Environmental sustainability requires long-term political commitments to the protection of environmental resources. Yet most of the world’s countries, particularly in the developing world and post-communist states, are subject to chronic political and economic upheaval, making any effort at institution-building a daunting task. We will consider this practical challenge from the analytic vantage point of theories of policy change and mechanisms of institutional reproduction. The results carry important implications for environmental policy and for comparative politics research on institutional stability and change.
Paul Steinberg is an associate professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. His books include Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries (MIT Press, 2001) and Comparative Environmental Politics (MIT Press, forthcoming 2010).