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Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4723-4
224 pages
October 2012, Polity
Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power (0745647235) cover image


Globalization and the Environment critically explores the actors, politics and processes that govern the relationship between globalization and the environment. Taking key aspects of globalisation in turn - trade, production and finance - the book highlights the relations of power at work that determine whether globalization is managed in a sustainable way and on whose behalf.

Each chapter looks in turn at the political ecology of these central pillars of the global economy, reviewing evidence of its impact on diverse ecologies and societies, its governance - the political structures, institutions and policy making processes in place to manage this relationship - and finally efforts to contest and challenge these prevailing approaches.

The book makes sense of the relationship between globalisation and the environment using a range of theoretical tools from different disciplines. This helps to place the debate about the compatibility between globalisation and sustainability in an explicitly political and historical context in which it is possible to appreciate the ‘nature’ of interests and power relations that privilege some ways of responding to environmental problems over others in a context of globalisation.
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Table of Contents

Preface vi

Acknowledgements viii

Abbreviations x

Tables and Boxes xiii

1 Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power 1

2 The Political Ecology of Globalization 17

3 The Political Economy of Global Environmental Governance: Power(in) Globalization 34

4 Global Trade and the Environment: Whose Rules Rule? 60

5 Global Production and the Environment: Racing to the Top, Bottom or Middle? 88

6 Global Finance and the Environment: Gambling on Green 114

7 Conclusions: Ecologizing Globalization/Globalizing Ecology 145

References 160

Index 186

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Author Information

Peter Newell is professor of international relations at the University of Sussex and director of the Centre for Global Political Economy.

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"In this important book, Peter Newell shows that the relationship between economic globalization and environmental consequences is fundamentally political. Newell shows how, and for whom, the political project of unsustainable economic globalization has been governed, and provides a trenchant assessment of what its transformation will require. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the political task of putting the world economy on a more sustainable footing."
Ken Conca, American University

"In Globalization and the Environment, Peter Newell provides a much-needed critical analysis of the power that lies at the interface of the global economy and the global ecology. Through an in-depth examination of the governance of global economic relationships, the book masterfully uncovers the complex dynamics between different actors and environmental outcomes."
Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo

"Long-awaited and worth the wait, this book presents Peter Newell’s compelling analysis of the power relations that connect globalization, governance and ecology. Newell shows that there is no alternative but to move these relations away from neoliberal globalised capitalism and he offers creative practical suggestions for a new, democratically underpinned eco-logic."
Jan Aart Scholte, University of Warwick

"A well-argued, extensively researched exploration of the relationships between globalization and pervasive environmental and social destruction."
The Journal of Sustainability Education

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