As numerous problems related to environmental crisis continue to emerge, the urgency of searching for appropriate solutions is increasing. There are plenty of publications covering environmental issues. However, the innovative approaches to the widely discussed issues are still to be developed. Jennifer Clapp and Peter Dauvergne presented their view on the nature of global environmental politics in the book Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment (2005). The book explores the political economy of the global environment in a unique way and contributes to a better understanding of the nature of environmental management.
The main topic of the book is the nature of the key issues in the political economy of the global environment. The authors introduce the typology of four contrasting worldviews of the environmental change and its relationship to the global political economy (Clapp & Dauvergne 2005, p. 3). The typology created by Clapp and Dauvergne consists of the following types: Market Liberals, Institutionalists, Bioenvironmentalists, and Social Greens. Market liberals emphasise the importance of economic issues and regard weak economic growth as the primary source of environmental degradation (Clapp & Dauvergne 2005, p. 4). Institutionalists consider poor global cooperation the main cause of environmental degradation. They believe that the proper organisation of the system of domestic and international institutions is the key to successful environmental management. Bioenvironmentalists regard economic growth and overpopulation as the main causes of the current global environmental crisis. Social Greens believe that industrialisation and increasing globalisation should be blamed for leading to environmental problems and praise economic and ecological justice.
After introducing the typology, the authors explore the main problems in the political economy of the global environment through the perspectives of each of the worldviews. The explored issues include ecological consequences of globalisation, economic growth in a world of wealth and poverty, global trade, global investment, and global financing and their impact on the environment. The final part of the book presents visions for a healthy global environment expressed by the adherents of four worldviews. The authors draw the readers’ attention to the fact that though the worldviews stand for different perspectives, there are some common features shared by all of them (Clapp & Dauvergne 2005, p. 238). It appears to be a proof of the fact that they are not mutually exclusive.
The authors’ goal to make the book persuasive and informative is reached by presenting the arguments in each chapter in the context of the real up-to-date situations. The attempt to analyse all of the main existing issues related to the topic of the book contributes to its comprehensiveness. Besides, the authors tend to make statements about different issues explored in the book easy for understanding by using charts and figures throughout the text.
The innovation made by the authors of the book is their attempt to systematise different types of environmental worldview. The book encourages the reader to understand the main specifics of the types and find out what are their strengths and drawbacks. Such an approach calls for mutual respect and cooperation between the adherents of all of the worldviews. The exploration of the values and beliefs that are common among those who see environmental problems differently is an essential step to finding a compromise.
Jennifer Clapp and Peter Dauvergne have managed to create a book that provides a comprehensive introduction to the political economy of the global environment. The book presents a unique typology of environmental worldviews, analyses their main opinions on the regulation of the current crisis and encourages the members of the community to unite in their struggle against environmental degradation.
Clapp, J & Dauvergne, P 2005, Paths to a Green world: The political economy of the global environment, 5th edn, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.