Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Who Ratifies Environmental Treaties and Why? Institutionalism, Structuralism and Participation by 192 Nations in 22 Treaties

Contents:

Author Info

  • J. Timmons Roberts
  • Bradley C. Parks
  • Alexis A. Vásquez
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    International environmental accords have become important mechanisms by which nations make promises to administer natural resources and manage the global environment. Previous studies, relying mainly on single cases or small-n data sets, have shed light on the proximate political causes of participation in these agreements. However, no study has yet systematically explained the deeper social determinants of why nations sign, ignore or resist environmental treaties. We offer a theoretically-sequenced model that exploits complementarities between rational choice institutionalism and world-systems theory. Key variables posited by realists and constructivists are also examined, using a new environmental treaty participation index based on ratifications of 22 major environmental agreements by 192 nations. Cross-sectional OLS regression and path analysis strongly supports the institutionalist claim that credibility-the willingness and ability to honor one's international environmental commit-ments-"matters." But these measures also lend considerable support to the world-systems hypothesis that state credibility is strongly influenced by a legacy of colonial incorporation into the world economy. Narrow export base-our proxy for disadvantaged position in the world-economy-directly and indirectly (through institutions and civil society strength) explains nearly six-tenths of national propensity to sign environmental treaties. A nation's natural capital, its ecological vulnerability, and international environmental NGO memberships had no explanatory power in the path analysis. Our results indicate that new theoretical, methodological and policy approaches are needed to address structural barriers to international cooperation. Copyright (c) 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/1526380041748029
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Global Environmental Politics.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (08)
    Pages: 22-64

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:4:y:2004:i:3:p:22-64

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/glep

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Tobias Böhmelt & Carola Betzold, 2013. "The impact of environmental interest groups in international negotiations: Do ENGOs induce stronger environmental commitments?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 127-151, May.
    2. Tobias Böhmelt, 2013. "A closer look at the information provision rationale: Civil society participation in states’ delegations at the UNFCCC," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 55-80, March.
    3. Leo Wangler & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "The political economy of international environmental agreements: a survey," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 387-403, September.
    4. Christopher Marcoux & Johannes Urpelainen, 2012. "Capacity, not constraints: A theory of North-South regulatory cooperation," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 399-424, December.

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. AidData in Wikipedia (English)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:4:y:2004:i:3:p:22-64. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.