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Book description

Environmentalism and Global International Society reveals how environmental values and ideas have transformed the normative structure of international relations. Falkner argues that environmental stewardship has become a universally accepted fundamental norm, or primary institution, of global international society. He traces the history of environmentalism's rise from a loose set of ideas originating in the nineteenth century to a globally applicable norm in the twentieth century, which has come to redefine international legitimacy and states' global responsibilities. He shows how this deep norm change came about as a result of the interplay between non-state and state actors, and how the new environmental norm has interacted with the existing primary institutions of global international society, most notably sovereignty and territoriality, diplomacy, international law, and the market. This book shifts the attention from the presentist focus in the study of global environmental politics to the longue durée of global norm change in the greening of international relations.


‘This book provides a masterful account of the distinctive vantage point of English School Theory in illuminating the long history of the norm of environmental stewardship and how it worked its way into the fundamental structure of international society. Falkner's long view of institutional change helps us to see how far international society has travelled.'

Robyn Eckersley - University of Melbourne

‘Falkner brilliantly demonstrates the transformational impact of environmental norms on international society and their centrality to international order in the 21st century. This volume also offers new ways to understand and analyze international society's inadequate response to ecological crises to date. A must read for anyone who wants to understand why and how transformations in global order occur.'

Steven Bernstein - University of Toronto

‘In Environmentalism and Global International Society, Robert Falkner, a leading theorist of the English School in international relations scholarship, offers a comprehensive account of global environmental politics through providing a detailed historical perspective on the emergence of environmental stewardship as an international norm up to the present. In debates often legitimately dominated by notions of the Anthropocene, planetary thinking, global climate disruption and ‘earth system' governance, Falkner offers a counternarrative that reminds us of the still relevant pluralistic ‘society of states' and the traditional ‘great powers'. Environmentalism and Global International Society is the central and most comprehensive reformulation of English School theory for the planetary socioecological crisis of our time.'

Frank Biermann - Utrecht University

‘… one of Falkner’s contributions is not only to have provided the first book-length [English School] account of Global Environmental Politics, but to have provided a really good introduction to how the ES theoretical and methodological approach works.’

Matt Paterson Source: Perspectives of Politics

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