Theorizing Environmental Governance of the World System: Global Political Economy Theory and Some Applications to Stratospheric Ozone Politics
AbstractThis paper incorporates world-systems perspectives into an analysis of global environmental politics, thus adjoining a political economic analysis of scale with studies of global environmental policy. It is the ability of some social groups and institutions to jump scale that determines how global environmental policies are shaped. The United States? carbon-intensive economy is seen to face larger short-term costs from global environmental agreements than many other countries in the core of the world-system, but what remains unexplored in the environmental politics literature is the question of why the United States sees its long-term economic condition hindered by these agreements. This analysis points to the ways industry actors intervene at multiple scales of global environmental negotiations to affect national policy positions as well as larger discourses about science and risk. The article reviews the methyl bromide controversy in the Montreal Protocol to explain why this agreement has recently failed to live up to expectations in removing ozone-depleting substances. The United States is particularly responsible for this impediment: rather than innovate in response to new information and changing international contexts, industry actors have drawn upon US hegemony to enforce their dominant market positions. As the parties to the Montreal Protocol remain polarized over questions of methyl bromide use, this analysis calls for attention to the ways capital, states, and other social institutions are embedded in international environmental agreements and how they use such arrangements to obstruct successful multilateral agreements. I conclude by suggesting that environmental and other social movements might strategize in two ways: 1) by helping support an emergent ?green hegemony? (most apparent in Chinese policy) as a counterhegemonic alternative, and 2) by developing strategies that account for the ways industry interests overlap with declining US hegemony in a shifting world-system.
How to Cite
Gareau, B. J. (2012). Theorizing Environmental Governance of the World System: Global Political Economy Theory and Some Applications to Stratospheric Ozone Politics. Journal of World-Systems Research, 18(2), 187–210. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2012.480
General Section: Articles
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.