Global Commons, Domestic Decisions

Global Commons, Domestic Decisions : The Comparative Politics of Climate Change

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Comparative case studies and analyses of the influence of domestic politics on countries' climate change policies and Kyoto ratification decisions.

Climate change represents a "tragedy of the commons" on a global scale, requiring the cooperation of nations that do not necessarily put the Earth's well-being above their own national interests. And yet international efforts to address global warming have met with some success; the Kyoto Protocol, in which industrialized countries committed to reducing their collective emissions, took effect in 2005 (although without the participation of the United States). Reversing the lens used by previous scholarship on the topic, Global Commons, Domestic Decisions explains international action on climate change from the perspective of countries' domestic politics. In an effort to understand both what progress has been made and why it has been so limited, experts in comparative politics look at the experience of seven jurisdictions in deciding whether or not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to pursue national climate change mitigation policies. By analyzing the domestic politics and international positions of the United States, Australia, Russia, China, the European Union, Japan, and Canada, the authors demonstrate clearly that decisions about global policies are often made locally, in the context of electoral and political incentives, the normative commitments of policymakers, and domestic political institutions. Using a common analytical framework throughout, the book offers a unique comparison of the domestic political forces within each nation that affect climate change policy and provides insights into why some countries have been able to adopt innovative and aggressive positions on climate change both domestically and internationally.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 567g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • 1 chart, 8 graphs, 17 tables
  • 0262014262
  • 9780262014267
  • 2,128,824

Review quote

"This book makes an important and distinctive contribution to the literature on comparative environmental policies and politics. It clearly and convincingly describes and explains the the policy approaches of the European Union, the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Australia, and China toward addressing the risks of global climate change. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the complex relationship between the domestic and international dimensions of climate change policies." David Vogel, Haas School of Business, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley "In the gloomy aftermath of the Copenhagen climate summit, there has been much talk of finding new ways to advance policy change at the national level. This skillfully edited and illuminating collection of national studies identifies the possibilities as well as the obstacles to pursuing policy change at this level of governance. I am certain it will meet the needs of students and scholars of international as well as comparative environmental politics and policy." Andrew J. Jordan, Professor, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia
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About Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.
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