The State and the Global Ecological Crisis

The State and the Global Ecological Crisis

Edited by John Barry and Robyn Eckersley





Countering the current view of many environmental activists that sovereign nations cannot provide effective environmental governance, The State and the Global Ecological Crisis offers analyses and case studies that explore the prospects for "reinstating the state" as a facilitator of progressive environmental change rather than a contributor to environmental destruction. The authors recognize that, despite the new pressures of global economic competition and rapid technological change, the state remains the preeminent institution with the capacity and authority to secure environmental protection. The book explores the possibilities for the "greening" of the state, domestically and internationally, looking at states both as individual governments and in multilateral or regional regimes. It examines cases in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines and analyzes the broader theoretical implications. The first part of the book focuses on domestic environmental governance, with both single and comparative case studies that range from the potential emergence of an "ecological state" paralleling the development of the welfare state to the theory and practice of environmental justice in the United States. The book's second part addresses the role of the state in transnational environmental governance and looks at topics including environmental rights in the European Union, hybrid forms of governance involving both state and nonstate actors, and an alternative foundation for global environmental governance. Each chapter not only offers a critical analysis of current developments but also identifies new initiatives and opportunities that may accelerate environmental progress.


$67.00 X ISBN: 9780262025812 333 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$28.00 X ISBN: 9780262524353 333 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


John Barry

John Barry is Reader in Green Political Economy, at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast.

Robyn Eckersley

Robyn Eckersley is Reader/Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2004).


  • Barry and Eckersley provide an invaluable and timely corrective to the many jeremiads declaring the erosion or collapse of the state in the face of ceaseless globalization. Not content with reviewing and repeating the call to 'bring the state back in', the editors and contributors to this fine volume express the added enthusiasm of developing a critical green theory of the state. This is a much needed and much deferred ambition to which The State And The Global Ecological Crisis represents a powerful, coherent, and lucid original contribution.

    Julian Saurin

    Department of International Relations and Politics, University of Sussex

  • This is an impressive, provocative, and interesting collection of essays. It should be of particluar interest to political scientists and students of science studies and should also appeal to policy analysts, policymakers, and participants in the Conferences of the Parties.

    Ronnie Lipschutz

    Professor of Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • Eckersley's book will be a significant contribution for those in several subfields of politics—theory, comparative, international—for those concerned about green politics, and for those who work on theories of the state. It is especially significant that she offers critical assessments of both the realist perspective on the environmental crisis and the limits of the greening of the liberal democractic state.

    Ronnie Lipschutz

    Professor of Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz