The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism [NOOK Book]

Overview

The most significant shift in environmental governance over the last thirty years has been the convergence of environmental and liberal economic norms toward "liberal environmentalism"—which predicates environmental protection on the promotion and maintenance of a liberal economic order. Steven Bernstein assesses the reasons for this historical shift, introduces a socio-evolutionary explanation for the selection of international norms, and ...
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The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism

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Overview

The most significant shift in environmental governance over the last thirty years has been the convergence of environmental and liberal economic norms toward "liberal environmentalism"—which predicates environmental protection on the promotion and maintenance of a liberal economic order. Steven Bernstein assesses the reasons for this historical shift, introduces a socio-evolutionary explanation for the selection of international norms, and considers the implications for our ability to address global environmental problems.

The author maintains that the institutionalization of "sustainable development" at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) legitimized the evolution toward liberal environmentalism. Arguing that most of the literature on international environmental politics is too rationalist and problem-specific, Bernstein challenges the mainstream thinking on international cooperation by showing that it is always for some purpose or goal. His analysis of the norms that guide global environmental policy also challenges the often-presumed primacy of science in environmental governance.

Runner-Up Harold & Margaret Sprout Award of the International Studies Association

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Editorial Reviews

Mark W. Zacher
Clearly one of the best studies on international environmental politics.
Perspectives on Politics - Don Munton

[T]ackled with style and commitment... [t]his is a book that many should and will want to read, both for its assessment of environmentalism internationally and for its original contribution to constructivist theory.

Choice

Bernstein convincingly and usefully rejects the role of epistemic communities as a driving force behind the norm change he identifies... Compelling... His attention to the role of ideas in environmental policy is important.

Environmental Politics

An original and thorough analysis of the evolution of international environmental governance.... this fascinating work makes an important contribution.

Perspectives on Politics
[T]ackled with style and commitment... [t]his is a book that many should and will want to read, both for its assessment of environmentalism internationally and for its original contribution to constructivist theory.

— Don Munton

Choice

Bernstein convincingly and usefully rejects the role of epistemic communities as a driving force behind the norm change he identifies... Compelling... His attention to the role of ideas in environmental policy is important.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231504300
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Steven Bernstein is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto.



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Table of Contents

List of Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
The Evolution of International Environmental Governance 4
Explaining the Evolution of Environmental Governance 7
Metatheoretical Issues 22
2 From Environmental Protection to Sustainable Development 28
Identifying Norms 29
United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) 31
From Stockholm to Sustainable Development 49
World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) 58
3 Environment, Development, and Liberal Environmentalism 70
From Brundtland to Rio 71
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 83
Liberal Environmentalism After Rio 110
4 Epistemic Communities, Science, and International Environmental Governance 122
Explaining Norm Creation and Change With Epistemic Communities 125
The Role of Scientist and Scientific Ecology 130
The Influence of Scientists and Scientific Ecology 137
5 Economic Ideas, Social Structure, and the Evolution of International Environmental Governance 178
Socio-Evolution and Governance 181
Limited Success: Economic Ideas, the North-South Divide, and Ecodevelopment 191
Sustainable Development and the OECD 196
The "Fit" with Social Structure 202
UNCED Outcomes and Liberal Environmentalism 209
6 Conclusion 213
Theoretical Implications 215
Empirical and Policy Implications 223
Notes 245
Bibliography 271
Index 295
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