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The global politics of forest conservation, 1983 - 1994 - Volume 1

Humphreys, D. (1994). The global politics of forest conservation, 1983 - 1994 - Volume 1. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This study adopts regime theory as an analytical framework to investigate why, at present, no global forests conservation regime exists. The study also pays attention to the roles of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Chapter 1 reviews regime theory literature, and considers the notion of regime effectiveness. It is argued that effectiveness should be defined as the maintenance of environmental quality. In the case of a global forests conservation regime, it is argued that a minimal level of regime effectiveness should be considered as a situation where there is no net-loss of global forest cover. This, it is argued, raises the question as to whether effectiveness can be achieved within the confines of the present political and economic systems, and allows for the regime theorist to adopt a critical perspective. Chapter 2 adopts a structural paradigm to argue that a neo- dependency theory explains the causes of deforestation. This views feeds into the author's formulation of the forests conservation problematic which, it is argued in Chapter 3, consists of a causal dimension, an institutional dimension and a normative dimension. Chapter 3 also considers agenda-formation and epistemic consensus theory.

Four case studies are presented in Chapters 4 to 7. These are: the Tropical Forestry Action Programme; the work of the International Tropical Timber Organization from 1985 to 1994; the forest negotiations that occurred prior to and at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; and the negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1983. These case studies use material drawn principally from primary sources.

Chapter 8 presents the findings of the study with respect to regime theory, NGOs and the forest conservation problematic. It is concluded that an application of regime theory to the issue of forests conservation has utility in isolating those conditions that may be conducive to the formation of a global forests conservation regime. However, the study is not successful in identifying those conditions that are necessary for the formation of such a regime. It is recommended that the next generation of regime theorists should not solely consider regime formation, but should also pay greater attention to those factors necessary to ensure the long term effectiveness and viability of regimes. It is argued that NGOs have played important roles with respect to forests conservation, and that regime theorists should pay greater attention to their roles and influence. Finally it is argued that little progress has been made in dealing with the three dimensions of the forest conservation problematic.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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