The world's industrialized nations are the major consumers of the Earth's resources and major sources of environmental pollution. Environmental protection plays an important role in the politics of most of these nations. Although a large and growing body of literature exists on environmental problems and policies in the developed world, most of it focuses on government policy in individual nations. A smaller body of literature compares specific environmental policies in two or more nations. Taking a broader approach, this book examines the environmental policy process in seven major industrialized nations: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Each chapter discusses one country's major environmental problems and determinants of its environmental politics and policy. It also analyzes the interplay between politics and policy and offers suggesions for developing effective policy.
The book analyzes the role of institutions, interests, and values in shaping policies in each of the seven countries. An institutional perspective provides a common framework, focusing on three kinds of institutions: business and industry; federal and provincial governments; and international organizations. The final chapter offers hypotheses concerning institutions and environmental policy as a basis for further research.