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Hardcover | $9.75 Short | £8.95 | 248 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 2010 | ISBN: 9780262013956
Paperback | $30.00 X | £24.95 | 248 pp. | 6 x 9 in | February 2010 | ISBN: 9780262513906
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Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals

Challenges of Multilevel Management


The challenges posed by managing hazardous chemicals cross boundaries, jurisdictions, and constituencies. Since the 1960s, a chemicals regime—a multitude of formally independent but functionally related treaties and programs—has been in continuous development, as states and organizations collaborate at different governance levels to mitigate the health and environmental problems caused by hazardous chemicals. In this book, Henrik Selin analyzes the development, implementation, and future of the chemicals regime, a critical but understudied area of global governance, and proposes that the issues raised have significant implications for effective multilevel governance in many other areas. Selin focuses his analysis on three themes: coalition building in support of policy change; the diffusion of regime components across policy venues; and the influence of institutional linkages on the design and effectiveness of multilevel governance efforts. He provides in-depth empirical studies of the four multilateral treaties that form the core of the chemicals regime: the Basel Convention (1989), which regulates the transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous wastes; the Rotterdam Convention (1998), which governs the international trade in chemicals; the CLRTAP POPs Protocol (1998), designed to reduce the release and transnational transport of emissions of persistent organic pollutants; and the Stockholm Convention (2001), which targets the production, use, trade, and disposal of persistent organic pollutants. The interactions of participants and institutions within and across different levels of governance have implications for policy making and management that are not yet fully understood. Selin’s analysis of these linkages in the chemicals regime offers valuable theoretical and policy-relevant insights into the growing institutional density in global governance.

About the Author

Henrik Selin is Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University. He is the coeditor, with Stacy VanDeveer, of Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions, Policymaking, and Multilevel Governance (MIT Press, 2009).

Table of Contents

  • Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals

  • Politics, Science, and the Environment
  • Peter M. Haas and Sheila Jasanoff, editors
  • Peter Dauvergne,
  • Shadows in the Forest: Japan and the Politics of Timber in Southeast Asia
  • Peter Cebon, Urs Dahinden, Huw Davies, Dieter M. Imboden, and Carlo C. Jaeger, eds.,
  • Views from the Alps: Regional Perspectives on Climate Change
  • Clark C. Gibson, Margaret A. McKean, and Elinor Ostrom, eds.,
  • People and Forests: Communities, Institutions, and Governance
  • The Social Learning Group,
  • Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks. Volume 1
  • : A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain.
  • Volume 2:
  • A Functional Analysis of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain
  • Clark Miller and Paul N. Edwards, eds.,
  • Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance
  • Craig W. Thomas,
  • Bureaucratic Landscapes: Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity
  • Nives Dolsak and Elinor Ostrom, eds.,
  • The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptation
  • Kenneth E. Wilkening,
  • Acid Rain Science and Politics in Japan: A History of Knowledge and Action Toward Sustainability
  • Virginia M. Walsh,
  • Global Institutions and Social Knowledge: Generating Research at the Scripps Institution and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, 1900s – 1990s
  • Sheila Jasanoff and Marybeth Long Martello, eds.,
  • Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance
  • Christopher Ansell and David Vogel, eds.,
  • What’s the Beef? The Contested Governance of European Food Safety
  • Charlotte Epstein,
  • The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse
  • Ann Campbell Keller,
  • Science in Environmental Politics: The Politics of Objective Advice
  • Henrik Selin,
  • Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of Multilevel Management
Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals
  • Challenges of Multilevel Management
  • Henrik Selin
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
© 2010
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • For information about special quantity discounts, please e-mail
  • This book was set in Sabon by the MIT Press.
  • Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Selin, Henrik, 1971–
Global governance of haxzardous chemicals : challanges of multilevel management / Henrik Selin.
  •  p. cm.
  • —(Politics, science, and the environment)

