Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy
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Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Edited by David M. Konisky

A comprehensive analysis of diverse areas of scholarly research on U.S. environmental policy and politics, this Handbook looks at the key ideas, theoretical frameworks, empirical findings and methodological approaches to the topic. Leading environmental policy scholars emphasize areas of emerging research and opportunities for future enquiry.
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Chapter 3: How the study of Congress and the environment can help us understand vexing problems of representation

Sarah E. Anderson (with Megan Cook)


Environmental problems are very often collective action problems that involve uneven spatial distributions of costs and benefits. These two attributes of environmental problems intersect with features of Congress – uneven representation and minority veto points – to produce four problems of representation: non-majoritarian policy; gridlock; environmental justice problems; and cross-cutting cleavages. This chapter examines how the study of environmental politics can advance our understanding of these fundamental problems of representation, illustrating each with an example and organizing existing literature to help to identify productive areas for future research.

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