Exploring thorny questions about how to reverse practices and results from the environmental devastation left by communist rule in Eastern Europe and Russia, Matt Auer and his colleagues offer hope, insight and despair. Their analysis of efforts by various reforming institutions―government bodies, NGOs and advocacy networks―offers sophisticated tales of the interplay of politics, economics and environment. The myriad difficulties of post-Soviet countries seeking environmental improvements turn out to vary greatly. The obvious is often false, while the inertial and subtle hold sway. (Raymond F. Hopkins, Richter Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College)
This compelling book reviews the successes and failures of environmental reforms in Eastern Europe and Russia. It argues that progress is due more to evolving institutions than to structural change and clearly explains how international cooperation and environmental agreements shape institutions that favor environmental protection and natural resource management. (Dr. Juha Honkatukia, Research Director, Government Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki)
Fifteen years into Europe's post-communist transition, Restoring Cursed Earth
is a timely and important contribution to our collective understanding of environmental policy developments in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. The volume explores the connections and contradictions in the dual projects of constructing a more united Europe and building more sustainable economies and societies. Auer and his colleagues' use of institutional analysis helps to explain the region's environmental policy accomplishments to date, and the challenges that remain. In particular, the authors' interest in the dynamic interaction between domestic and international institutions reveals both revolutionary change in Russian and Eastern European environmental policy enabled by international assistance programs since 1989, and the persistence and recreation of pre-1989 social institutions. (Stacy VanDeveer, University of New Hampshire)After a synoptical introduction by the author, this book effectively becomes a collage of detailed studies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, and post-Soviet Russia. . . .[S]o far as the rest of Eastern Europe is concerned. . . [this book] identifies far more permanent and longstanding achievements.
(International Journal of Environmental Studies
About the Author
Matthew R. Auer
is associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.