Review: Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sea

Article excerpt

Review: Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sea By Lasse Ringius Reviewed by Umar Karim Mirza Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Pakistan Lasse Ringius. Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sea. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. 261 pp. ISBN 0-262-68118-8 (paperback). US$23.95. Acid-free paper.

Most studies of environmental regimes focus on the use of power, the pursuit of rational self-interest, and the influence of scientific knowledge. This book focuses instead on the influence of public ideas and policy entrepreneurs, and makes a significant contribution by showing that, under certain circumstances, regimes can be created and changed by a combination of powerful but highly oversimplified public ideas and transnational political entrepreneurs. The careful analysis of the creation of the global ocean dumping regime in 1972 and its transformation in 1993 to include a ban on the disposal at sea of radioactive waste, persuasively demonstrates the importance of public ideas, transnational coalitions of policy entrepreneurs, and environmental non-governmental organizations. The analysis contains important insights for international environmental policy. Ringius shows how transnational coalitions of policy entrepreneurs can build environmental regimes, and how global non-governmental organizations can act as catalysts for regime change.

In this first book-length empirical study of the formation of the global ocean dumping regime in 1972 and its subsequent development, Ringius describes the structure within which global ocean dumping policy, particularly with regard to the disposal of radioactive waste, is embedded. He also examines the political construction of ocean dumping as a global environmental problem, the role of persuasion and communication in an international setting, and the formation of international public opinion. …


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