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Political Science & Public Policy

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Environmentalism and the Political Theory Canon

Contemporary environmental political theory considers the implications of the environmental crisis for such political concepts as rights, citizenship, justice, democracy, the state, race, class, and gender. As the field has matured, scholars have begun to explore connections between Green Theory and such canonical political thinkers as Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, and Marx. The essays in this volume put important figures from the political theory canon in dialogue with current environmental political theory. It is the first comprehensive volume to bring the insights of Green Theory to bear in reinterpreting these canonical theorists.

Individual essays cover such classical figures in Western thought as Aristotle, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, and Burke, but they also depart from the traditional canon to consider Mary Wollstonecraft, W. E. B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, and Confucius. Engaging and accessible, the essays also offer original and innovative interpretations that often challenge standard readings of these thinkers. In examining and explicating how these great thinkers of the past viewed the natural world and our relationship with nature, the essays also illuminate our current environmental predicament.

Essays on
Plato • Aristotle • Niccolò Machiavelli • Thomas Hobbes • John Locke • David Hume • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Edmund Burke • Mary Wollstonecraft • John Stuart Mill • Karl Marx • W. E. B. Du Bois • Martin Heidegger • Hannah Arendt • Confucius

Sheryl D. Breen, W. Scott Cameron, Peter F. Cannavò, Joel Jay Kassiola, Joseph H. Lane Jr. Timothy W. Luke, John M. Meyer, Özgüç Orhan, Barbara K. Seeber, Francisco Seijo, Kimberly K. Smith, Piers H. G. Stephens, Zev Trachtenberg, Andrew Valls, Harlan Wilson

Beyond Gridlock

The “golden era” of American environmental lawmaking in the 1960s and 1970s saw twenty-two pieces of major environmental legislation (including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act) passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents of both parties. But since then partisanship, the dramatic movement of Republicans to the right, and political brinksmanship have led to legislative gridlock on environmental issues. In this book, Christopher Klyza and David Sousa argue that the longstanding legislative stalemate at the national level has forced environmental policymaking onto other pathways.

Klyza and Sousa identify and analyze five alternative policy paths, which they illustrate with case studies from 1990 to the present: “appropriations politics” in Congress; executive authority; the role of the courts; “next-generation” collaborative experiments; and policymaking at the state and local levels. This updated edition features a new chapter discussing environmental policy developments from 2006 to 2012, including intensifying partisanship on the environment, the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation, the ramifications of Massachusetts v. EPA, and other Obama administration executive actions (some of which have reversed Bush administration executive actions). Yet, they argue, despite legislative gridlock, the legacy of 1960s and 1970s policies has created an enduring “green state” rooted in statutes, bureaucratic routines, and public expectations.

Telecommunications Law and Policy in the Internet Age

In Digital Crossroads, two experts on telecommunications policy offer a comprehensive and accessible analysis of the regulation of competition in the U.S. telecommunications industry. The first edition of Digital Crossroads (MIT Press, 2005) became an essential and uniquely readable guide for policymakers, lawyers, scholars, and students in a fast-moving and complex policy field. In this second edition, the authors have revised every section of every chapter to reflect the evolution in industry structure, technology, and regulatory strategy since 2005.

The book features entirely new discussions of such topics as the explosive development of the mobile broadband ecosystem; incentive auctions and other recent spectrum policy initiatives; the FCC’s net neutrality rules; the National Broadband Plan; the declining relevance of the traditional public switched telephone network; and the policy response to online video services and their potential to transform the way Americans watch television. Like its predecessor, this new edition of Digital Crossroads not only helps nonspecialists climb this field’s formidable learning curve, but also makes substantive contributions to ongoing policy debates.

The idea of the interconnectedness of nature is at the heart of environmental science. By contrast, American policy making and governance are characterized by fragmentation. Separation of powers, divergent ideologies, and geographical separation all work against a unified environmental policy. Nowhere does this mismatch between problem and solution pose a greater challenge than in climate change policy, which has implications for energy use, air quality, and such related areas as agriculture and land use. This book stresses the importance of environmental policy integration at all levels of government. It shows that effectively integrated climate, energy, and air pollution policy would ensure that tradeoffs are clear, that policies are designed to maximize and coordinate beneficial effects, and that implementation takes into account the wide range of related issues.

The authors focus on four major climate-change policy issues: burning coal to generate electricity, increasing the efficiency and use of alternative energy, reducing emissions from transportation, and understanding agriculture’s role in both generating and sequestering greenhouse gases. Going beyond specific policy concerns, the book provides a framework, based on the idea of policy integration, for assessing future climate-change policy choices.

An International Security Reader

In recent years, a new wave of scholarship has argued that democracies have unique advantages that enable them to compete vigorously in international politics. Challenging long-held beliefs--some of which go back to Thucydides’ account of the clash between democratic Athens and authoritarian Sparta--that democracy is a liability in the harsh world of international affairs, many scholars now claim that democracies win most of their wars. This research suggests that democracies emerge victorious because they prudently choose to fight wars that they can win, and because they can marshal more resources, make better decisions, and muster public support for their military campaigns. Critics counter that democracy itself makes little difference in war and that other factors, such as overall power, determine whether a country tastes victory or defeat. In some cases, such as the Vietnam War, democracy may even have contributed to defeat.

