Has globalization led to a convergence in policy-making across nations and, if so, what are the causal mechanisms? This book analyses the extent to which the environmental policies of nation states have converged over the last thirty years and whether this convergence has led to a strengthening or weakening of environmental standards (a race to the top, or a race to the bottom). It also analyses the factors that account for these developments. Based on a unique empirical data set, the study covers the development of a wide range of environmental policies in twenty-four OECD countries, including EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico and the USA, with particular emphasis on the impact of institutional and economic interlinkages among these countries.
Preface; 1. Introduction Katharina Holzinger, Christoph Knill and Bas Arts; 2. State of the art - conceptualising environmental policy convergence Katharina Holzinger, Helge Jörgens and Christoph Knill; 3. Theoretical framework: causal factors and convergence expectations Katharina Holzinger and Christoph Knill; 4. Research design, variables and data Stephan Heichel, Katharina Holzinger, Thomas Sommerer, Duncan Liefferink, Jessica Pape and Sietske Veenman; 5. Degree and direction of environmental policy convergence: analysis of aggregate data Thomas Sommerer, Christoph Knill and Katharina Holzinger; 6. The pair approach: what causes convergence of environmental policies? Thomas Sommerer, Katharina Holzinger and Christoph Knill; 7. The gap approach: what affects the direction of environmental policy convergence? Bas Arts, Duncan Liefferink, Jelmer Kamstra and Jeroen Ooijevaar; 8. Conclusion Christoph Knill, Katharina Holzinger and Bas Arts.