Summary Report No. 80


Proceedings of the 2001 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change "Global Environmental Change and the Nation State"
F. Biermann, R. Brohm, K. Dingwerth (December 2002)

What is the role of the nation state in times of global environmental change? Will it be international regimes that determine the future evolution of successful environmental policies, or rather horizontal diffusion processes across nation states, triggered by policy innovation within nation states? What role is left for the nation state given the manifold challenges of transnational non-governmental organisations, new emerging forms of public-private governance, and the increasing power of the global market place? These fundamental questions led the German Political Science Association, represented through its Environmental Policy and Global Change section, to choose the theme “Global Environmental Change and the Nation State” for its 2001 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, held 7-8 December 2001 in Berlin. The two-day meeting brought together 166 researchers from 28 countries with many different perspectives on global change and the nation state, including students of international relations and international law, environmental sociologists and economists, as well as experts on national environmental policy and comparative politics. Key note addresses were delivered by Klaus Töpfer, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Jürgen Trittin, the German Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The conference was formally endorsed by the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) core project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the global umbrella research network in this field, and organised by the Global Governance Project—a joint research programme of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Free University of Berlin and Oldenburg University—in close co-operation with the Environmental Policy Research Unit of the Free University of Berlin. Generous support was provided by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Energy. Additional assistance and endorsement was provided by the German Association for the United Nations, Berlin-Brandenburg Chapter; the Federation of German Scientists (VDW); the Canadian Embassy in Berlin; and Adelphi Research, Berlin. Last but not least, the conference would not have been possible without the unrelenting enthusiasm of our student volunteers from the Student Working Group on International Environmental Policy at the Free University of Berlin. We like to thank all supporters of the 2001 Berlin Conference for making this highly stimulating and fruitful meeting possible. This Proceedings volume presents the fifty papers of the 2001 Berlin Conference that we saw as the most useful and valuable within the context of the conference. All contributions have been reviewed for publication, and not all papers submitted could be included in the final Proceedings volume. We hope that the Proceedings of the 2001 Berlin Conference will enrich the academic debate on the role of the nation state in times of global environmental change, and will carry a flavour of the lively and thoughtprovoking debates during the 2001 Berlin Conference. We now look forward to the upcoming 2002 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, which will address the theme “Knowledge for the Sustainability Transition: The Challenge for Social Science”. It will be held 6-7 December 2002 in Berlin; detailed information is available at


Complete document (6.5 MB)


Biermann, F., Brohm, R., Dingwerth, K.: Preface

Biermann, F.: Global Environmental Change and the Nation State: The Scope of the Challenge

Trittin, J.: The Role of the Nation State in International Environmental Policy

Mitchell, R. B.: Of Course International Institutions Matter: But When and How?

Cullet, P.: Intellectual Property and Environment: Impacts of the TRIPS Agreement on Environmental Law Making in India

Pattanayak, S. K., Lenin Babu, K.: Evaluation of Vertical and Horizontal Influences and their Impact on Environmental Change Policies in India: A Case Study of Two Sectors-Pollution Control and Water Shed Management

Gaynutdinova, T.: Preventative Strategies for More Effective Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Potential of Cleaner Production

Larson, M. J.: Conflict Resolution in Ecological Negotiations

Hodes, G. S., Johnson, F. X.: Towards a Next-Generation Swedish Climate Policy

Sussman, G.: International Environmental Co-operation, the US Presidency and Global Climate Change

Ivanova, M.: Environmental Crime and Punishment in Russia: Law as Reason for Breach

Harris, P. G.: Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Research Findings from the United States, China and East Asia

Leng, T.-K.: State, Society and Sustainable Development: Taiwan in Comparative and International Perspectives

Myint, T.: Managing Complexities in Global Environmental Governance: Issues-Interests-Actors Network Model for the Transnational Environmental Governance in the Mekong River Commission and the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Kelsey, E.: Implications of the Nation-State System on Public Involvement in Environmental Problem-Solving

Malone, E. L., Edgerton, S. A.: The Strength of Weak Ties: The Influence of Horizontal Research Ties on National Environmental Policies

Jänicke, M.: No Withering Away of the Nation State: Ten Theses on Environmental Policy

