Journal of Environment & Development, The

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • More ‘Creative’ Than ‘Destructive’? Synthesizing Schumpeterian and Developmental State Perspectives to Explain Mixed Results in Korea’s Clean Energy Shift

    We develop a new way of analysing the state’s strategic role in the clean energy shift. We do so by synthesizing Schumpeterian understandings of ‘creative destruction’ and techno-economic change with cutting-edge developmental state theorizing centred on ‘developmental environmentalism’. Our approach allows us to explain South Korea’s mixed results in the clean energy shift over the 2008–2020 period by focussing on varying degrees of alignment between the state’s ‘creative’ and ‘destructive’ ambitions and capabilities. Following a period of misalignment characterized by a creative emphasis (2008–2015), we have seen growing alignment between the state’s ‘creative’ and ‘destructive’ endeavours (2015–present). On the basis of our analysis, we anticipate that Korea’s hitherto mixed results are likely to give way to more consistent strides towards greening the national economy. Beyond Korea, our fresh analytical approach may be applied to other national contexts, helping to advance broader debates about the state’s strategic role in the clean energy shift.

  • The Politics of Transnational Advocacy Against Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian Extractive Projects in the Global South

    Activists in the global South have been navigating two powerful trends since the mid-1990s: intensifying state repression and rising investment in extractive projects from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). In this context, this article explores the underlying forces determining the formation, endurance, and power of BRICS–South transnational advocacy networks (TANs) opposed to BRICS-based corporate extraction in the global South. By analyzing activism against Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian extractive projects in Ecuador, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, respectively, the research reveals the critical importance of domestic politics and civil society characteristics in both the BRICS and host states for shaping BRICS–South TANs, including which groups assume leadership, the extent of cross-national cooperation, and the role of nonprofits headquartered in the global North. The findings uncover core reasons for the variable resiliency and capacity of BRICS–South TANs, opening up new avenues of research and offering valuable insights for activists and policymakers.

  • A Systems-Based Approach to Analyze Environmental Issues: Problem-Oriented Innovation System for Water Scarcity Problem in Iran

    Environmental issues such as water scarcity are typically multidimensional problems, and resolving them requires a systems-based approach and socio-technical innovations. This article applies the “Problem-oriented Innovation System (PIS)” as a new approach to resolve water scarcity problem. In Iran, this has not been the case as natural water scarcity along with decades of mismanagement has turned water scarcity into a national crisis and caused several interrelated socioeconomic problems. Using case study, in this article, Iran’s water scarcity is analyzed to see how the PIS is able to help resolve this problem. Results indicate that the inefficient management and monitoring the water scarcity and lack of appropriate standardization and tariffs are the most important system failures of the water scarcity PIS in Iran. Also, the most important policy implications are moving toward decentralization in water management based on a participatory approach and establishing a national drought monitoring system.

  • A Climate Backlash: Comparing Populist Parties’ Climate Policies in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden

    The rise of authoritarian populism has disrupted the patterns of party competition in many Western societies. Related to this development, the current debates in the United States and European Union illustrate how empirical science on climate change may become intensely politicized, and all ambitious climate policies challenged in the contemporary political landscape. We set out an analytical framework with three ideal types of political strategies for opposing climate policies: climate science denialism, climate policy nationalism, and climate policy conservativism. Empirically, the article investigates populist resistance to ambitious climate change policy in the Nordic context, where countries have sought to assume global leadership in climate politics and have considerable public support for climate action. In an analysis of the evolving positions of populist parties in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden in recent elections, the article sheds light on the interconnection between populism and climate change policy.

  • China’s Blue Economy: A State Project of Modernisation

    The blue economy is a globally emerging concept for ocean governance that seeks to tap the economic potential of the oceans in environmentally sustainable ways. Yet, understanding and implementation of particular visions of the blue economy in specific regions diverge according to national and other contexts. Drawing on a discourse analysis of Chinese language documents, this article assesses how the blue economy has been conceptualised in Chinese state policy and discourse. Part of a state ideology and practice of modernisation that is defined in terms of rejuvenation under a strong state, the blue economy in China is seen as an opportunity to promote modernisation from overlapping economic, geopolitical and ecological perspectives and actions. China’s distinctive model for the blue economy presents emerging challenges for global ocean governance.

