To work effectively in foreign settings requires an understanding of the domestic political context shaping the effectiveness of environmental management tools. Coursework in CEP can provide an essential part of the requisite professional training, complementing coursework in urban planning, environmental economics, wildlife management, public health, forestry, rural development, and other areas.
The timeliness and importance of CEP research stems from several sources, including the following:
- The value of comparative perspectives on global environmental politics
International efforts to protect the global environment are profoundly shaped by the exigencies of domestic politics. Comparative research is ideally suited to assess the causal impact of international institutions, transnational environmental movements, and global economic forces in the context of complex, long-term domestic political processes. CEP research offers insights into the motivations and constraints shaping the behavior of parties to international negotiations and can inform efforts to improve the effectiveness of international accords.
- The need for cumulative cross-national research on domestic environmental politics
Over the past two decards there has been an unprecedented surge of popular support for environmental causes in a wide range of non-Western societies. Researchers have begun to document and analyze these phenomena, but there have been few attempts to share results across regions, to take stock of the state of the art, and to identify promising directions for future collaborative research programs.
- The relation to broader theoretical concerns in political science
CEP provides a rich conceptual and empirical terrain for exploring the dynamics of democratization, social movements, state building, power relations, regional integration, nationalism, state-society relations, and policy reform. As a political phenomenon crossing global, national, and local levels. CEP demonstrates the increasingly blurred distinction between domestic and international politics and the potential for fruitful collaboration among scholars in international relations, comparative politics, and other fields.
- The advantages for professional training
Students pursuing careers in international environmental policy will find that the job opportunities in multilateral environmental institutions are few. Treaty secretariats, environmental offices of foreign affairs ministries, and related agencies responsible for managing international environmental cooperation collectively have only a limited number of permanent positions. Students who expand their horizon to include work on domestic environmental policy and management around the world will find many additional opportunities in overseas aid agencies, international NGOs with conservation and development portfolios, international and regional development banks, multinational corporations, private consulting firms, and other organizations.