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This text surveys current conceptual, theoretical, and methodological approaches to global climate change and international relations. Although it focuses on the role of states, it also examines the role of nonstate actors and international organizations whenever state-centric explanations are insufficient. The book begins with a discussion of environmental constraints on human activities, the environmental consequences of human activities, and the history of global climate change cooperation. It then moves to an analysis of the global climate regime from various conceptual and theoretical perspectives. These include realism and neorealism, historical materialism, neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory, and epistemic community and cognitive approaches. Stressing the role of nonstate actors, the book looks at the importance of the domestic-international relationship in negotiations on climate change. It then looks at game-theoretical and simulation approaches to the politics of global climate change. It emphasizes questions of equity and the legal difficulties of implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. It concludes with a discussion of global climate change and other aspects of international relations, including other global environmental accords and world trade. The book also contains Internet references to major relevant documents.
Dealing with global climate change will pose major issues for the international community and will require unprecedented international cooperation. These issues and efforts to obtain cooperation are certain to be salient in debates about international public policy for many years to come. This debate will be more sophisticated and more likely to yield good results if illuminated by the advances that have been made in international relations theory, and international relations theory will be enriched by being engaged in the debate. This book makes vital contributions to both objectives. --Harold K. Jacobson, Jesse Siddal Reeves Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan
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Urs Luterbacher is Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, and Chair of the Political Science Department at the Institute.