Nation-States and the Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History

Overview

Hardly a day passes without journalists, policymakers, academics, or scientists calling attention to the worldwide scale of the environmental crisis confronting humankind. While climate change has generated the greatest alarm in recent years, other global problems-desertification, toxic pollution, species extinctions, drought, and deforestation, to name just a few-loom close behind. The scope of the most pressing environmental problems far exceeds the capacity of individual nation-states, much less smaller ...

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Nation-States and the Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History

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Overview

Hardly a day passes without journalists, policymakers, academics, or scientists calling attention to the worldwide scale of the environmental crisis confronting humankind. While climate change has generated the greatest alarm in recent years, other global problems-desertification, toxic pollution, species extinctions, drought, and deforestation, to name just a few-loom close behind. The scope of the most pressing environmental problems far exceeds the capacity of individual nation-states, much less smaller political entities. To compound these problems, economic globalization, the growth of non-governmental activist groups, and the accelerating flow of information have fundamentally transformed the geopolitical landscape. Despite the new urgency of these challenges, however, they are not without historical precedent. As this book shows, nation-states have long sought agreements to manage migratory wildlife, just as they have negotiated conventions governing the exploitation of rivers and other bodies of water. Similarly, nation-states have long attempted to control resources beyond their borders, to impose their standards of proper environmental exploitation on others, and to draw on expertise developed elsewhere to cope with environmental problems at home. This collection examines this little-understood history, providing case studies and context to inform ongoing debates.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A commendable compilation. Suitable for use in seminars in either environmental or diplomatic history."—CHOICE

"We often make our judgments on our biological future as looming and/or glowing in accordance with our assessment of choices we made on such momentous matters in the past. I advise that we should start that assessment by reading Nation-States and the Global Environment." —Alfred W. Crosby, author of Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity's Unappeasable Appetite for Energy

"This valuable collection is the most up-to-date and wide-ranging set of essays available on modern environmental history in global context. It tackles one of the most important tensions facing the contemporary world: the cross-national nature of key environmental problems, yet the centrality of nation states to the solution of these problems. The authors provide essential historical depth to current policy discussions and public debate on environmental issues, and pioneering contributions to global and transnational history." —Ian Tyrrell, University of New South Wales

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199755356
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Erika Marie Bsumek is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Indian-Made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1868-1940.

David Kinkela is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York Fredonia and the author of DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide that Changed the World.

Mark Atwood Lawrence is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam and The Vietnam War: A Concise International History.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction
Erika Marie Bsumek, David Kinkela, and Mark Atwood Lawrence

Part I: Nature, Nation-States, and the Regulatory Dilemma
1. Europe's River: The Rhine as Prelude to Transnational Cooperation and the Common Market, Mark Cioc
2. National Sovereignty, the International Whaling Commission, and the Save the Whales Movement, Kurk Dorsey
3. Global Borders and the Fish that Ignore Them: The Cold War Roots of Overfishing, Mary Carmel Finley
4. Making Parks out of Making Wars: Transnational Nature Conservation and Environmental Diplomacy in the Twenty-First Century, Greg Bankoff
5. Going Global After Vietnam: The End of Agent Orange and the Rise of an International Environmental Regime, David Zierler
6. The Paradox of U.S. Pesticide Policy during the Age of Ecology, David Kinkela

Part II: Nature, Nations, and the Circulation of Knowledge
7. The Imperial Politics of Hurricane Prediction: From Calcutta and Havana to Manila and Galveston, 1839-1900, Gregory T. Cushman
8. Biological Control, Transnational Exchange, and the Construction of Environmental Thought in the United States, 1840-1920, James E. McWilliams
9. Bird Day: Promoting the Gospel of Kindness in the Philippines during the American Occupation, Janet M. Davis
10. Salmon Migrations, Nez Perce Nationalism, and the Global Economy, Benedict J. Colombi
11. The Brazilian Amazon and the Transnational Environment, 1940-1990, Seth Garfield
12. International Trash and the Politics of Poverty: Conceptualizing the Transnational Waste Trade, Emily Brownell

Afterword: International Systems and Their Discontents, J.R. McNeill

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