Who Ratifies Environmental Treaties and Why? Institutionalism, Structuralism and Participation by 192 Nations in 22 Treaties
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.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/glep|
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: (Kristin Waites)
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.