Paradise Lost? Environmentalism and Politics. (Editor's Note)

Article excerpt

or many years, the environment was discussed only in the domestic arena among a few politicians and academics. Recently, however, the environment has grown as a body of knowledge and emerged as a focus of political debate. When did the environment change from being a largely domestic concern to occupying the center of the agenda for world leaders? And how is the debate evolving in this era of globalization? This issue's symposium attempts to shed light upon these questions by engaging the views of policy-makers, activists, and academics who are shaping the world's environmental discourse today.

A specialist in the field of environmental history, Richard Grove of Australian National University provides a unique point of entry into the symposium by presenting a historical perspective on the development of environmentalism, with a particular focus on the role of the colonial powers. Taking independently formulated and entirely opposing positions on the role of the same agency--the World Trade Organization (WTO)--are Gary Sampson, former director of the WTO Trade and Environment Division, and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Their contributions, demonstrating the rift that continues to divide the economists from the environmentalists, may facilitate the discovery of common ground between these two camps. …