  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01395-6 (hardcover : alk. paper) ISBN 978-0-262-51390-6 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Hazardous substances—Management—International cooperation. 2. Haz­ardous substances—Environmental aspects—Management—International cooperation.
  •  I. Title.
  • T55.3.H3S44 2010
  • 363.17—dc22
  • 2009029577
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Acknowledgments  vii
  • List of Acronyms  ix
  • 1 Global Governance and the Chemicals Regime  1
  • 2 Institutional Analysis and the Chemicals Regime  21
  • 3 Global Chemicals Use and Management in a Historical 
 Perspective  39
  • 4 The Basel Convention and Hazardous Waste Management  63
  • 5 The Rotterdam Convention and the Trade in Hazardous 
 Chemicals  85
  • 6 The CLRTAP POPs Protocol and Regional Standards  111
  • 7 The Stockholm Convention and Global POPs Controls  135
  • 8 Multilevel Governance and Chemicals Management
  • :
  • Past, Present, 
 and Future  163
  • Notes  197
  • References  203
  • Index  221


“A uniquely comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the global chemicals regime…Excellent background information for scholars of environmental governance, as well as for policy makers, participants, and stakeholders in the chemicals negotiations.”—Jessica Templeton, Review of Policy Research
“This well-written book tackles a very important, yet often neglected, aspect of modern environmental conservation concerns.”—Jolocam Mbabazi, Environmental Studies
“Selin’s book presents one of the most comprehensive examinations to date of the chemicals regime. Its elaborate history of this regime, as well as its clearly structured case studies, will make this work an oft-consulted reference for those active in the chemicals realm (as scholars or practitioners). It also presents a useful starting point for anyone looking to find out more about the international governance of hazardous chemicals.”—Pia M. Kohler, Global Environmental Politics
“Sometimes a concise, compact book can make its points more convincingly than one packed with details. That is the case here…This lucid, compelling presentation demonstrates that the time to establish a global chemical management regime is overdue.”—Choice
“The research that went into producing these case histories is truly impressive—this book is essential reading for scholars and practitioners working in the area of hazardous chemicals management.”—Megan Mullin, Perspectives on Politics


Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals provides an illuminating account of the evolution of the global chemicals management regime. Selin's analysis of the agreements that make up this regime provides important insights into the role of coalitions and institutional linkages in the complex and multi-scale governance efforts aimed at improving chemical safety. Highlighting an issue that to date has received less attention that it deserves, this book will be an invaluable resource for scholars and practitioners in the field of global environmental governance.”
Jennifer Clapp, CIGI Chair in International Governance and Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, coauthor of Paths to a Green World
“Taking examples from the policy area of international environmental protection, this book argues that throught the institutionalization of international cooperation, in the form of international regimes, we have reached the stage of global governance. In a mixture of empirical examples and theoretical reflections, the authors...exemplify the concept in various issue areas. Particular emphasis is given to the role of the emerging global civil society... The book is accessible for students of international politics, particularly students of international environmental policy and of international processes of institutionalization, from the undergraduate level to the level of research.”
Martin List, Professor of International Politics, FernUniversitaet Hagen
“This rich book helps us see global governance in context - as embedded in a transnational civic society and networks of institutional linkages. those of us who study governance mainly in terms of institutional "mechanics" may have to ask for a time-out to digest fully the profound implications of this message.”
Arild Underdal, University of Oslo
“This wonderfully insightful book analyzes the emerging system of global governance for environmental management and probes the implications of this system for international relations practice and theory. The authors vividly portray how humankind's efforts to treat environmental issues have led to increasingly complex interactions among international institutions, international and national non-governmental organizations, and states. They use their empirical findings to enrich regime theory and to pose fundamental questions about the evolution of the global political system. They make a vital contribution to understanding both environmental policy and international relations.”
Harold K. Jacobson, Jesse Siddal Reeves Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Scientist, University of Michigan


Runner-up, 2011 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award given by the International Studies Association