Edited by T.F.M. Etty and H. Somsen. Great Clarendon Street Oxford OX2 6DP United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, December 2004. (44 1865) 556-767. www.oup.com. ISBN: 0-19-926786-3. 881 pp. $250.00/87.50 [pounds sterling] Hardback.
The Yearbook of European Environmental Law brings together topical analyses of contemporary European Environmental Law. Leading European and American academics provide in-depth scholarly articles covering a wide range of challenging issues. The Yearbook contains an easily accessible Annual Survey providing legal practitioners, academics, and policy-makers with detailed and important information on current and future European environmental law. Established reporters clearly and critically examine national responses to this increasingly complex body of European law. In addition the Yearbook features summaries and full texts of preparatory commission documents, green books, and other discussion papers, as well as a selection of reviews of books.
Editor in chief T.F.M. Etty is a Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Law, University of Amsterdam.
Editor in chief H. Somsen is a Professor at the University of Amsterdam.
Current survey editor T.F.M. Etty is a Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Law, University of Amsterdam. Book review editor J. Scott is a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.
Book review editor M. Lee is a Lecturer at the Kings's College.
Documents editor L. Kramer is an Honorary Professor at the University of Bremen.
DELIBERATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS: DEMOCRACY AND ECOLOGICAL RATIONALITY
Walter F. Baber and Robert V. Bartlett. 55 Hayward St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142: MIT Press, October 2005. (800) 405-1619. www.mitpress.mit.edu. ISBN 0-262-52444-9. 288 pp. $24.00 Paperback.
In Deliberative Environmental Politics, Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett link political theory with the practice of environmental politics, arguing that the "deliberative turn" in democratic theory presents an opportunity to move beyond the policy stalemates of interest-group liberalism and offers a foundation for reconciling rationality, strong democracy, and demanding environmentalism. Deliberative democracy, which presumes that the essence of democracy is deliberation--thoughtful and discursive public participation in decision making--rather than voting, interest aggregation, or rights, has the potential to produce more environmentally sound policy decisions and a more ecologically rational form of environmental governance.
Baber and Bartlett defend deliberative democracy's relevance to environmental politics in the twenty-first century against criticisms from other theorists. They critically examine three major models for deliberative democracy--those of John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas, and advocates of full liberalism such as Amy Gutmann, Dennis Thompson, and James Bohman--and analyze the implications of each of these approaches for ecologically rational environmental politics as well as for institutions, citizens, experts, and social movements. In order to establish that democracy is ecologically sustainable and that environmental protection can become a norm of culture rather than a mere fact of government, they argue, new models of ecological deliberation and deliberative environmentalism are required.
Walter F. Baber is Associate Professor in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration, California State University, Long Beach.
Robert V. Bartlett is Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University.
GOVERNING WATER: CONTENTIOUS TRANSNATIONAL POLITICS AND GLOBAL INSTITUTION BUILDING
Ken Conca. 55 Hayward St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142: MIT Press, November 2005. (800) 405-1619. www.mitpress.mit.edu. ISBN 0-262-53273-5. 456 pp. $28.00 Paperback.
Water is a key component of critical ecosystems, a marketable commodity, a foundation of local communities and cultures, and a powerful means of social control. It has become a source of contentious politics and social controversy on a global scale, and the management of water conflicts is one of the biggest challenges in the effort to achieve effective global environmental governance.
In Governing Water, Ken Conca examines political struggles to create a global framework for the governance of water. Threats to the world's rivers, watersheds, and critical freshwater ecosystems have resisted the establishment of effective global agreements through intergovernmental bargaining because the conditions for successful interstate cooperation--effective state authority, stable knowledge frameworks, and a territorialized understanding of nature--cannot be imposed upon water controversies. But while interstate water diplomacy has faltered, less formalized institutions--socially and politically embedded rules, roles, and practices--have emerged to help shape water governance locally and globally.
Conca examines the politics of these institutions, presenting a framework for understanding global environmental governance based on key institutional presumptions about territoriality, authority, and knowledge. He maps four distinct processes of institution building: formal international regimes for shared rivers, international networking among water experts and professionals, social movements opposing the construction of large dams, and the struggle surrounding transnational water "marketization." These cases illustrate the potential for alternative institutional forms in situations where traditional interstate regimes are ineffective.
Ken Conca is Associate Professor of Government and Politics and Director of the Harrison Program on the Future Global Agenda at the University of Maryland.
WILDERNESS FOREVER: HOWARD ZAHNISER AND THE PATH TO THE WILDERNESS ACT
Mark Harvey. P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, Washington 98145: University of Washington Press, October 2005. (206) 543-8870. www.washington.edu/uwpress. ISBN: 0-295-98532-1.328 pp. $35.00 Paperback.
As a central figure in the American wilderness preservation movement in the mid-twentieth century, Howard Zahniser (1906-1964) was the person most responsible for the landmark Wilderness Act of 1964. While the rugged outdoorsmen of the early environmental movement, such as John Muir and Bob Marshall, gave the cause a charismatic face, Zahniser strove to bring conservation's concerns into the public eye and to bring the preservationists' plans to fruition. In many fights to save besieged wild lands, he pulled together fractious coalitions, built grassroots support networks, wooed skittish and truculent politicians, and generated streams of eloquent prose celebrating wilderness.
Zahniser worked for the United States Bureau of Biological Survey (a precursor to the Fish and Wildlife Service) and the Department of the Interior, wrote for Nature magazine, and eventually managed the Wilderness Society and edited its magazine, Living Wilderness. The culmination of his wilderness writing and political lobbying was the Wilderness Act of 1964. All of its drafts included his eloquent definition of wilderness, which still serves as a central tenet for the Wilderness Society: "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." The bill was finally signed into law shortly after his death.
