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Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change

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Overview

Climate change represents a "tragedy of the commons" on a global scale, requiring the cooperation of nations that do not necessarily put the Earth's well-being above their own national interests. And yet international efforts to address global warming have met with some success; the Kyoto Protocol, in which industrialized countries committed to reducing their collective emissions, took effect in 2005 (although without the participation of the United States). Reversing the lens used by previous scholarship on the topic, Global Commons, Domestic Decisions explains international action on climate change from the perspective of countries' domestic politics.

In an effort to understand both what progress has been made and why it has been so limited, experts in comparative politics look at the experience of seven jurisdictions in deciding whether or not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to pursue national climate change mitigation policies. By analyzing the domestic politics and international positions of the United States, Australia, Russia, China, the European Union, Japan, and Canada, the authors demonstrate clearly that decisions about global policies are often made locally, in the context of electoral and political incentives, the normative commitments of policymakers, and domestic political institutions. Using a common analytical framework throughout, the book offers a unique comparison of the domestic political forces within each nation that affect climate change policy and provides insights into why some countries have been able to adopt innovative and aggressive positions on climate change both domestically and internationally.

Contributors: Steinar Andresen, Inga Fritzen Buan, Kate Crowley, Kathryn Harrison, Gørild Heggelund, Laura A. Henry, Miranda A. Schreurs, Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, Yves Tiberghien

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"In the gloomy aftermath of the Copenhagen climate summit, there has been much talk of finding new ways to advance policy change at the national level. This skillfully edited and illuminating collection of national studies identifies the possibilities as well as the obstacles to pursuing policy change at this level of governance. I am certain it will meet the needs of students and scholars of international as well as comparative environmental politics and policy." Andrew J.
Jordan, Professor, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East
Anglia

The MIT Press

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kathryn Harrison is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword ix

1 Introduction: Global Commons, Domestic Decisions Kathryn Harrison Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom 1

2 European Union Leadership in Climate Change: Mitigation through Multilevel Reinforcement Miranda A. Schreurs Yves Tiberghien 23

3 The United States as Outlier: Economic and Institutional Challenges to US Climate Policy Kathryn Harrison 67

4 Russia and the Kyoto Protocol: From Hot Air to Implementation? Laura A. Henry Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom 105

5 Climate Leadership, Japanese Style: Embedded Symbolism and Post-2001 Kyoto Protocol Politics Yves Tiberghien Miranda A. Schreurs 139

6 The Struggle of Ideas and Self-Interest in Canadian Climate Policy Kathryn Harrison 169

7 Climate Clever? Kyoto and Australia's Decade of Recalcitrance Kate Crowley 201

8 Chinese Climate Policy: Domestic Priorities, Foreign Policy, and Emerging Implementation Gørild Heggelund Steinar Andresen Inga Fritzen Buan 229

9 Conclusion: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change Kathryn Harrison Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom 261

Contributors 291

Series List 293

Index 295

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