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International aid, trade and investment and access and allocation

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  • Michelle Scobie

    (The University of the West Indies)

Abstract

The access to goods and their allocation (who gets what, when, where and how) is one of the analytical problems of the 2009 Earth System Governance (ESG) Science and Implementation Plan (Biermann, in: Earth System Governance project report, IHDP no. 1, International Human Dimensions Program, Bonn). The 2009 Science Plan distinguishes three dimensions of access: fair outcomes, adequate pathways and effective reallocation. This paper answers the question: how have scholars used concepts related to access and allocation in their research related to international aid, trade and investment. In other words, what have we learnt from the environmental governance literature about who gets what, when and why in the areas of international trade, aid or investment? To date there has not been an attempt to synthesise the findings of this research and this is the gap that this paper addresses. The paper first highlights the key themes in the literature on access and allocation from a justice perspective. It analyses the literature of the ESG and related communities over the last 10 years on international aid, trade, and investment, drawing out the important issues and findings. This study found that most papers applied empirical case study methodologies, highlighted how governance deficits contributed to environmental injustice and were normatively premised on the need to solve the particular and case based problems of global inequality related to resource use and distribution. However, existing studies fell short of identifying the conceptual preconditions and ideal parameters for fair access and allocation of environmental resources in international economic systems. Future research is needed on the extent, nature and causes of the underlying normative and structural elements of the international economic systems that entrench unfair access and allocation of environmental goods and services; on the nature and protagonists of environmental rights and duties and on the elements of governance that may guarantee fair access and allocation in international trade, aid and investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle Scobie, 2020. "International aid, trade and investment and access and allocation," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 239-254, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:20:y:2020:i:2:d:10.1007_s10784-020-09480-w
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-020-09480-w
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