This handbook provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of Global Environmental Politics. It brings together leading international academic experts and features 40 chapters that:

  • Describe the history of global environmental politics as a discipline and explain the various theories and perspectives used by scholars and students to understand it.
  • Examine the key actors and institutions in global environmental politics, explaining the role of states, international organizations, regimes, international law, foreign policy institutions, domestic politics, corporations and transnational actors.
  • Address the ideas and themes shaping the practice and study of global environmental politics, including sustainability, consumption, expertise, uncertainty, security, diplomacy, North-South relations, globalisation, justice, ethics, participation and citizenship.
  • Assess the key issues and policies within global environmental politics, including energy, climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, acid rain, sustainable transport, persistent organic pollutants, hazardous wastes, water, rivers, wetlands, oceans, fisheries, marine mammals, biodiversity, migratory species, natural heritage, forests, desertification, food and agriculture.

With an in-depth new preface by the Editor, this edition of the handbook is an invaluable resource for students, scholars, researchers and practitioners of environmental politics, environmental studies, environmental science, geography, international relations and political science.

chapter |14 pages


Delineating global environmental politics
ByPaul G. Harris

part |68 pages

Explaining and understanding global environmental politics

chapter |13 pages

The discipline of global environmental politics

A short history
ByLoren R. Cass

chapter |12 pages

Mainstream theories

Realism, rationalism and revolutionism
ByJohn Vogler

chapter |14 pages

Alternative theories

Constructivism, Marxism and critical approaches
ByHayley Stevenson

chapter |16 pages

The study of global environmental politics

Strategies for research and learning
ByJuliann Emmons Allison

chapter |11 pages

Advanced scholarship

Interdisciplinary research at the science–policy interface
ByPeter M. Haas, Ronald B. Mitchell

part |104 pages

Actors and institutions in global environmental politics

chapter |12 pages


Nations, sovereignty and the international system
ByHugh C. Dyer

chapter |14 pages

International organizations

Global and regional environmental cooperation
ByKate O’Neill

chapter |13 pages

International environmental regimes

Formation, effectiveness and trends
ByMary E. Pettenger

chapter |14 pages

International environmental law

Sources, principles, and innovations
ByDavid B. Hunter

chapter |12 pages

Environmental foreign policy

Crossovers among levels of governance
ByMihaela Papa

chapter |14 pages

Comparative environmental politics

Domestic institutions and actors
ByStacy D. VanDeveer, Paul F. Steinberg

chapter |12 pages


Business and industrial influence
ByKyla Tienhaara

chapter |11 pages

Transnational actors

Nongovernmental organizations, civil society and individuals
ByChristian Downie

part |172 pages

Ideas and themes in global environmental politics

chapter |16 pages


Foundational principles
ByThomas Princen

chapter |10 pages


Institutions and actors
ByGabriela Kütting

chapter |16 pages


Specialized knowledge in environmental politics and sustainability
ByAndrew Karvonen, Ralf Brand

chapter |15 pages


Risk, technology and the future
ByKaren Hussey, Stephen Dovers

chapter |13 pages

Environmental security

International, national, and human
BySabina W. Lautensach, Alexander K. Lautensach

chapter |13 pages

Environmental diplomacy

International conferences and negotiations
ByRadoslav S. Dimitrov

chapter |12 pages

North–South relations

Colonialism, empire and international order
ByShangrila Joshi

chapter |12 pages

Globalization and the environment

Markets, finance, and trade
ByLada V. Kochtcheeva

chapter |12 pages

International justice

Rights and obligations of states
BySteve Vanderheiden

chapter |13 pages

Environmental justice

Pollution, poverty, and marginalized communities
ByHollie Nyseth Brehm, David N. Pellow

chapter |12 pages

Environmental ethics

Philosophy, ecology and other species
BySofia Guedes Vaz, Olivia Bina

chapter |14 pages


Public opinion and environmental action
BySandra T. Marquart-Pyatt

chapter |12 pages

Environmental citizenship

Global, local and individual
ByDerek Bell

part |174 pages

Key issues and policies in global environmental politics

chapter |12 pages

Energy and climate change

ByHugh C. Dyer

chapter |15 pages

Stratospheric ozone depletion

ByDavid Downie

chapter |12 pages

Air pollution and acid rain

ByLoren R. Cass

chapter |11 pages

Sustainable transport and infrastructure

ByIain Docherty

chapter |16 pages

Persistent organic pollutants

ByDavid Downie, Jessica Templeton

chapter |12 pages

Hazardous wastes

ByHenrik Selin

chapter |14 pages

Water, rivers and wetlands

ByJens Newig, Edward Challies

chapter |15 pages

Pollution and management of oceans and seas

ByPeter J. Jacques

chapter |13 pages

Fisheries and marine mammals

ByElizabeth R. DeSombre

chapter |13 pages

Biodiversity, migratory species and natural heritage

ByVolker Mauerhofer, Felister Nyacuru

chapter |12 pages


ByDavid Humphreys

chapter |14 pages


ByMeri Juntti

chapter |13 pages

Food and agriculture

ByJennifer Clapp, Sarah J. Martin