Countering the current view of many environmental activists that sovereign nations cannot provide effective environmental governance, The State and the Global Ecological Crisis offers analyses and case studies that explore the prospects for "reinstating the state" as a facilitator of progressive environmental change rather than a contributor to environmental destruction. The authors recognize that, despite the new pressures of global economic competition and rapid technological change, the state remains the preeminent institution with the capacity and authority to secure environmental protection. The book explores the possibilities for the "greening" of the state, domestically and internationally, looking at states both as individual governments and in multilateral or regional regimes. It examines cases in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines and analyzes the broader theoretical implications.
The first part of the book focuses on domestic environmental governance, with both single and comparative case studies that range from the potential emergence of an "ecological state" paralleling the development of the welfare state to the theory and practice of environmental justice in the United States. The book's second part addresses the role of the state in transnational environmental governance and looks at topics including environmental rights in the European Union, hybrid forms of governance involving both state and nonstate actors, and an alternative foundation for global environmental governance. Each chapter not only offers a critical analysis of current developments but also identifies new initiatives and opportunities that may accelerate environmental progress.
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John Barry is Deputy Director and Reader in Politics at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy, and Social Research at Queens University, Belfast. He is the author of Rethinking Green Politics and coeditor of the International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics. Robyn Eckersley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2004).