The Trajectory of International Environmental Politics

  • Dimitris Stevis


This chapter traces the study of global environmental politics by international relations (IR) scholars (hereafter referred to as IEP) since World War II (WWII).1 The overarching question is whether IEP is a cohesive subfield articulated around a core set of concepts and debates, as seems to be the case with the study of the environment in some other social sciences such as Economics or Sociology. A related second question is whether one or more IR perspectives dominate IEP. A third question, strongly related to the second one, asks whether IEP addresses questions of social and ecological purpose in addition to the architecture of global environmental politics. I have chosen to address these questions by offering a genealogy, rather than a simple chronology of IEP, across four periods since WWII. In order to do so I pay close attention to three dimensions. The first is that of the broader political dynamics that influenced IEP during each period. The second is the deployment of IR perspectives within IEP and, relatedly, whether IEP has addressed global inequalities and power asymmetries. Finally, I ask whether and how IEP has treated the relations between nature and people over time.


Political Economy International Relation Global Environmental Change Environmental Politics North American Free Trade Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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