The book includes crucial contributions to the debate over democracy and military victory, presenting important theoretical, conceptual, and empirical arguments.

The Political Economy of the Global Environment

This comprehensive and accessible book fills the need for a political economy view of global environmental politics, focusing on the ways international economic processes affect environmental outcomes. It examines the main actors and forces shaping global environmental management, particularly in the developing world. Moving beyond the usual emphasis on international agreements and institutions, it strives to capture not only academic theoretical debates but also views on politics, economics, and the environment within the halls of global conferences, on the streets during antiglobalization protests, and in the boardrooms of international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry associations. The book maps out an original typology of four contrasting worldviews of environmental change--those of market liberals, institutionalists, bioenvironmentalists, and social greens--and uses them as a framework to examine the links between the global political economy and ecological change. This typology provides a common language for students, instructors, and scholars to discuss the issues across the classical social science divisions.The second edition of this popular text has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent events, including the food crisis of 2007-2008, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the Copenhagen Climate Conference of 2009. Topics covered include the environmental implications of globalization; wealth, poverty, and consumption; global trade; transnational corporations; and multilateral and private finance.

Roots, Strategies, and Responses

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless. They consider the strategies and motivations of terrorists, offering contending perspectives on whether or not terrorists can be said to achieve their goals; explore different responses to the threat of terrorism, discussing such topics as how the United States can work more effectively with its allies; and contemplate the future of al-Qaida, asking if its networked structure is an asset or a liability.

The essays in Contending with Terrorism address some of the central topics in the analysis of contemporary terrorism. They promise to guide future policy and inspire further research into one of most important security issues of the twenty-first century.

Contributors: Max Abrahms, Daniel Byman, Erica Chenoweth, Audrey Kurth Cronin, Renée de Nevers, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, Hillel Frisch, Calvert Jones, Andrew Kydd, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Elizabeth McClellan, Nicholas Miller, Assaf Moghadam, Michael Mousseau, Rysia Murphy, William Rose, Paul Staniland, Robert Trager, Barbara Walter, Dessislava Zagorcheva

Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa. The final section of the book offers recommendations for responding to the major contemporary proliferation challenges: keeping nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists, ensuring that countries that renounce nuclear weapons never change their minds, and cracking down on networks that illicitly spread nuclear technologies.

Nearly all the chapters in this book have been previously published in the journal International Security. It contains a new preface and one chapter commissioned specifically for the volume, Matthew Bunn's "Nuclear Terrorism: A Strategy for Prevention."

Contributors: Samina Ahmed, Chaim Braun, Matthew Bunn, Christopher F. Chyba, Matthew Fuhrmann, Šumit Ganguly, S. Paul Kapur, Ariel E. Levite, Peter Liberman, Austin Long, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Alexander H. Montgomery, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, William C. Potter, Whitney Raas, Scott D. Sagan, Etel Solingen

American Power and International Stability

The unprecedented military, economic, and political power of the United States has led some observers to declare that we live in a unipolar world in which America enjoys primacy or even hegemony. At the same time public opinion polls abroad reveal high levels of anti-Americanism, and many foreign governments criticize U.S. policies. Primacy and Its Discontents explores the sources of American primacy, including the uses of U.S. military power, and the likely duration of unipolarity. It offers theoretical arguments for why the rest of the world will—or will not—align against the United States. Several chapters argue that the United States is not immune to the long-standing tendency of states to balance against power, while others contend that wise U.S. policies, the growing role of international institutions, and the spread of liberal democracy can limit anti-American balancing. The final chapters debate whether countries are already engaging in "soft balancing" against the United States. The contributors offer alternative prescriptions for U.S. foreign policy, ranging from vigorous efforts to maintain American primacy to acceptance of a multipolar world of several great powers.

Contributors: Gerard Alexander, Stephen Brooks, John G. Ikenberry, Christopher Layne, Keir Lieber, John Owen IV, Robert Pape, T. V. Paul, Barry Posen, Kenneth Waltz, William Wohlforth

Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda

The past twenty-five years have seen a significant evolution in environmental policy, with new environmental legislation and substantive amendments to earlier laws, significant advances in environmental science, and changes in the treatment of science (and scientific uncertainty) by the courts. This book offers a detailed discussion of the important issues in environmental law, policy, and economics, tracing their development over the past few decades through an examination of environmental law cases and commentaries by leading scholars. The authors focus on pollution, addressing both pollution control and prevention, but also emphasize the evaluation, design, and use of the law to stimulate technical change and industrial transformation, arguing that there is a need to address broader issues of sustainable development.

Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics, which grew out of courses taught by the authors at MIT, treats the traditional topics covered in most classes in environmental law and policy, including common law and administrative law concepts and the primary federal legislation. But it goes beyond these to address topics not often found in a single volume: the information-based obligations of industry, enforcement of environmental law, market-based and voluntary alternatives to traditional regulation, risk assessment, environmental economics, and technological innovation and diffusion. Countering arguments found in other texts that government should play a reduced role in environmental protection, this book argues that clear, stringent legal requirements--coupled with flexible means for meeting them--and meaningful stakeholder participation are necessary for bringing about environmental improvements and technologicial transformations.

This book is regularly updated online at

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