Jänicke, M., Jacob, K.: Global Environmental Change and the Nation State: Lead Markets for Environmental Innovations

Jordan, A., Wurzel, R. K., Zito, A., Brückner, L.: The Innovation and Diffusion of "New" Environmental Policy Instruments (NEPIs) in the European Union and its Member States

Lafeld, S.: Emissions Trading in Germany: Politics Between Pressures to Act, Enforcement for Harmonisation and First Mover Advantage

Tews, K., Busch, P.-O.: Governance by Diffusion? Potentials and Restrictions of Environmental Policy Diffusion

Illge, L., Hubacek, K., Giljum, S.: Is There a Role for EU Integrated Product Policy (IPP) in Solving Global Environmental Problems? Investigating IPP's Capacity for Correction at Source in a Global Context

Sand, P. H.: Global Environmental Change and the Nation State: Perspectives of International Law

Karkkainen, B. C.: Post-Sovereign Environmental Governance: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Model

Çoban, A.: International Arbitration, Sovereignty and Environmental Protection: The Turkish Case

van der Lugt, C.: Thirty Years After Stockholm: What Role for State Sovereignty?

Gupta, A.: When Global is Local: Negotiating Safe Use of Biotechnology

Driesen, D. M.: Global Versus National Instrument Choice

Maguire, S., Ellis, J.: Uncertainty, Precaution and Global Interdependence: Implications of the Precautionary Principle For State and Non-state Actors

Streck, C.: The Clean Development Mechanism: A Playing Field For New Partnerships

Bubniene, R., Alijosiute, A.: Transition of Lithuanian Environmental Policy: The Way Towards Sustainability?

Roll, G., Lopman, E.: EU Water Policy and Implementation of Water Management Regimes on Transboundary Waters in the Baltic Sea Basin

de Bruijn, T.: Transforming Regulatory Systems: Multilevel Governance in a European Context

Lauber, V.: The Different Concepts of Promoting Res-Electricity and their Political Careers

Reiche, D.: The Meaning of Vertical and Horizontal Policies for Renewable Energies

Jokela, M.: European Union as a Global Policy Actor: The Case of Desertification

Oberthür, S., Tänzler, D.: International Regimes as a Trigger of Policy Diffusion: The Development of Climate Policies in the European Union

Scheffran, J., Stoll-Kleemann, S.: Implementation of Integrated Sustainability Strategies in Europe: Multi-level Participation and Conflict Management in Climate and Biodiversity Regimes

Lorenzoni, I., Langford, I.: Dealing with Climate Change: The Role of Institutions in the Eyes of the Public

Pacheco-Vega, R.: Non-State Actors and Environmental Policy Change in North America: A Case Study of the "Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes" (RETC) in Mexico

Meyer, W.: Regulating Environmental Action of Non-Governmental Actors: The Impact of Communication Support Programmes in Germany

Brühl, T.: The Privatisation of International Environmental Governance

Oels, A.: Global Discourse, Local Struggle: The Reconstruction of the Local in Local Agenda 21 Processes

Andersson, K.: Can Decentralisation Save Bolivia's Forests? Uncovering the Institutional Incentives for Municipal Governance of Forest Resources

Agbor, P. A., Arrey, W. A.: Non-Governmental Organisations and Forest Resource Management in Cameroon

Grundmann, R.: Transnational Policy Networks and the Role of Advocacy Scientists: From Ozone Layer Protection to Climate Change

Siebenhüner, B.: The Changing Role of Nation States in International Environmental Assessments: The Case of the IPCC

Figueroa, D.: The Effect of the Private Sector on the Nation-State and its Influence on Chile's Environmental Regulatory Framework since 1990

Bøås, M.: Multilateral Development Banks and Sustainable Development: The Strategy of Depoliticisation

Alcock, F.: Scale Conflict and Sectoral Crisis: The Fisheries Development Dilemma

McBeath, J.: Diffusion of Ideas and Policies in a Multi-Level Regulatory Regime: Arctic Institutions and Global Climate Change

Kirton, J.: International Constraints and Transnational Diffusion: The Dynamics of G8 Effectiveness in Linking Trade, Environment and Social Cohesion

Vos, H., Decock, J., De Zutter, E.: The State Between Free Trade and Environment