This book explores the dominant framings and paradigms of environmental politics, the relationship between academic analysis and environmental politics, and reflects on the first thirty years of the journal, Environmental Politics.
The book has two purposes. The first is to identify and discuss the key themes that have driven scholarship in the field of environmental politics over the last three decades, and to highlight how this has also led to oversights and silences, and the marginalisation of important forms of analysis and thought. As several chapters in the book explore, problem-solving frameworks have increasingly taken away space from more radical systemic challenge and critique, as the key themes of environmental politics have become ever more central to the field of politics as a whole – and as our understandings of social and environmental crisis become ever clearer and more urgent. The second purpose of the volume is to map out a series of new and developing agendas for environmental politics.
“A fabulous book. Fifty Years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers even more than the definitive history of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It provides an immensely valuable account of pollution control law in the United States during the past five decades. The book is a deserved tribute to all that EPA has accomplished and clear-eyed warning of how much the nation would lose if current efforts to undermine the agency were successful.”
— Richard Lazarus, Professor of Law, Harvard University
“Part history, part drama, and part public policy manual, Fifty Years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sweeping in scope, extraordinary in depth, and a “must read” for anyone who cares about America’s environmental policy framework and the journey to a sustainable future.”
— Dan Esty, Yale professor; Former Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection; and EPA official (1989-93)
“David Konisky and his co-authors have created the new standard text for U.S. environmental policy. Their ambitious book spans the breadth of environmental politics and policy-making, from institutions and policy tools to lobbying and climate change. Most important, these issues are presented by the best in the field. The authors list presents the Dream Team of today’s powerhouse environmental politics and governance scholars.’
– James Salzman, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Barbara
“A superb collection! Konisky has brought together dozens of renowned scholars to synthesize research on the topics they know best. The volume situates U.S. environmental policy in a half-century of political history, but is equally forward-looking in its treatment of current policy challenges, especially related to the transformations needed to address climate change.”
– Megan Mullin, Duke University
‘This extremely comprehensive collection of original and well-researched essays makes an important and much-needed contribution to our understanding of current issues in American environmental politics and policies. By bringing together the best of current research, it will become an invaluable resource for scholars and help set future research agendas.”
– David Vogel, University of California, Berkeley
“This is a convincing and timely assessment of an important, but troubled, federal initiative. Twenty years after a landmark presidential executive order, environmental justice policy effectiveness remains disappointing. Success is possible only if both citizens and policymakers absorb the lessons in this sympathetic but tough-minded book.”
—Christopher H. Foreman, Jr., Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland; Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; author of The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice
“What happens when you win? This important volume notes how environmental justice activism and scholarship put the issues of disproportionate exposures by race and income squarely on the federal agenda—and how that agenda was often fumbled in the face of legal issues, bureaucratic obstacles, political resistance, and even an inability to crisply define an environmental justice community. Offering a unique account of the evolution of federal environmental justice policy—and a first-rate analysis of different aspects of that policy, including in the realms of the economy, the courts, and public participation—this is an overdue and very welcome addition to the literature.”
—Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity, and Director of Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California
Reviews: Environmental Values, Global Environmental Politics, National Journal, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Review of Policy Research, Society of Environmental Journalists, Science, Science and Public Policy, Yale Climate Communications.
“Cheap and Clean is the most important book yet written on how Americans think about energy issues. The authors’ Consumer Model of energy and energy policy preferences is a breakthrough in our understanding of how people think about these issues. The book is essential reading for scholars who study public opinion and energy as well as for policy advocates and policy makers in the field.” Eric R.A.N. Smith, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Cheap and Clean makes an important contribution to our understanding of public opinion and energy. The authors provide interesting insights into how Americans view energy choice and the role of partisan and demographic differences in explaining attitudes on energy. This book is original, engaging, and highly readable.” Robert Duffy, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department, Colorado State University
“If you are concerned about climate change, energy or the environment, you should read Cheap and Clean. It is the most thought-provoking book on energy I have read in years. Ansolabehere and Konisky are lucid writers, their arguments are persuasive and their message is surprisingly hopeful. Researchers will be challenged by their approach, and policy makers can find considerable wisdom here.” Thomas Dietz, Professor and Founding Director, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Michigan State University
“Ansolabehere and Konisky point out that the attitudes of the American public to energy technologies ultimately will determine our energy future. They give the reader a fascinating report: the public’s preferences are based on perceived costs and harms. These choices have been remarkably stable over time and not predictable by the popular variables of gender or party except on the vital issue of climate change. The public seems to be better informed than our political leaders about our energy future.” John Deutch, Institute Professor, MIT; Former Director of Energy Research, Undersecretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
“The most important study ever undertaken about the future of Superfund.” Timothy Fields, Jr., former EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
“The most thorough examination of the future of the Superfund program. Required reading for anyone with an interest in this complex environmental issue.” Karen Florini, Environmental Defense Fund