Edited by Peter Dauvergne
Chapter 16: Global Multilevel Governance and the Management of Hazardous Chemicals
Henrik Selin Global governance studies represent a shift in international relations scholarship away from a traditional, single focus on unitary nation states often too narrow to capture important political drivers and processes, to the inclusion of a much larger set of issues, actors, forums, and structures.1 Furthermore, as state and nonstate actors interact and expand political agendas, scholars and practitioners have become interested in multilevel governance – a multitude of public and private sector actors operating across horizontal and vertical levels of social organization and jurisdictional authority shaping policy-making and outcomes. In global politics, states, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) cooperate in an increasing number of international forums as they influence governance efforts across spatial, temporal, and social organizational scales in a wide range of policy areas. Much global multilevel governance focuses on the environment and human health where leading actors often express diverse – and sometimes conflicting – opinions of what constitutes “good” governance and how such governance should be organized. A major area of global environmental politics where states, IGOs, and NGOs engage in efforts on multilevel policy-making concerns problems caused by hazardous chemicals. At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), governments set the goal that chemicals should be “used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment” no later than the year 2020. Governments also recognized the need to “prevent and minimize waste and maximize reuse, recycling and use of environmentally friendly alternative materials.”2...
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