Global Environmental Politics

Global Environmental Politics

Global Environmental Politics

Global Environmental Politics

Synopsis

When Global Environmental Politics was first published, the environment was just emerging as a pivotal issue in traditional international relations. Now the environment is a topic central to discussions of security politics and the relationship between foreign and domestic policy- and so much has changed that Gareth Porter and Janet Welsh Brown found themselves rewriting more than half of their original text. With new cases on biodiversity and desertification, this classic work is more complete and up-to-date than any survey of environmental politics on the market. In addition to providing a concise yet comprehensive overview of global environmental issues, the authors have worked to contextualize key topics such as the Rio conference, water security, the biodiversity treaty, and trade in toxics. Environmental concerns from global warming to the ozone layer to whaling are seen as challenges to transnational relations, with governments, NGOs, IGOs, and MNCs all facing the prospect of multilateral interaction to solve a growing global problem.

Excerpt

Until the 1980s, global environmental problems were regarded by major powers as minor issues that were marginal to their national interests and to international politics. But because of the rise of environmental movements in the industrialized countries and the appearance of wellpublicized global environmental threats that could affect profoundly the welfare of all humankind--such as the depletion of the ozone layer, global temperature increases, and depletion of the world's fisheries-- global environmental issues have assumed a new status in world politics. These issues are no longer viewed as merely scientific and technical issues but as intertwined with central issues in world politics: the international system of resource production and use, the liberalization of world trade, North-South relations, and even international conflict and internal social and political stability.

This new status of global environmental issues was reflected in the fact that the first global summit meeting in world history was the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That conference also further heightened popular and official interest in global environmental problems and their relationships with economic policies, both domestic and international. By the early 1990s, it was not an exaggeration to say that the global environment had emerged as the third major issue area in world politics, along with international security and global economics.

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