Henrik Selin

Henrik Selin is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He is the author of Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals (MIT Press).

  • Mercury Stories

    Mercury Stories

    Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile Element

    Henrik Selin and Noelle Eckley Selin

    An interdisciplinary analysis of human interactions with mercury through history that sheds light on efforts to promote and achieve sustainability.

    In Mercury Stories, Henrik Selin and Noelle Eckley Selin examine sustainability through analyzing human interactions with mercury over thousands of years. They explore how people have made beneficial use of this volatile element, how they have been harmed by its toxic properties, and how they have tried to protect themselves and the environment from its damaging effects. Taking a systems approach, they develop and apply an analytical framework that can inform other efforts to evaluate and promote sustainability.

    After introducing the framework, which uses the lens of a human-technical environmental system and a matrix-based approach to analyze mercury use and exposure, the authors examine five topical mercury systems that each illustrate important issues in mercury science and governance: global cycling of mercury through the atmosphere, land, oceans, and societies; mercury's dangers to human health, including from occupational, medical, and dietary exposure; mercury emissions to the atmosphere from industrial sources; mercury in commercial products and production processes; and mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. Finally, looking across the five mercury systems, they distill insights for sustainability analysis more broadly, and draw lessons for researchers, decision-makers, and concerned citizens.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals

    Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals

    Challenges of Multilevel Management

    Henrik Selin

    An analysis of the regime for the management of hazardous chemicals, highlighting the insights it provides for effective multilevel governance in other areas.

    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.

    • Hardcover $44.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Changing Climates in North American Politics

    Changing Climates in North American Politics

    Institutions, Policymaking, and Multilevel Governance

    Henrik Selin and Stacy D. VanDeveer

    Analysis of climate change policy innovations across North America at transnational, federal, state, and local levels, involving public, private, and civic actors.

    North American policy responses to global climate change are complex and sometimes contradictory and reach across multiple levels of government. For example, the U.S. federal government rejected the Kyoto Protocol and mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) restrictions, but California developed some of the world's most comprehensive climate change law and regulation; Canada's federal government ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but Canadian GHG emissions increased even faster than those of the United States; and Mexico's state-owned oil company addressed climate change issues in the 1990s, in stark contrast to leading U.S. and Canadian energy firms. This book is the first to examine and compare political action for climate change across North America, at levels ranging from continental to municipal, in locations ranging from Mexico to Toronto to Portland, Maine. Changing Climates in North American Politics investigates new or emerging institutions, policies, and practices in North American climate governance; the roles played by public, private, and civil society actors; the diffusion of policy across different jurisdictions; and the effectiveness of multilevel North American climate change governance. It finds that although national climate policies vary widely, the complexities and divergences are even greater at the subnational level. Policy initiatives are developed separately in states, provinces, cities, large corporations, NAFTA bodies, universities, NGOs, and private firms, and this lack of coordination limits the effectiveness of multilevel climate change governance. In North America, unlike much of Europe, climate change governance has been largely bottom-up rather than top-down.

    Contributors Michele Betsill, Alexander Farrell, Christopher Gore, Michael Hanemann, Virginia Haufler, Charles Jones, Dovev Levine, David Levy, Susanne Moser, Annika Nilsson, Simone Pulver, Barry Rabe, Pamela Robinson, Ian Rowlands, Henrik Selin, Peter Stoett, Stacy VanDeveer

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $34.00

Contributor

  • Comparative Environmental Politics

    Comparative Environmental Politics

    Theory, Practice, and Prospects

    Paul F. Steinberg and Stacy D. VanDeveer

    Combining the theoretical tools of comparative politics with the substantive concerns of environmental policy, experts explore responses to environmental problems across nations and political systems

    How do different societies respond politically to environmental problems around the globe? Answering this question requires systematic, cross-national comparisons of political institutions, regulatory styles, and state-society relations. The field of comparative environmental politics approaches this task by bringing the theoretical tools of comparative politics to bear on the substantive concerns of environmental policy. This book outlines a comparative environmental politics framework and applies it to concrete, real-world problems of politics and environmental management.

    After a comprehensive review of the literature exploring domestic environmental politics around the world, the book provides a sample of major currents within the field, showing how environmental politics intersects with such topics as the greening of the state, the rise of social movements and green parties, European Union expansion, corporate social responsibility, federalism, political instability, management of local commons, and policymaking under democratic and authoritarian regimes. It offers fresh insights into environmental problems ranging from climate change to water scarcity and the disappearance of tropical forests, and it examines actions by state and nonstate actors at levels from the local to the continental. The book will help scholars and policymakers make sense of how environmental issues and politics are connected around the globe, and is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduateand graduate courses.

    • Hardcover $56.00
    • Paperback $35.00
  • Governing the Air

    Governing the Air

    The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction

    Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist

    Experts offer theoretical and empirical analyses that view the regulation of transboundary air pollution as a dynamic process.

    Governing the Air looks at the regulation of air pollution not as a static procedure of enactment and agreement but as a dynamic process that reflects the shifting interrelationships of science, policy, and citizens. Taking transboundary air pollution in Europe as its empirical focus, the book not only assesses the particular regulation strategies that have evolved to govern European air, but also offers theoretical insights into dynamics of social order, political negotiation, and scientific practices. These dynamics are of pivotal concern today, in light of emerging international governance problems related to climate change. The contributors, all prominent social scientists specializing in international environmental governance, review earlier findings, analyze the current situation, and discuss future directions for both empirical and theoretical work.

    The chapters discuss the institutional dimensions of international efforts to combat air pollution, examining the effectiveness of CLRTAP (Convention for Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution) and the political complexity of the European Union; offer a broad overview and detailed case studies of the roles of science, expertise, and learning; and examine the “missing link” in air pollution policies: citizen involvement.

    Changing political conditions, evolving scientific knowledge, and the need for citizen engagement offer significant challenges for air pollution policy making. By focusing on process rather than product, learning rather than knowledge, and strategies rather than interests, this book gives a nuanced view of how air pollution is made governable.

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $27.00