The Globalization of Environmental Protection: The Case of Environmental Impact Assessment (1).(Statistical Data Included)

By Hironaka, Ann | International Journal of Comparative Sociology, March 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Globalization of Environmental Protection: The Case of Environmental Impact Assessment (1).(Statistical Data Included)


Hironaka, Ann, International Journal of Comparative Sociology


Introduction

Concern for the environment is a major issue in the international arena. Hundreds of international organizations have sprung up to cope with the many pressing environmental issues. Dozens of environmental conferences are held each year to deal with various environmental problems, often resulting in the creation of international environmental treaties. Scientists continue to gather data on air, water, land pollution, and other indicators of environmental degradation in order to monitor the environment and to identify new problems.

International concern for the environment has existed for several decades, but became particularly intense after 1972, with the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme. Figure 1 gives an indication of the growth of this international environmental activity since 1900. It shows the cumulative number of international environmental nongovernmental organizations, international environmental intergovernmental organizations, and international treaties concerned with environmental issues in each year (details on data collection and coding may

This global concern about the environment has prompted international demand for solutions. One solution that has received approval from key international environmental organizations has been Environmental Impact Assessments. Environmental Impact Assessments were first developed in the United States in 1969, but have diffused rapidly to many other countries in the following decades. Figure 2 shows the cumulative count of nation-states that have adopted Environmental Impact Assessment legislation (see Data and Methods section for data sources).

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are reports of predicted environmental consequences that are typically a prerequisite to development projects such as roads or buildings (Gilpin 1995; Ahmad 1985). Ideally, an EIA fulfills three tasks. First, the EIA describes the proposed project and the predicted environmental effects of the project in the immediate and long-term future. Second, the EIA lays out the alternatives for the decision-maker and calculates the costs and benefits of each alternative. Third, the public and relevant interest groups are informed about the contents of the EJA and are allowed to negotiate over the details of the plan. The final decision on the development project is usually made by a government agency.

This paper argues that in most countries, EIA legislation has been adopted primarily in response to encouragement from the global environmental regime rather than due to the intrinsic procedural efficiencies of EIAs or due to pressure from domestic environmental groups. The international system has encouraged nation-state adoption of EIAs in three critical ways. First, international organizations have put environmental issues high on the agendas of nation-states. Although some of the industrialized Western states have also experienced domestic pressures for environmental protection, state environmental activity around the world has been substantially increased and influenced by the high priority which the international system has placed on environmental issues (Frank et al. 2000; Meyer et al. 1997).

Second, international organizations aid nation-state adoption by packaging EIA procedures so that nation-states can more easily adopt them (Strang and Meyer 1993). The OECD, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank have all published guidelines for instituting EIA legislation and provided training and advisors (Ruster, Simma, and Bock 1983; Training Workshop UNESCAP 1989; OECD 1979; Ahmad 1985). States adopt these neat, standardized packages more easily than taking the messy, expensive, and time-consuming alternative of tailoring an environmental protection program to the varied environmental problems and conditions of their particular ecosystems.

Third, international organizations have utilized their power in an advisory mode, rather than a coercive mode.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Globalization of Environmental Protection: The Case of Environmental Impact Assessment (1).(Statistical Data Included)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.