  • Pulp Friction in the La Plata Basin: The Importance of Natural Resource Governance for South American Regionalism

    Over the last two decades, natural resource governance has become an increasingly important element of South American regionalism as commodities became a central driver for regional development strategies. Yet, due to socio-environmental impacts and dissatisfaction with decision-making processes, it is also frequently contested. This article focuses on one particularly prominent contestation with transboundary and regional repercussions, the case of the pulp mill conflict which escalated between Argentina and Uruguay in the 2000s. Using the concepts of regionness and politics of scale, it examines in which ways the pulp mill conflict affected regional cohesion and seeks to understand why it evolved in this way. This shows that the way national governments address socio-environmental conflicts is an important additional obstacle to regional cohesion which has received little attention in studies of South American regionalism so far.

  • The Role of Institutions in Creating Circular Economy Pathways for Regional Development

    In the past decade, the circular economy has gained attention as a mechanism of transition toward a regenerative, low carbon, and resource-efficient society. As the history of previous radical transformations shows, successful transition toward the circular economy cannot take place without understanding the institutional features of industrial transformations. This article highlights the significance of institutions by placing the circular economy model in the context of the natural resource–based sector and discusses the importance of institutions in regional path development. The article identifies three institutional determinants of both endogenous and directed transformation toward the circular economy model in the regional context: (i) proximity of physical flows and assets, (ii) maturation and diversity of market networks, and (iii) inherent values and patterns of cooperation. This article offers a starting point for future studies of circular economy transitions and the role of institutions as enabling, as well as at times obstructing transition environments.

  • Household’s Allocation of Payment for Ecosystem Services in “La Antigua” Watershed, Veracruz, México

    Payment for ecosystem services (PES) is an environmental policy looking to improve ecosystem conservation and well-being. Assets have been used to evaluate socioeconomic outcomes of the program; however, the allocation of PES at a household level and its explaining variables have not been addressed. Thus, the aim of this article is to study the allocation of PES in nondurable and durable goods and the determinants of this household decision. Results from the La Antigua watershed located in Mexico indicate that the PES program is primarily used in durable goods, mainly on health, house infrastructure, agricultural inputs, and reforestation. Econometric models show that this allocation to one or several assets depends on the average age of the household head, on participation in a community organization, and on the average income. In contrast, government transfers are not significant. Based on this, policy recommendations are made related to the program’s socioeconomic outcomes and alignment with other conditional cash transfer.

  • An Environmental Justice Perspective on Smallholder Pesticide Use in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Pesticide use is increasing in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and many smallholders purchase, handle, and apply toxic pesticides with inadequate equipment, knowledge, and technical support. Through the frame of environmental justice, this literature-based study analyzes characteristics, impacts, and drivers of smallholder pesticide use in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular attention to Uganda as a case. We find that market liberalization, poor regulation enforcement, and persistent neglect of agricultural extension place the burden of risk largely on farmers, while perceived necessity of pesticides and the elusive nature of impacts (especially under conditions of insufficient monitoring) likely delay social mobilization around pesticides. The environmental justice frame, which has seen limited application in smallholder contexts, importantly helps delineate future directions for research and practice. It is particularly effective for redirecting focus from highly limited managerial solutions for “safe use” toward deeper problem drivers and solutions capable of tackling them.

  • Making Authoritarian Environmentalism Accountable? Understanding China’s New Reforms on Environmental Governance

    One of the key puzzles of authoritarian environmentalism is its dubious effectiveness due to fragmented interests among different political and market actors, which are often found undermining centrally crafted environmental regulations and targets. China recently launched a series of institutional reforms to fix its notorious local implementation gaps on environmental policies. By setting up a stringent central inspection system and holding frequent inquiry meetings with local government leaders, Beijing aims to reconfigure central–local power relations on environmental governance. We argue that these institutional reforms are essentially transforming environmental governance in China into a highly politicized task by enforcing party disciplines rather than legal frameworks. The aim is to rein environmental officers and hold local political leaders accountable. These reforms may significantly reduce local protectionism, yet such highly politicized approach based on coercive party rules and disciplines bears the risk of weakening the role of legal enforcement and can breed discontent among local officers. Consequently, how these new reforms can achieve a desirable central–local relation for addressing China’s environmental crisis in the long run is far from certain.

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