The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance: Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance

Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability, 1st Edition

Edited by Jacob Park, Ken Conca, Matthias Finger


228 pages

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pub: 2008-03-31
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More than twenty years after the Bruntland Commission report, Our Common Future, we have yet to secure the basis for a serious approach to global environmental governance. The failed 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development showed the need for a new approach to globalization and sustainability.

Taking a critical perspective, rooted in political economy, regulation theory, and post-sovereign international relations, this book explores questions concerning the governance of environmental sustainability in a globalizing economy. With contributions from leading international scholars, the book offers a comprehensive framework on globalization, governance, and sustainability, and examines institutional mechanisms and arrangements to achieve sustainable environmental governance. It:

  • considers current failures in the framework of global environmental governance
  • addresses the problematic relationship between sustainability and globalization
  • explores controversies of development and environment that have led to new processes of institution building
  • examines the marketization of environmental policy-making; stakeholder politics and environmental policy-making; socio-economic justice; the political origins of sustainable consumption; the role of transnational actors; and processes of multi-level global governance.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers of political science, international studies, political economy and environmental studies.


‘We urgently need global environmental governance. For this, the 1992 Earth Summit was lamentably inadequate, and the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit was even worse. This book finally offers perspectives on governance structures for sustainable development.’

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Dean Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara, USA

‘This is a book that asks hard questions and provides thoughtful anwers. While the world cries out for leadership or innovative collaboration involving multi-stakeholders to address the challenges of globalisation, environmental degradation and climate change, people are much less willing to address governance, both domestically and internationally, because the dysfunctionalities of our politics and economics are so entrenched. This book inconveniently opens Pandora's Box and demands our attention.’

Christine Loh, CEO of think tank Civic Exchange, Hong Kong and named a Hero of the Environment by TIME 2007

Table of Contents

1. The Death of Rio Environmentalism 2. Sustainability and Globalization: A Theoretical Perspective 3. Which Governance for Sustainable Development? An Organizational and Institutional Perspective 4. A Global Political Economy of Textiles: From the Global to the Local and Back Again 5. The Marketization of Global Environmental Governance: Manifestations and Implications 6. Between Market and Justice: The Socio-Ecological Challenge 7. Sustainable Consumption? Legitimation, Regulation, and Environmental Governance 8. Transnational Transformations: From Government-Centric Interstate Regimes to Cross-Sectoral Multi-Level Networks of Global Governance 9. "Stakeholders" and the Politics of Environmental Policymaking 10. Rethinking Authority, Territory, and Knowledge: Transnational Socio-Ecological Controversies and Global Environmental Governance

About the Editors

Jacob Park is Assistant Professor of Business Strategy and Sustainability at Green Mountain College, Vermont, USA.

Ken Conca is Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, USA.

Matthias Finger is Professor of Management of Network Industries at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

About the Series

Environmental Politics

Over recent years environmental politics has moved from a peripheral interest to a central concern within the discipline of politics. This series aims to reinforce this trend through the publication of books that investigate the nature of contemporary environmental politics and show the centrality of environmental politics to the study of politics per se. The series understands politics in a broad sense and books will focus on mainstream issues such as the policy process and new social movements as well as emerging areas such as cultural politics and political economy. Books in the series will analyse contemporary political practices with regards to the environment and/or explore possible future directions for the ‘greening’ of contemporary politics. The series will be of interest not only to academics and students working in the environmental field, but will also demand to be read within the broader discipline.

The series consists of two strands:

Environmental Politics addresses the needs of students and teachers, and the titles are published in paperback and hardback.

Routledge Research in Environmental Politics presents innovative new research intended for high-level specialist readership. These titles are published in hardback only.

Learn more…

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