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In the absence of world government, effective national policy is essential to the success of international environmental initiatives. Yet research on global environmental cooperation has proceeded without models of policy change in developing countries, where most of the world's people, land, and species are found. In this book Paul Steinberg provides a theoretical framework to explain the domestic responses of developing countries to global environmental concerns. Drawing on extensive field research, he traces the evolution of public policies to protect biological diversity in Costa Rica and Bolivia over the past four decades, to understand how these countries emerged as leaders in tropical conservation and how international institutions might support similar outcomes in other countries. "Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries" explodes the myth that developing countries are too preoccupied with short-term economic growth and material survival to devote attention to global environmental concerns. Instead it offers a nuanced account of complex, decades-long efforts to create effective institutions, and analyzes the relative roles of foreign and domestic actors in this process.
Paul F. Steinberg is Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College.
This is an unusually interesting approach to a subject that receives too little attention and a notable account of a largely undisclosed history. It will be a very significant contribution to the field. - Michael Redclift, Department of Geography, King's College London