The Influence of Non-state Actors on International Environmental Policy
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This dissertation examines the sources and consequences of non-state actor influence in international environmental policymaking. I argue that non-state variables inside of a country, such as the strength of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), public attitudes towards the environment, and the level of interpersonal trust between citizens, can act as important determinants of state actions in the international environmental policymaking realm. The empirical analyses of these propositions provide the main bulk of this project. My first empirical chapter tests the hypothesis that the strength of domestic nongovernmental organizations can affect the likelihood of a country participating in international environmental agreements, and finds that countries with more ENGOs are party to more international environmental agreements than countries with fewer ENGOs. My second empirical chapter examines the impact of public opinion on the treaty ratification behavior of a country, and finds that the greater the level of public support for the use of international environmental agreements to address environmental problems, the faster a country ratifies the Kyoto Protocol. My final empirical chapter demonstrates how levels of inter-personal trust between citizens can impact the extent to which a state complies with its environmental treaty obligations, and shows that higher levels of trust are linked to higher rates of compliance with environmental treaties, but that this effect is mediated by the degree of ethnic diversity within a country. Given the significance of my findings, I conclude with the argument that nonstate actors are able to influence the participation, ratification and compliance behavior of states in international environmental policymaking arena.
Hay, Zowie Natasha (2010). The Influence of Non-state Actors on International Environmental Policy. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from