Faced with worsening environmental indicators, cooperation hurdles, and the limited effectiveness of current institutions, reforming international environmental governance has proven elusive, despite various diplomatic initiatives at the United Nations level over the last two decades. Overcoming the current dead end, however, may rest less in devising new arrangements than in challenging how the problem has been approached.
Presenting a multifaceted exploration of some of the key issues and questions in global ecopolitics, this book brings together recent advances in research on global environmental governance in order to identify new avenues of inquiry and action. Each chapter questions elements of the current wisdom and covers a topic that lies at the heart of global environmental governance, including the reasons for engagement, the evolving relationship between science and policy, the potential and limits of the European Union as a key actor, the role of developing and emergent countries, and the contours of a complex governance of international environmental issues.
Laying the foundation for rethinking at a time of great transformation in global ecopolitics, this book will be important reading for students of environmental politics and governance. It will also be of relevance to policy makers with an interest in going beyond the prevailing discourse on this crucial topic.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Challenging the doxa of global ecopolitics
- The injunction of the ecological crises
- International environmental governance beyond cosmopolitanism
- Bridging the science-policy divide
- The European Union in global environmental governance
- The power of the weak: developing countries in the global governance of climate change and biodiversity
- Towards fractal governance
Philippe Le Prestre is a professor of political science at Laval University (Quebec, Canada) where he specializes in international environmental politics. He was the founding director of Laval University’s Sustainable Development Institute (2005–11) and between 1995 and 1999 he chaired the environmental studies section of the International Studies Association.
"Le Prestre provides a refreshing exposé of the convenient fictions which underlie the largely US-centric study of global ecopolitics, and how they distract attention from the complex nature of global challenges more generally. He calls for a more comprehensive and interlinked approach to the study of global environmental politics, and IR more generally; borrowing from and applying complexity theory." – Peter Haas, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
"A seasoned observer of global environmental politics, Le Prestre goes far beyond conventional wisdom to offer refreshingly alternative insights into the evolution of the field in this well-crafted treatise. This is an impressive work that captures multiple perspectives and channels them into a robust agenda for future scholarship." – Peter Stoett, Director, Loyola Sustainability Research Centre and Professor of Political Science/International Relations, Concordia University, Canada
"By questioning some apparently strong assumptions that structure the field of global environmental governance, Global Ecopolitics Revisited brings a clear added value and a welcome complement to existing textbooks. The author not only deconstructs common understandings of global environmental politics, but also proposes new thinking, tackling recent issues of global environmental governance with an innovative perspective based on complex systems and fractal governance." – Amandine Orsini, Professor of International Relations, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, Belgium