American Foreign Environmental Policy and the Power of the State


In an increasingly interdependent world, marked by growing numbers of non-governmental organizations and international institutions, American Foreign Environmental Policy presents a powerful argument for the continued relevance of the state to our understanding of international relations. Drawing on detailed primary research, the author examines the key role central state officials have played in formulating American foreign environmental policy, and concludes that claims for the diminishing domestic-international divide, and the erosion of state sovereignty are overstated. Nonetheless, in arguing forcefully that the focus for explanation should lie with politics inside the institutions of state, Hopgood rejects Realist, Pluralist, and Marxist accounts of foreign-policy making. His state-centric focus allows for domestic and international factors to play a role at the same time as stressing that, in foreign environmental politics at least, the state remains the dominant policy-making institution. This pathbreaking study represents a major contribution to International Relations theory, whilst at the same time, offering a wealth of fascinating, original, empirical research which will be of interest to all those working in the field of environmental studies.

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