A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition
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A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition

National Government Interventions in a Global Arena

Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters

In the current era of globalisation, national governments are increasingly exposed to international influences that present new constraints and opportunities for domestic environmental policies. This comprehensive, revised Handbook pushes the frontiers of theoretical and empirical knowledge, and provides a state-of-the-art examination of the multifaceted effects of globalisation on environmental governance.
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Chapter 4: Globalisation, Sustainable Development, and Environmental Policies in Developing Countries

Hans Opschoor


Hans Opschoor SUMMARY Economic globalisation has had a positive effect on economic growth in developing countries, but its impact on the environment and institutions dealing with environmental policies is mixed. The search for sustainable development has partially remedied this, but the general performance of environmental policy suffers from several setbacks, especially in developing countries. Based on a review of experiences with environmental policies and with different policy instruments (especially in Africa), possibilities are explored to overcome governance challenges through institutional reforms. A reconsideration of the role of states is necessary. ‘Countervailing power’ exercised by environmental civil-society organisations (CSOs) may help to enhance the performance of national environmental policies in developing countries and in curbing the negative aspects of economic globalisation. A pragmatic and context-specific approach to the development of national environmental policy instruments is crucial and should be aligned with efforts towards sustainable development and poverty alleviation in developing countries. INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses environmental and resource-oriented policies in developing countries. The main rationale for this is that differences in socio-economic as well as ecological conditions account for differences in such policies. I will look at environmental policies from the perspective of global concerns with sustainable development and in the context of ‘globalisation’. The structure of this chapter is as follows. Firstly, globalisation and 89 M2782 - WIJEN TEXT.indd 89 16/11/2011 11:30 90 A Handbook of Globalisation and Environmental Policy, Second Edition (sustainable) development are presented. Taking an institutional and actor-oriented approach, different categories of agents are distinguished and...

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