Comparative Environmental Politics

From American and Comparative Environmental Policy

Comparative Environmental Politics

Theory, Practice, and Prospects

Edited by Paul F. Steinberg and Stacy D. VanDeveer

Combining the theoretical tools of comparative politics with the substantive concerns of environmental policy, experts explore responses to environmental problems across nations and political systems





Combining the theoretical tools of comparative politics with the substantive concerns of environmental policy, experts explore responses to environmental problems across nations and political systems

How do different societies respond politically to environmental problems around the globe? Answering this question requires systematic, cross-national comparisons of political institutions, regulatory styles, and state-society relations. The field of comparative environmental politics approaches this task by bringing the theoretical tools of comparative politics to bear on the substantive concerns of environmental policy. This book outlines a comparative environmental politics framework and applies it to concrete, real-world problems of politics and environmental management.

After a comprehensive review of the literature exploring domestic environmental politics around the world, the book provides a sample of major currents within the field, showing how environmental politics intersects with such topics as the greening of the state, the rise of social movements and green parties, European Union expansion, corporate social responsibility, federalism, political instability, management of local commons, and policymaking under democratic and authoritarian regimes. It offers fresh insights into environmental problems ranging from climate change to water scarcity and the disappearance of tropical forests, and it examines actions by state and nonstate actors at levels from the local to the continental. The book will help scholars and policymakers make sense of how environmental issues and politics are connected around the globe, and is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduateand graduate courses.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262195850 440 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 5 figures, 20 tables


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262693684 440 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 5 figures, 20 tables


Paul F. Steinberg

Paul F. Steinberg is the Malcolm Lewis Professor of Sustainability and Society and Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College. His work explores the political and institutional dimensions of sustainability in diverse countries around the globe, with a particular emphasis on biodiversity conservation and developing countries.

Stacy D. VanDeveer

Stacy D. VanDeveer is Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the coeditor of Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions, Policymaking, and Multilevel Governance (MIT Press).


  • Comparative Environmental Politics is a welcome scholarly contribution to an emerging, vital field of study. Editors Steinberg and VanDeveer have produced an intelligent compilation of explorations into theory and practice…[The book] is timely and groundbreaking and combines high scholarship with the advantages of the comparative method to advance understanding of environmental politics.

    A. R. Brunello



  • The field of global environmental politics has been waiting for this book. The chapters show the value of taking a theoretically rigorous comparative approach to pressing environmental questions of the day, including the prospects for greening the state, opportunities for and constraints on social mobilization, the dynamics of multi-level governance, and the relative effectiveness of environmental policies. Comparative Environmental Politics is a case of superb collaborative scholarship.

    Ken Conca

    Professor of International Relations, American University School of International Service

  • An ambitious and pioneering effort to integrate the study of environmental policy into the sub-field of comparative politics. Its informative essays demonstrate the wide range of contemporary scholarship on comparative dimensions of environmental politics.

    David Vogel

    Solomon P. Lee Professor of Business and Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

  • Comparative analysis may be one of the most important and promising areas for further enriching our understanding of environmental politics and policy. This book by Stacy VanDeveer and Paul Steinberg is one of the most important contributions to this field in recent years.

    Barry G. Rabe

    Arthur Thurnau Professor, Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan