1st Edition

Environmental Policymaking in an Era of Climate Change

By Matthew Nowlin Copyright 2019
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    As the world considers how to deal with the impacts of a changing climate, it’s vital that we understand the ways in which the United States’ policymaking process addresses environmental issues. A mix of existing theory and original analysis, Environmental Policymaking in an Era of Climate Change applies recent policy scholarship to questions of environmental governance, with a particular focus on climate change. The book examines how competing political actors influence policies within and across institutions, focusing on both a macro-level, where formal bodies set the agenda, and a meso-level, where issues are contained within policy subsystems.

    Divided into two sections, the book incorporates insights from political science and public policy to provide the reader with a better understanding of how environmental policy decisions are made. Part I offers a framework for understanding environmental policymaking, exploring the history of environmental policy, and discussing the importance of values in environmental policy. Part II applies the framework to the issue of climate change, focusing on agenda-setting and the role of formal institutions in the policymaking process, covering topics that include Congress, the Executive and Judicial branches, and how climate change cuts across policy subsystem boundaries. By placing specific climate change case studies in a broader context, Environmental Policymaking in an Era of Climate Change will help students enrolled in political science, public administration, public policy, and environmental studies courses – as well as all those interested in the impacts of policy on climate change – to understand what is, and will likely continue to be, one of the most pressing policy issues of our time.

    PART I Foundations

    1. Introduction

    2. A Framework for Environmental Policymaking

    3. The Green State and the Climate Change Era

    4. Value Systems and Environmental Policy

    PART II The Environmental Policymaking System and Climate Policy

    5. Agenda-Setting and Issue Definitions in Climate Change Policymaking

    6. Pathways and Pivots: Macro- Institutions and Climate Change Policy

    7. The Networked Subsystems, Institutions, and Actors of the Climate Change Regime

    8. Conclusion


    Matthew C. Nowlin is an assistant professor of political science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, USA. He holds a PhD in political science with an emphasis in public policy and public administration from the University of Oklahoma. Matthew’s research interests include environmental and energy policy and politics. His work has appeared in Policy Studies Journal; Public Administration; Review of Policy Research; Risk Analysis; Politics, Groups, and Identities; Social Science Quarterly; and Weather, Climate, and Society.

    "Invoking the language of markets, Nowlin’s volume provides a comprehensive framework for understanding environmental policymaking.  This work is rare in its comprehensiveness, thoughtfully mapping the interrelated roles of policy actors within varied institutions and across levels of government, while also providing ample empirical evidence showing how agendas are constructed and why polarization is occurring, among a plethora of other findings. One of the most complete pictures of US environmental policy I have seen and a must for the bookshelves of both academics and advocates."  -- Michael Jones, Oregon State University, USA

    "The inability, or unwillingness, of the US government to address climate change in a meaningful way is a source of puzzlement and frustration for those who see climate change as the central human problem of our time. Nowlin offers students, scholars, and practitioners an insightful and readable framework for understanding our failure to act. His appraisal of contemporary environmental policymaking is both well-grounded and sobering."  -- Megan Mullin, Duke University, USA

    "This is a great book!  It offers a framework for understanding policy making and climate change, integrates theoretical insights, and brings to bear rich empirical data to ground its comprehensive coverage.  Readers will leave this book with a structured way of thinking about the political challenges associated with climate change and what the future might hold."  -- Christopher M. Weible, University of Colorado, USA