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International Politics and the Environment

International Politics and the Environment

November 2009 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book provides a sophisticated overview of the theories, concepts and methods central to the complex and contentious field of International Environmental Politics (IEP). Ronald B Mitchell carefully introduces students to the political processes involved in both causing and resolving international environmental problems. Each fully integrated chapter:

  • Links environmental policy to politics, bringing in a wide range of practical real-life examples
  • Deepens students' theoretical understanding, helping them to identify and explain international environmental problems and their solutions
  • Goes beyond description and develops students' ability to evaluate claims about outcomes in international environmental politics through empirical testing.

A rounded, in-depth examination of IEP, this book has been specifically written for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in global environmental politics and modules of broader international relations programs.


SAGE Series on the Foundations of International Relations

Series Editors:

Walter Carlsnaes Uppsala University, Sweden

Jeffrey T. Checkel Simon Fraser University, Canada


International Advisory Board:


Peter J. Katzenstein Cornell University, USA

Emanuel Adler University of Toronto, Canada

Martha Finnemore George Washington University, USA

Andrew Hurrell Oxford University, UK

G. John Ikenberry Princeton University, USA

Beth Simmons Harvard University, USA

Steve Smith University of Exeter, UK

Michael Zuern Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany


The SAGE Foundations series fills the gap between narrowly-focused research monographs and broad introductory texts, providing graduate students with state-of-the-art, critical overviews of the key sub-fields within International Relations: International Political Economy, International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Organization, Normative IR Theory, International Environmental Politics, Globalization, and IR Theory.


Explicitly designed to further the transatlantic dialogue fostered by publications such as the SAGE Handbook of International Relations, the series is written by renowned scholars drawn from North America, continental Europe and the UK. The books are intended as core texts on advanced courses in IR, taking students beyond the basics and into the heart of the debates within each field, encouraging an independent, critical approach and signposting further avenues of research.

Explaining International Environmental Politics: An Introduction
Defining and Distinguishing International Environmental Problems
Sources of International Environmental Problems
The International Emergence of Environmental Problems
Negotiating Solutions to International Environmental Problems
Evaluating the Effectiveness of International Environmental Institutions
The Future of International Environmental Politics

'I strongly recommend International Politics and the Environment as a reliable and sophisticated guide to the emergence of environmental problems as political issues, negotiations about them, and the conditions for the effectiveness of environmental regimes' - Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

'Ronald B. Mitchell has hit a home run in an arena where most of us struggle to get to first base. International Politics and the Environment not only explains complex ideas in a manner that is accessible to the beginner; it does so in a way that is consistently interesting to those who have made careers out of work in this field' - Oran R. Young, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara

'A clear-sighted analysis of the causes of international environmental problems is a precondition for dealing with them. Ronald Mitchell's lucid and comprehensive enquiry into the 'why?' of international unsustainability - and then what to do about it - is a must-read for students, academics, researchers and policy-makers alike' - Professor Andrew Dobson, Keele University

The book is relevant in addressing relevant topics that regard our policies but are still rarely addressed by critical debate. It presents good accounts e.g. on principles that make issues become international or not (the "whys"), and contains references to sovereignty issues, but I would have expected more development on this. Anyway, it only contains a few parts that I could use in my next courses, and therefore I'm not ready to adopt it now - but I do not exclude that I could do it in the future.

Dr Paola Minoia
Department of Geography, University of Helsinki
October 10, 2012

I chose adotion status "Supplemental" even though I think Mitchell's book will become essential in the next few years as it explains one of the upcoming key issues in international politics from a theoretical point of view: environmental problems. For IR students the field of environmental problems is yet too specific, to make this great book already essentially, but I guess Mitchell will become a pioneer in this important future field.

Mr Sascha Kienzle
International Politics, Munich School for Political Science
August 2, 2012

When it comes to a comprehensive yet accessible coverage of the central theories, concepts and methods that illuminate global environmental politics, this is the text most instructors have been waiting for.

Dr Amini Kamete
Geography , University of Wales, Bangor
March 30, 2010

A useful text especially at MA level, but also helpful for UG

Mr David Scrivener
International Studies , Keele University
February 11, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412919753

ISBN: 9781412919746

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