Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics (Global Environmental Governance)

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Transatlantic differences in these areas peaked during the George W. Bush administration but in many cases were rooted in more fundamental cultural, political, economic, and institutional factors that divide the world's two largest markets. This volume contributes significantly to the growing literature on both transatlantic relations and comparative environmental policy. Schreurs, Selin, and VanDeveer, themselves leading scholars of international environmental politics, have brought together an impressive group of North American and European academics and practitioners to examine several major questions in their field of expertise: To what extent do policies of the United States and the EU diverge or conflict?

What are the sources of these differences? Are they increasing over time, or are there countertendencies toward mutual learning and convergence? How have these divergences impacted the transatlantic alliance? What are the broader implications of U. These are critically important issues for academics, public officials, nongovernmental organizations, and all members of the broader environmental policy community.

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While it is true that the EU has moved ahead in many areas in which precaution and sustainability are guiding principles, it is not universally true. In several areas such as forestry certification, disease prevention, and export credit guarantees , the United States has adopted more protective policies than Europe. Furthermore, there is considerable variation in the positions of individual European countries and between the federal government and the states in the United States.

Indeed, the policies of many American states are now similar to those of the EU. Following an introduction by the editors, the book is divided into four sections. These chapters set out useful theoretical approaches for understanding how different actors establish access and influence policy on the two sides of the Atlantic through the lenses of network analysis and institutionalized opportunity structures.

Part II contains five case studies of policy differences in the areas of chemicals management Henrik Selin ; banning asbestos Marcus Carson ; electronic product waste and recycling Alastair Iles ; genetically modified foods Patricia Keilbach ; and international biotech controls under the Cartagena Protocol and other international bodies Thomas Bernauer and Philipp Aerni. In each of these areas, the EU has moved considerably beyond the United States e. These chapters bring out the increasing richness and complexity of transatlantic relations by stressing the growing role of subnational actors in compensating for the absence of energy and climate policies at the federal level in the United States.

Finally, Part IV changes the focus to international market and trade policies.

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Marcus Schaper compares the progressive stance of U. The level of scholarship is high throughout the book. However, as is common in edited collections, the contributors do not adhere to a single methodology or set of concepts in carrying out their analyses. Some authors make much more of an effort to explain causation than others Iles does perhaps the best job in his chapter on product regulation. Nevertheless, they find a great deal of common ground. For example, all seem to agree that the rapid development of environmental competence in the institutions of the EU during the past two decades has been a major factor in thrusting European policies ahead.

At the same time, since the s, U.

The Future of Global Environmental Governance (Int'l Env'l Politics Course: Lecture 19)

Overall, institutional differences turn out to matter a great deal. This book was completed before election of the Obama administration, which has repudiated many of the policies of the Bush administration and has vowed to make energy and environmental cooperation a centerpiece in rebuilding the transatlantic alliance. It will be interesting to see whether this major shift in American politics will reverse many of the trends discussed in this book, or whether more intractable underlying factors will continue to generate conflict.

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