Transboundary risk governance

Co-constructing environmental issues and political solutions

Authored by: Rolf Lidskog

Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782791
eBook ISBN: 9780203814550
Adobe ISBN: 9781136707995


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During the last four decades, a number of environmental problems have been conceptualized by the international community as transboundary problems that pose widespread threats to human well-being and which thus warrant global concerted action. This globalization of environmental problems is constituted through social processes in which different actors struggle to put various environmental issues on the international political agenda. Some actors may try to advance claims about the specifically transboundary character of a problem and to thus change the opportunity structure for political action. Others try to prevent an issue from becoming perceived as global or to erode the perceived seriousness of an issue that is already on the international agenda. This is because the regulation of environmental problems goes to the heart of domestic policies concerning, for example, energy policy, transport policy and employment policy. There are numerous interests beyond the explicitly environmental evoked by these policy domains and a variety of views as to whether certain environmental issues ought to be handled as matters of international priority or as the sole responsibility of domestic politics.

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