Comparative Environmental Politics
While we cannot hope to provide definitive answers to these questions, as political scientists we proceed from the assumption that much can be learned through the application of the existing tools of comparative political analysis. Two of the incidents occurred in developing countries (one a parliamentary democracy, the other a democratizing presidential system), and one occurred in a highly developed presidential democracy. All three countries are federal systems, with multiple layers of environmental regulation, although sub-national government seems to be better institutionalized and more effective in the United States. Only one of the incidents occurred within the sovereign territory of a country with an effective federal environmental protection agency and highly transparent policy and judicial processes. None of the three nation-states involved has a strong “green” political party. And the affected communities in all three cases remain dissatisfied with the outcomes to varying degrees. What can we make of these observations? Is there a systematic relationship between them (or any other political, social, cultural or economic factors) and the responses to environmental crises by nation-states? To answer these questions a more systematic analysis of the attendant political processes is needed. Only then can we suggest whether hope or despair is a more appropriate reaction. 1. 2 Global Environmental Issues Since the 1960s, environmental issues have entered the agendas of most nation-states. Pollution of land, air, and water have endangered ecosystems and public health, and called for a governmental response.
Provides an examination of the ways environmental groups, movements, and parties affect governance Draws examples and data from a wide array of developing and developed countries and every region of the worldApplies the tools of comparative political analysis to pressing environmental issuesAllows an evaluation of the urgency of environmental crises and the capability of national governments to deal with them