Waste Trading among Rich Nations
When most people think of hazardous waste trading, they think of egregious dumping by U.S. and European firms on poor countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. But over 80 percent of the waste trade takes place between industrialized nations and is legal by domestic and international standards. In Waste Trading among Rich Nations, Kate O'Neill asks why some industrialized nation voluntarily import such wastes in the absence of pressing economic need. She focuses on Britain as an importer and Germany as an exporter and also looks at France, Australia, and Japan.
According to O'Neill, most important in determining whether an industrialized democracy imports waste are two aspects of its regulatory system. The first is the structure of the regulatory process—how powers and responsibilities are allocated among different agencies and levels of government—and the structure of the hazardous waste disposal industry. The second is what O'Neill calls the "style" of environmental regulation, in particular access to the policy process and mode of implementation.
Hazardous waste management is in crisis in most industrialized countries and is becoming increasingly controversial in international negotiations. O'Neill not only examines waste trading empirically but also develops a theoretical model of comparative regulation that can be used to establish links between domestic and international environmental politics.
Winner of the 2002 Lynton Keith Caldwell Award presented by the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).