CFP: The Distributive Effects of Environmental Politics: National and International Perspectives

Submission deadline: December 20, 2011

Conference date(s):
July 4, 2012 - July 6, 2012

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

European Consortium for Political Research
Bremen, Germany

Topic areas


Environmental problems like climate change, biodiversity loss, overfishing, or waste disposal can have significantly negative impacts on human wellbeing. Much research has been devoted to the problem-solving quality of environmental policy measures. Yet it is frequently disregarded that environmental politics can also have considerable (re)distributive effects on national and international levels.

Domestically, politics that are targeted exclusively at mitigating ecological problems are likely to reinforce differences in wealth. For instance, transport politics that are limited to reducing private fuel consumption by raising gas petrol prices may particularly lower the mobility of poorer segments of the population. Internationally, the distributive effects of environmental politics are particularly pronounced in North-South relations. Most recent environmental agreements contain clauses on technology transfer and financial support. But it remains contested whether this suffices to balance the unequal burdens that many agreements impose on developed and developing countries.

We invite papers which address the distributive effects of national or international environmental politics from any of the following three perspectives.

Descriptive: In the first place, we need to know more about the distributive consequences of environmental politics. For instance: Who benefits most from international environmental treaties or national legislation? Who bears the costs?

Analytical: We also look for explanations for the observed patterns. Key questions may be: How much influence do national economic structures have on distributive inequalities? Internationally, what influence does the problem structure have on distributive outcomes? What kinds of institutional arrangements can serve to mitigate socially undesirable effects of environmental politics?

Evaluative: Here we ask for example: To what extent are national or international policies consistent with norms of distributive justice? Do we observe conflicts between environmental (effectiveness) and social (fairness) goals? Do particular policies fare better or worse in the light of one conception of justice than in the light of others?

Please submit your proposals of maximum 300 words by December 20, 2011 to both Ina Lehmann ([email protected]) and André Schaffrin ([email protected]). Please include in your abstract your institutional affiliation and email address.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)