Engaging Countries

From Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation

Engaging Countries

Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords

Edited by Edith Brown Weiss and Harold K. Jacobson





Treaties and other international accords are a primary means of dealing with environmental problems involving two or more countries. Despite this, we know very little about what happens after states sign and become parties to such accords. This study systematically examines how states implement and comply with international environmental accords. The culmination of a massive theoretically based empirical research project, it shows how and why implementation and compliance vary among countries and treaties and change over time. It also analyzes the factors that affect the extent of compliance and offers prescriptions for strengthening national compliance with international accords. The book focuses on compliance in eight countries (Brazil, Cameroon, China, Hungary, India, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the United States) and the European Union and on five major accords: the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the International Maritime Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters (1972), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (1973), the International Tropical Timber Agreement (1983), and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987). This pioneering venture will be a major resource for scholars interested in compliance in general, in international environmental issues, and in international law.

ContributorsLaszlo Bencze, Erach Bharucha, Piers Blaikie, Stephen Bunker, Abram Chayes, Antonia Handler Chayes, James Clem, Ellen Comisso, Murillo de Aragão, Elizabeth Economy, James V. Feinerman, Koichiro Fujikura, Michael J. Glennon, Peter Hardi, Ronald J. Herring, Philipp M. Hildebrand, Harold K. Jacobson, Sheila Jasanoff, Timothy Kessler, Ronald B. Mitchell, Elena Nikitina, Michel Oksenberg, Alberta M. Sbragia, John Mope Simo, Alison L. Stewart, David Vogel, Edith Brown Weiss, William Zimmerman


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262231985 640 pp. | 7 in x 10 in


$45.00 X ISBN: 9780262731324 640 pp. | 7 in x 10 in


Edith Brown Weiss

Harold K. Jacobson


  • An admirably systematic study of a topic which will continue to grow in importance. It is highly informative for anyone concerned with the effectiveness of multilateral law-making in general, and of environmental legislation is particular

    Ernst B. Hass

    Robson Research Professor of Government, University of California

  • In an era in which international treaty obligations are multiplying as fast as domestic statues, Engaging Countries raises important and timely questions about how to measure and promote compliance. It helps frame an interdisciplinary research agenda for lawyers, political scientists, and policymakers that extends beyond the environment to broader questions of global governance.

    Anne-Marie Slaughter

    J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign and Comparative Law, Harvard Law School

  • Modern science reveals that the goals of international environmental accords, such as the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, are esential to the health of our planet. This collection of essays provides the illuminating service of demonstrating how compliance with these accords can be achieved and provides instruction on the complex array of difficulties all sectors of society face when seeking conformance with treaty obligations.

    Charles E. Di Leva

    Senior Counsel, Environment and International Law Unit, The World Bank


  • Runner-up, 1998 Harold & Margaret Sprout Award given by the International Studies Association.