Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks, Volume 1

From Politics, Science, and the Environment

Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks, Volume 1

A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain

By Social Learning Group

Foreword by Bert Bolin





This long-awaited two-volume book examines how the interplay of ideas and actions applied to environmental problems has laid the foundations for global environmental management. It looks at how ideas, interests, and institutions affect management practice; how management capabilities in other areas affect the ability to deal with specific environmental issues; and how learning affects society's approach to the global environment.The book focuses on efforts to deal with climate change, ozone depletion, and acid rain from 1957 (The International Geophysical Year) through 1992 (the UN Conference on Environment and Development). The settings include Canada, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and international environmental organizations. Topics include problem framing, agenda setting, issue attention, risk assessment, monitoring, option assessment, goal and strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Volume 1 provides an overview of the project, of global environmental management in general, and of the three central environmental issues studied; it also contains the individual country studies. Volume 2 contains the management function studies and the book's conclusion.

Authors in the set includeJeannine Cavender-Bares, William C. Clark, Ellis Cowling, Nancy M. Dickson, Gerda Dinkelman, Rodney Dobell, Renate Ell, Adam Fenech, Alexander Ginzburg, Elena Goncharova, Peter Haas, Eva Hizsnyik, Michael Huber, Peter Hughes, Jill Jäger, Marc Levy, Angela Liberatore, Diana Liverman, Justin Longo, David McCabe, Donald Munton, Elena Nikitina, Karen O'Brien, Edward Parson, Vladimir Pisarev, Ruud Pleune, Miranda Schreurs, Simon Shackley, Peter Simmons, Heather Smith, Vassily Sokolov, Ferenc L. Tóth, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Josee van Eijndhoven, Claire Waterton, Cor Worrell, and Brian Wynne.

More information is available from the SLG web site.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262194440 402 pp. | 8.5 in x 11 in


$8.75 X ISBN: 9780262692380 402 pp. | 8.5 in x 11 in


Bert Bolin.


  • ...important works of scholarship [that] will prove to be very valuable additions to our body of environmental management knowledge.

    Robert John Klancko

    Environmental Practice


  • Efforts to illuminate the interplay between ideas and human actions will occupy us for the indefinite future. But these long-awaited volumes not only break new ground in this area; they literally define the field with regard to global environmental issues.

    Oran R. Young

    Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • This two-volume analysis of three environmental issues in ten countries over several decades represents an incredible achievement of collaborative scholarship. Out of it has emerged the most detailed analysis of social learning—changes in people's understanding of each issue's causes, impacts, and policy options—and the role of scientists, the media, governmental institutions, and interest groups in creating these changes. This is clearly a tour de force in the policy learning literature.

    Paul Sabatier

    Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis

  • A landmark achievement. Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks is the best, most comprehensive, and most in-depth analysis of humanity's first steps in the process of learning how to manage global environmental change. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, this study sets the standard for all future multidisciplinary scientific research on the complex interaction between knowledge, power, society, and the global environment.

    Emanuel Adler

    Department of International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks is an impressively detailed analysis of policy change, across many countries and through global institutions, on three key environmental issues. It will stand as a monument to highly collaborative interdisciplinary research in the social sciences.

    Robert O. Keohane

    James B. Duke Professor of Political Science, Duke University

  • This overview of how some of the most critical regional and global problems have been handled internationally and in selected nations is illuminating reading. Much can be learned from it by the whole spectrum of actors, from policy makers to expert environmental scientists.

    Paul Crutzen

    Atmospheric Chemistry Division, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

  • This book is an extremely valuable reference for scientists like myself who become involved with broad assessments of environmental problems and thus require appropriate historical, social, and political perspectives that transcend the natural sciences.

    Mario Molina

    Institute Professor, MIT, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1995)