- Series: American and Comparative Environmental Policy
- Paperback: 408 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (November 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262612208
- ISBN-13: 978-0262612203
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,668,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1523 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy
- #2917 in Books > Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political History
- #3350 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental
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American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006: Beyond Gridlock (American and Comparative Environmental Policy) 1st Edition
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"Quite simply, this is the best book on environmental politics and American politics I have read in some time."--Robert Duffy, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University
"This book is an original and useful contribution to the field of environmental politics and policy. It is a well organized and clearly written work that I would recommend to academics, students, policy makers, and anyone interested in environmental policy."--Robert B. Keiter, Wallace Stegner Professor of Law, Director, Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment, University of Utah(Robert Keiter)
"The book by Klyza & Sousa can be judged as an outstanding synthesis of knowledge on the development of the US environmental policy during the past decade and a half." D.A. Ruban Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie
About the Author
Christopher McGrory Klyza is Robert '35 and Helen '38 Stafford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.
David J. Sousa is Professor in the Department of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound.
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Top Customer Reviews
Klyza and Sousa begin with an excellent history of the current multi-layered environmental institutional landscape. In this they provide a remarkably coherent treatment of the contradictory layering of multiple orders of laws that has led to legislative and statutory stasis. In addition to revealing the importance of normative standards in structuring an environmental politics that withstands shifts in political winds, the authors argue that gridlock has prompted innovation and pushed policymaking onto several alternative pathways. The subsequent five chapters consider the core pathways that have largely replaced legislative action in recent years. These include the appropriations process; executive branch policy making; the courts; collaborative politics; and state focused policy making. In the final chapter the authors provide examples supporting their arguments that the American "green state" holds, and that in spite of countervailing forces there has in fact been a "green drift" towards policies favored by environmentalists.
Klyza and Sousa's is a state-sensitive response to Yale's Center for Environmental Law and Policy's "Next Generation Project." This multi-year effort culminated with publication of Thinking Ecologically: The Next Generation of Environmental Policy (Yale University Press, 1997) edited by Marian Chertow and Daniel Esty. The "next generation" school calls for environmental policies to look beyond the foundational environmental efforts of government, particularly the "command and control" policy commitments of the `60s and `70s. It suggests that new foundations for environmental thinking and policy making must immediately supplement if not supplant current institutional structures. The "next generation" school's agenda is full of policies characterized by economic incentives, collaborative engagement and smaller government. Among its students are those who forward the notion that environmentalism is dead.
While Klyza and Sousa agree that there is merit to many of the more flexible "next generation" approaches as tools to advance the environmental agenda, they view these approaches as inextricably linked to the pathways on which they might play out. In detailing how these pathways have been conditioned by the institutional setting, they forward the notion that the current institutional structure is itself the catalyst for change. The authors do a good job summarizing each of the pathways and their potential advantages as compared to legislative action, but descriptions of the "next generation" policies that play out on the routes are incomplete. We are not helped by their generally poor framing of the next generation approach and its ideological underpinnings. This makes it difficult to disentangle the critique of the next generation policies from critique of the pathways.
Overall, this book is well written, well referenced, and easy to read. It is an excellent introduction to environmental policies. The historical institutionalist perspective affords a deep understanding of "gridlock": how it reveals enduring societal values and ideologies, and the opportunities for policy shifts it presents. The book also provides unique insight into decision making and regulatory tensions. A red-green reader will notice a few gaps, however. In addition to the lack of clarity regarding the next generation approach, the book glosses over a discussion of material interests in the environment and as such misses the opportunity to consider how equity arguments might play out along the alternative pathways vs. via next generation approaches. Likewise their consideration of "private pathways" around gridlock (e.g. land trusts, consumer purchasing power and business actions to achieve sustainability) is cursory and oversimplified. An unrelated issue is the treatment of the role of science and data in decision making - on this the authors' analysis is inconsistent and their perspective unclear.
Obama-era environmentalists look optimistically at the influx of left-leaning pro-environment sympathies in both the White House and Congress and an economic recovery agenda chock full of green incentives. Is the American milieu at last supportive of a renewed and radical greening of the political system? Will we see a rebirth of environmentalism? Extrapolating Klyza and Sousa's work to proximate changes in environmental policy suggests that anyone looking for wholesale statutory shifts should not hold their breath. But perhaps radical shifts should not be the goal. The goal, instead, should be to see the "green state" for what it is: multi-layered, fragmented, but alive and well and representative of enduring values. Understood thusly, and with Klyza and Sousa's help, it reveals pathways towards meaningful and lasting environmental results.