The International Political Economy of the Environment: Critical Perspectives

The International Political Economy of the Environment: Critical Perspectives

The International Political Economy of the Environment: Critical Perspectives

The International Political Economy of the Environment: Critical Perspectives

Synopsis

An investigation of the framing of both environmental problems and solutions to clarify the particular political dynamics and preferences that they reflect and legitimate. All the chapters raise theoretical questions at the core of research and policymaking that values social equity and health.

Excerpt

Before the late 1980s, the range of conceptual approaches in the literature on the international relations of the environment in general, and the international political economy (IPE) of the environment in particular, was quite limited. During the past ten years or so, however, the literature has grown in quantity and quality. The goal of this book is to introduce a critical approach to the IPE of the environment—an approach that focuses on the historical development and framing of environmental problems and solutions and that seeks to understand the social priorities or purpose that differing problems and solutions reflect.

This effort is motivated by our sense that many scholars and practitioners assume that, while there may be some disagreement about solutions, we do know what the problems are. The authors of this book agree with other critical thinkers who argue that the investigation of the emergence and framing of both problems and solutions remains a central endeavor of the IPE of the environment. In our view, problems and solutions are intimately related. The ways in which problems are framed delineate the kinds of solutions that will be entertained; complementarily, the kinds of solutions that are deemed desirable often shape the ways in which problems are framed. Moreover, a closer investigation of the politics associated with the historical emergence and framing of environmental problems and solutions will help reveal which standpoints, values, and preferences shape international environmental politics and policies and which are marginalized—in short, will help us to understand their social purpose.

In late 1997, we called for chapter proposals. Those who expressed interest received a précis specifying the general directions and goals of the book. During the early part of 1998, the selection process was completed and the contributors were asked to prepare

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