1st Edition

Ecoregionalism Analyzing Regional Environmental Agreements and Processes

By Jon Marco Church Copyright 2020
    282 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides a comprehensive understanding of environmental regionalism at the international level, analyzing the concept and identifying recurring patterns from six in-depth case studies.

    While ecoregions or environmental regions are defined on ecological boundaries rather than administrative criteria, ecoregionalism is the idea that regional dynamics should cluster around ecoregions, while ecoregionalization is the tendency of regional dynamics to cluster around ecoregions. Focusing on the international level, this book presents six cases of ecoregional processes from around the world and the regional environmental agreements: two are terrestrial, the Alps and the Andes; two are marine, the Mediterranean Sea and the Baltic Sea; two are related to freshwater ecosystems: the Amu Darya in Central Asia and the Great Lakes in North America. The book analyzes both ecoregional processes focused on the environment, as well as intersectoral ecoregional processes. The case studies are analyzed based on the ecoregional governance framework, developed by the author for this book. Despite the diversity of context, the similarity of the governance system of the six cases is striking. Several recurring patterns have been identified, which may also extend to the subnational level. They are not design principles, but may be taken into consideration for the design or redesign of current and future regional environmental agreements and processes.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental politics, natural resource management, spatial planning and international relations.

    Part 1: Identifying ecoregions  1. The environmental component  2. The regional component  Part 2: Analyzing ecoregional governance  3. Epistemic perspectives: science and knowledge  4. Sociological approaches: norms and institutions  5. Diagnostic frameworks: analyzing sustainability  Part 3: Comparing ecoregional agreements and processes  6. The ecoregional governance framework  7. Case studies of ecoregional governance


    Jon Marco Church is Associate Professor of Sustainability and Governance at the University of Reims, France. He was previously a Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, USA.

    "Jon Marco Church offers breadth and depth in his critical analysis of regional environmental governance, which is timely given that the majority of international environmental agreements are in fact regional in nature. Building on case studies that appear diverse yet display many common features, Church skillfully combines an interdisciplinary theoretical framework with many years of research and professional involvement in the processes he describes. The design principles offered in his conclusion will provide food for thought to scholars and practitioners alike."Jörg Balsiger, University of Geneva, Switzerland

    "Jon Marco Church provides a rich, analytically informed study of the evolving understanding and governance of ecoregions. He conducts 6 comparative focused case studies, and applies Ostrom’s polyarchy framework to derive design principles for sustainable regional environmental governance." — Peter M. Haas, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States

    "Church’s comparative analysis of the processes and outcomes associated with contemporary "ecoregionalism" yields myriad insights about the growing number of regional governance arrangements around the globe, through careful examination of 6 case studies, including those focused on seas, mountains, rivers and lakes."Stacy D. VanDeveer, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States

    "This book makes original contributions to scholarly debates about how to define and analyse ecoregions and is essential reading for all those interested in how regional environmental cooperation is structured and functions. Due to the author’s thorough and artfully written engagement with core and adjacent literature, the book also serves as an up-to-date critical history on how different disciplines have understood regional politics." — Elana Wilson Rowe, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway

    "Until recently, little progress has been made in theorizing or testing questions of scale and scope. Church is one of the few scholars who has been pursuing such work. This book establishes Church at the forefront of the field, extending his ecoregionalism work to encompass a wider array of cases, a richer theoretical framework and a practical bent toward general design principles that can be adapted to particular cases. This is turning into an enormously important focus of scholarship in environmental policy and politics, and Church is ahead of the curve in being there."William C. Clark, Harvard University, United States

    "This is a book to return to for many reasons. In marrying a clear and thoughtful conceptual framework with detailed case studies, Jon Marco Church not only makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of how ecoregions are defined, governed and institutionalized, but offers us an approach that has real scale-ability potential for the way we understand both global and local environmental institutional contexts." — Lorraine Elliott, Australian National University, Australia