Pervading his tireless work was a deeply held belief in the healing powers of nature for a humanity ground down by the mechanized hustle-bustle of modern, urban life. Zahniser grew up in a family of Methodist ministers, and although he moved away from any specific denomination, a spiritual outlook informed his thinking about wilderness. His love of nature was not so much a result of scientific curiosity as a sense of wonder at its beauty and majesty, and a wish to exist in harmony with all other living things. In this deeply researched and affectionate portrait, Mark Harvey brings to life this great leader of environmental activism.
Mark Harvey is Professor of History at North Dakota State University in Fargo. He is the author of A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement.
BIOREGIONALISM AND CIVIL SOCIETY: DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGES TO CORPORATE GLOBALISM
Mike Carr. P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, Washington 98145: University of Washington Press, October 2005. (206) 543-8870. www.washington.edu/uwpress. ISBN: 0-7748-0945-0. 352 pp. $29.95 Paperback.
Bioregionalism and Civil Society addresses the urgent need for sustainability in industrialized societies. The book explores the bioregional movement in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, examining its vision, values, strategies, and tools for building sustainable societies. Bioregionalism is a philosophy with values and practices that attempt to meld issues of social and economic justice and sustainability with cultural, ecological, and spiritual concerns. Further, bioregional efforts of democratic social and cultural change take place primarily in the sphere of civil society.
Practically, Carr argues for bioregionalism as a place-specific, community movement that can stand in direct opposition to the homogenizing trends of corporate globalization. Theoretically, the author seeks lessons for civil society-based social theory and strategy. Conventional civil society theory from Europe proposes a dual strategy of developing strong horizontal communicative action among civic associations and networks as the basis for strategic vertical campaigns to democratize both state and market sectors. However, this theory offers no ecological or cultural critique of consumerism. By contrast, Carr integrates both social and natural ecologies in a civil society theory that incorporates lessons about consumption and cultural transformation from bioregional practice.
Carr's argument that bioregional values and community-building tools support a diverse, democratic, and socially just civil society that respects and cares for the natural world makes a significant contribution to the field of green political science, social change theory, and environmental thought.
Mike Carr teaches Geography, Urban Studies, and First Nations Studies at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
PRECAUTIONARY TOOLS FOR RESHAPING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Edited by Nancy J. Myers and Carolyn Raffensperger. 55 Hayward St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142: MIT Press, November 2005. (800) 405-1619. www.mitpress.mit.edu. ISBN 0-262-63323-X. 400 pp. $25.00 Paperback.
The precautionary principle calls for taking action against threatened harm to people and ecosystems even in the absence of full scientific certainty. The rationale is that modern technologies and human activities can inflict long-term, global-scale environmental damage and that conclusive scientific evidence of such damage may be available too late to avert it. The precautionary principle asks whether harm can be prevented instead of assessing degrees of "acceptable" risk. This book provides a toolkit for applying precautionary concepts to reshape environmental policies at all levels. Its compendium of regulatory options, detailed examples, wide-ranging case studies, and theoretical background provides both citizens and policymakers with the basis for acting on any issue in any situation--whether it's pesticide use at local schools or a new international regulatory system for chemicals.
Precautionary Tools for Reshaping Environmental Policy describes the analytical and ethical bases of the precautionary principle as well as practical implementation options. It provides a "precautionary checklist" that can serve as a springboard for discussion and decision-making. Also, it offers a variety of case studies that show the precautionary principle in action--from elk and cattle farming to marine fisheries, from the protection of indigenous cultures against bioprospecting to the restoration of the federal court system as a safety net for people harmed by products and chemicals. A hands-on interdisciplinary guide, the book demonstrates the advantages of a precautionary approach and addresses criticisms of the principle.
Nancy J. Myers is Communications Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.
Carolyn Raffensperger is an environmental lawyer and the founding director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS (4TH ED.)
Janet Welsh Brown, Pamela Chasek and David L. Downie. 5500 Central Ave., Boulder, Colorado 80301-2877: Westview Press, January 2006. (800) 255-1514. www.westviewpress.com. ISBN 0-8133-4332-1. 350 pp. $27.95 Paperback.
When Global Environmental Politics was first published, the environment was just emerging as a pivotal issue in traditional international relations. Today, the environment is considered to be a central topic to discussions of international politics, political economy, international organization, and the relationship between foreign and domestic policy. With new and updated case studies throughout, a revised chapter on improving compliance with international environmental regimes, and a new section on environment within the larger context of sustainable development, this classic text is more complete and up-to-date than any survey of international environmental politics on the market. In addition to providing a concise yet comprehensive overview of global environmental issues, the authors have worked to contextualize key topics such as the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Kyoto Protocol, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, international forest policy, and the trade, development, and environment nexus. Environmental concerns from global warming to biodiversity loss to whaling are seen as challenges to transnational relations, with governments, NGOs, IGOs, and MNCs all involved in the multilateral interaction that is necessary to address the ever-complicated subject of global environmental politics.
Janet Welsh Brown was a long-time senior research associate at the World Resources Institute and formerly the executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund. She has taught a variety of courses in international relations and environmental politics at the University of Washington in Seattle, the University of the District of Columbia, Howard University, and Sarah Lawrence College.
Pamela S. Chasek is the co-founder and editor of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, a reporting service on United Nations environment and development negotiations. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Manhattan College.
David L. Downie is Associate Director of the Program in Climate and Society and Director of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change at Columbia University, where he has taught courses on international environmental politics since 1994. The author of numerous publications on environmental policy and institutions, he served as Director of Environmental Policy Studies at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs from 1994 through 1999.
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