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Chapter 21: Exploring Global Governance from a Critical Global Political Economy Perspective
Gabriela Kütting The starting point of my argument put forward in this chapter is situated in the discipline of international relations (IR) and the place of global environmental politics (GEP) within it. Both the discourses on global governance (GG) and on GEP (as well as on global environmental governance: GEG) generally pay little attention to the unequal distribution of resources (or at least not as a main or guiding principle) and of unequal consumption patterns – nor do they include the notion of “giving up,” consuming less or sacrificing something for better governance or for environmental improvement. This normative concern is not within the parameters of the issue area of the mainstream discipline. There are several reasons why this is the case and they will be discussed here. The main concern of this chapter is to discuss how GEG and considerations of consumption but also of global equity need to be brought together and how the one needs to consider the other for a more normative GEG discourse – but also one that takes into consideration issues that most environmental writers agree need to be at the forefront of political concerns in the twenty-first century. First of all, both GEP and GG are primarily concerned with the relations between political actors and the structure within which they operate. They see institutions as the main social force both as causes of change and as prescriptions for solving problems.1 But as Haas2 puts it: What is needed is a clearer map of the...
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