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Environmental Politics & Policy

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Culture, Conflict, and Ecology

The history of the commons—jointly owned land or other resources such as fisheries or forests set aside for public use—provides a useful context for current debates over sustainability and how we can act as “good ancestors.” In this book, Derek Wall considers the commons from antiquity to the present day, as an idea, an ecological space, an economic abstraction, and a management practice. He argues that the commons should be viewed neither as a “tragedy” of mismanagement (as the biologist Garrett Hardin wrote in 1968) nor as a panacea for solving environmental problems.

Reluctant Activists and Natural Gas Drilling

When natural gas drilling moves into an urban or a suburban neighborhood, a two-hundred-foot-high drill appears on the other side of a back yard fence and diesel trucks clog a quiet two-lane residential street. Children seem to be having more than the usual number of nosebleeds. There are so many local cases of cancer that the elementary school starts a cancer support group.

The oceans are heavily overfished, and the greatest challenges to effective fisheries management are not technical but political and economic. In this book, D. G. Webster describes how the political economy of fisheries has evolved and highlights patterns that are linked to sustainable transitions in specific fisheries.

Remaking the Politics of Displacement

Portland, Oregon, is one of the most beautiful, livable cities in the United States. It has walkable neighborhoods, bike lanes, low-density housing, public transportation, and significant green space—not to mention craft-beer bars and locavore food trucks. But liberal Portland is also the whitest city in the country. This is not circumstance; the city has a long history of officially sanctioned racialized displacement that continues today.
 

Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities

This survey of current issues and controversies in environmental policy and management is unique in its thematic mix, broad coverage of key debates, and in-depth analysis. The contributing authors, all distinguished scholars or practitioners, offer a comprehensive examination of key topics in the continuing evolution of environmental governance, with perspectives from public policy, public administration, political science, international relations, sustainability theory, environmental economics, risk analysis, and democratic theory.

The Path to Climate Cooperation

After twenty-five years of failure, climate negotiations continue to use a “pledge and review” approach: countries pledge (almost anything), subject to (unenforced) review. This approach ignores everything we know about human cooperation. In this book, leading economists describe an alternate model for climate agreements, drawing on the work of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and others.

Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals built on and broadened the earlier Millennium Development Goals, but they also signaled a larger shift in governance strategies. The seventeen goals add detailed content to the concept of sustainable development, identify specific targets for each goal, and help frame a broader, more coherent, and transformative 2030 agenda.

An Insider’s Account of State Power in a Coal Nation

The United States has pledged to the world community a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. Because much of this reduction must come from electric utilities, especially coal-fired power plants, coal states will make or break the U.S. commitment to emissions reduction. In Climate of Capitulation, Vivian Thomson offers an insider’s account of how power is wielded in environmental policy making at the state level.

Efficient Legal Policies for Risk Governance and Compensation

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems inject highly compressed carbon dioxide gas deep into geological formations in order to contain the gas, and its harmful effects on the planet, for the foreseeable future and beyond—for centuries or even millennia. Used effectively, CCS could lessen the impact of climate change while carbon-free energy sources are developed. And yet CCS is not widely deployed. In this book, Michael Faure and Roy Partain offer a theoretical and practical discussion of one of the main obstacles to CCS adoption: complex liability and compensation issues.

Social Capital for the Anthropocene

The onset of the Anthropocene, an era in which human actions have become major drivers of change on a planetary scale, has increased the complexity of socioecological systems. Complex systems pose novel challenges for governance because of their high levels of connectivity, nonlinear dynamics, directional patterns of change, and emergent properties. Meeting these challenges will require the development of new intellectual capital.

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