Smokestack Diplomacy

From Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation

Smokestack Diplomacy

Cooperation and Conflict in East-West Environmental Politics

By Robert G. Darst





Many environmental problems cross national boundaries and can be addressed only through international cooperation. In this book Robert Darst examines transnational efforts to promote environmental protection in the USSR and in five of its successor states—Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—from the late 1960s to the present. The core of the book is a comparative study of three key issues: nuclear power safety, transboundary air pollution, and Baltic Sea pollution. Although expectations were high that the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union would lead to increased East-West environmental cooperation, the opposite has been true. Russia and the other successor states have generally agreed to address such problems only when paid to do so. Darst finds that post-Cold War environmental cooperation has been most successful when there is an overlap between the environmental and economic interests of the successor states and those of their Western neighbors, and when the foundation for cooperation was laid during the Cold War period. The book is based on extensive original field research, including interviews with diplomats, government officials, scientists, and environmental activists in the successor states and Western Europe. Its findings underscore the importance of the domestic and international political context in which international environmental policy making occurs. It also deepens our understanding of the opportunities and dangers of positive inducements as a tool of international environmental policy.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262041836 312 pp. | 6 in x 8.9 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262541114 312 pp. | 6 in x 8.9 in


  • A significant contribution to the literature on environmental aid and to the study of East-West environmental cooperation.

    Olav Schram Stokke

    Research Director, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway

  • In its empirical detail, this book is original and a much-needed contribution to the literature on Soviet and post-Soviet international environmental cooperation. Because of its roots in the domestic politics of the Soviet Union and its successor states, Smokestack Diplomacy provides new and valuable angles on the politics of Baltic Sea pollution, nuclear power safety, and the transboundary air pollution.

    Barbara Connolly

    Department of Political Science, Tufts University