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While some research institutions have been taking up and adopting social media in all its forms quite substantially, the list-serve continues to be one of the most common forms of communication amongst scholars, and MEA-L is not the exception. Published by the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development), who also produces ENB and manages a number of other list-serves, MEA Bulletin provides a snapshot summary of activities related to numerous multilateral environmental agreements. It is thus rather relevant to your research both as a source of empirical data for your treaty analyses and for your final papers.

As you write your final papers and your regime or treaty analyses, you may want to check the Directory of Open Access Journals in the division of Political Science. You may also want to check the Environmental Science and Multidisciplinary ones, as well as the Social Sciences ones – because often times the literature is cross-disciplinary.

I am sure you’ve come across these resources as you undertake your research for the final paper and prospectus, and for the regime analysis, but here are some resources that I think would be useful.

  • Dr. Ronald Mitchell has a very large dataset of environmental treaties, NGOs, IGOs, etc. Professor Mitchell’s page offers detailed datasets with some sample data.
  • The ENTRI database that CIESIN has been putting together is great for finding international environmental agreements. Some good quantitative data.
  • Most of the United Nations agencies (UN-Water, UN-Habitat, UNESCO) will have some information on the actual treaties

As always, feel free to send me a quick note if you have any questions.

There is a rather large body of literature that examines qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the effectiveness of international environmental regimes (for examples, you can read Sprinz 2000 literature review, with reference to some early work by Bernauer 1995 and Young 1994, as well as recent work by Mitchell 2007 and 2010). I asked you to follow the two dimensions of regime effectiveness (problem solving and compliance) posed in Dr. Kate O’Neill’s (2009) recent book and explore different regimes. In this exploration, you were asked to look at the kinds of data you would need to use to assess the effectiveness of regimes and how these variables differ from issue area/case study to issue area/case study. Feel free to use this blog entry as space to discuss the challenges of selecting analytical variables to assess effectiveness.

The past couple of weeks we have been discussing the structure of the United Nations Environment Programme (you can read some of Dr. Maria Ivanova’s recent work on global environmental governance and the UNEP). Fragmentation in global environmental politics is not surprising (at least to me). We live in a world where resource constraints and organizational and institutional design is not always optimal. Moreover, our thinking about environmental issues has evolved profoundly from the 1972 Stockholm United Nations Convention on the Human Environment to the Johannesburg 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (see that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development is already planning the 2012 Rio+20 Summit).

The past week, we spent some time discussing how we could build a new architecture of global environmental governance. Share your discussions/own views here. While some people may see the ideas a bit far-fetched, my interest is, as I mentioned, to make you begin think about different ways in which you (individually) could begin to participate in the design of a more robust global environmental governance framework. Keep, as always, your commentary respectful.

Welcome to POLI 375A, Global Environmental Politics. It’s my intention to help you familiarize yourself with both theoretical and empirical ideas around global environmental governance. What makes governments act in the way they do when making life-changing decisions in regards to protection of their national habitats, compliance with international environmental agreements, participation in global environmental summits, to name a few. While POLI 351 Environmental Policy and Politics was a much more skill-building course, POLI 375A Global Environmental Politics is much more theoretical and knowledge-based. My courses usually involve a heavy amount of reading, critical and analytical thinking and a lot of in-class discussion and exercises. You should be prepared for this if you want to take this course.

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