Environmental Problems of East Central Europe

By F. W. Carter; David Turnock | Go to book overview

2

Environmental politics andtransition

Susan Baker

Introduction: transition and the politics of the environment

This chapter examines how environmental politics is being shaped by the transition process currently underway across the region. Because of the close connection between political transformation and economic restructuring, this chapter also looks at the impact of economic reform on environmental governance in the region. Since 1989, the region has undergone a complex process of transition, involving both democratisation and marketisation. There has been a tendency by academic writers, western multilateral agencies and advisers to governments to assume that this 'transition', while complex, involves a relatively unproblematic implementation of a number of economic and political reforms (see Baker (1996) for further details). This in turn would allow progress towards a set of pre-defined end-points. However, it has become clear that 'transition', far from being a linear process, is both evolutionary and path dependent (Smith and Pickles, 1998, pp.15-16). It is evolutionary in that it is based upon institutionalised forms of learning and is path dependent in that it involves complex reworking of old social relations in the light of the attempt to construct a form of capitalism on and with the ruins of the old communist system.

Studies looking at the environmental dimensions of transition typically explore the environmental legacy of communist rule, the nature of post-communist environmental problems, the environmental management strategies evolving at the state and international levels to deal with these problems and the role played by the environmental movement in the collapse of the old regimes and, subsequently, in environmental management in post-communist states. However, understanding transition in terms of a dynamic unfolding between evolutionary and path-dependent change, what we will call the 'transition dynamic', enables us to cast new light upon the impact of transition on these environmental issues and, more generally, upon the changing nature of environmental governance. It allows us to view environmental governance within the context of the complex interface that is evolving between the legacies of the old regime and the new systems of environmental management that are being introduced across the region. It helps explain the seemingly contradictory tendencies that research to date on the environmental dimensions of transition is uncovering. On the one

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Environmental Problems of East Central Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgement xvii
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • Part I - Context 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • References 16
  • 2 - Environmental Politics and Transition 22
  • References 37
  • 3 - Environmental Movements, Nation States and Globalisation 40
  • 4 - The Central Importance of the European Union 56
  • References 89
  • 5 - The Soviet Union and the Successor States 92
  • Part II - Country Studies 117
  • 6 - Czech Republic 119
  • 7 - East Germany 139
  • References 155
  • 8 - Hungary 157
  • References 180
  • 9 - Poland 183
  • References 203
  • 10 - Slovakia 207
  • 11 - Slovenia 228
  • References 246
  • Part III - Country Studies 249
  • 12 - Albania 251
  • References 277
  • 13 - Bosnia and Hercegovina 283
  • Note 303
  • 14 - Bulgaria 305
  • 15 - Croatia 330
  • 16 - Macedonia 347
  • References 364
  • 17 - Romania 366
  • References 391
  • 18 - Yugoslavia 396
  • Part IV - Conclusion 417
  • 19 - Conclusion 419
  • References 431
  • Index 433
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