlef F. Sprinz is Professor at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Potsdam.


  • This study is a significant contribution to our understanding of the ways in which institutional mechanisms affect the formation of collective beliefs and the production of knowledge.

    Arild Underdal

    Department of Political Science, University of Oslo

  • The findings of this vast study have fascinating and significant implications for scholarship and public policy. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in constructively addressing global environmental problems.

    Harold K. Jacobson

    Jesse Siddal Reeves Professor of Political Science, Senior Research Scientist, and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Michigan

  • International Relations and Global Climate Change provides wide-ranging coverage of an important topic. It is an important reference for scholars interested in both international environmental issues and international relations, yet provides an accessible entry point for policymakers, students, and a more general readership. Because its approach is broad, analytical, and theoretical, this book will have an impact beyond its immediate subject matter.

    Duncan Snidal

    Department of Political Science, University of Chicago

  • Luterbacher and Sprinz bring together a strong team to examine climate change as a collective action problem for the world community. The volume stands out as one of the few that will be of great interest to readers looking for conceptual frameworks and general models as well as to readers looking for help to understand the politics of the climate-change challenge itself.

    Arild Underdal

    Department of Political Science, University of Oslo