Chapter 2: Research in Global Environmental Politics: History and Trends
Peter Dauvergne* What is global environmental politics? What are the core research questions and ﬁndings in this ﬁeld of inquiry? Where do the disciplinary boundaries begin and end? There are no precise answers to these questions. The ﬁeld of global environmental politics began to emerge in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, it is no doubt partly grounded in the discipline of political science – in an analysis of the role of states, global institutions, the global political economy, global power, norms and ideology, as well as in theories of international relations. Yet the very nature of almost every question on global ecological change means the research crosses disciplinary boundaries. It means, too, that some of the most innovative research is occurring outside of political science, in disciplines like geography, environmental studies, economics, sociology, law, history, philosophy, development studies, biology and human ecology. There is naturally considerable dispute about where the ﬁeld begins and ends. The quick growth in the volume of research in global environmental politics over the last decade has further blurred the parameters of this ﬁeld. Some see the core of the ﬁeld in the literature on states and global governance. Some see it embedded in international relations theories of environmental regimes.1 Others see the core in the literature on the ecological impact of the global political economy, in the politics of growth, trade, corporations, ﬁnancing and consumption. Still others see the ﬁeld as spanning far more, embracing the literature on states and the global political economy,...
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