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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Environmental Choices: Policy Responses to Green Demands
  • Date: 02/01/2002
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $53.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-56802-630-5
  • Pages: 225
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Environmental Choices: Policy Responses to Green Demands
Lawrence S. Rothenberg, Northwestern University

Within a federal system, government agencies and regulatory policies can be fractured -- even at odds with each other. National actors share power with their counterparts in states and localities, as do presidents with Congressional leaders, and bureaucrats with judges. Understanding the broad economic and political contexts of environmental policymaking illuminates the motivations behind policy choices of various interested parties, from the National Park Service and the EPA to environmental activists and members of Congress. Rothenberg utilizes basic economic ideas to provide, not only a fresh look at how the U.S. deals with environmental ills, but a way of thinking about policy making in general.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures

  1. Environmental Policy in Context: Economic Demand, Political Supply

  2. The Economic Context: Environmental Quality as a Normal Good
    The Political Context: Constitutional Foundations and their Political Implications
    Outline of Analysis
    Key Terms

  3. Environmental Action, Environmental Caution: The Case for Government Intervention

  4. Traditional Justification: The Tragedy of the Commons
    Public Goods
    The Right to Know: Informational Rationales
    Do the Right Thing: The Moral Imperative
    Several Notes of Caution: The Case Against Government Intervention
    Grounds for Action and Caution
    Key Terms

  5. A Brief History of U.S. Environmental Policy

  6. The Evolution of Environmentalism
    Before "Environmentalism": The Nineteenth Century
    Beginnings of Environmentalism: 1870-1920
    Increasing Supply and Fluctuating Demand: 1920-1960
    The Environmental Movement and the EPA: 1960-1980
    Contemporary Environmentalism: 1980-Present
    Environmental Policy Evolution: Growth and Fragmentation
    Key Terms

  7. National Political Influences on Environmental Policy

  8. The Demand Side: Organized Interests and Environmental Politics
    The Supply Side: Formal Political Institutions and the Environment
    Linking Demand and Supply: Implications for Public Policy
    Key Terms

  9. Developing and Enforcing Environmental Policy

  10. Mandates for Implementation
    Enforcement: Deterrence, Cooperation, Information
    Political Impacts on Implementation
    The Perils and Pitfalls of Implementation
    Key Terms

  11. National or Local Control: Conflicts over Environmental Federalism

  12. The Case for Policy Devolution
    The Case for Policy Centralization
    Federalism and Environmental Policy
    Falling Short
    Case Studies
    Federalism in Theory and Practice
    Key Terms

  13. Land Use Agencies: Government as Landlord

  14. The Land Use Agencies
    Conclusions: Government as Steward
    Key Terms

  15. The EPA: Government as Regulator

  16. Environmental Regulation Circa 1970
    Growth and Fragmentation
    The EPA's Many Responsibilities
    General Trends: Rationalization and Compliance
    Regulation, Fragmentation, and Contemporary Environmental Policy
    Key Terms

  17. The Costs of Environmental Progress

  18. Successes and Failures
    The High Cost of Progress: Proximate and Fundamental Causes
    Future Trends
    Sustaining Environmental Quality
    Final Thoughts
    Key Terms


Lawrence S. Rothenberg, Northwestern University

Lawrence S. Rothenberg is the Max McGraw Distinguished Professor of Management and the Environment at Northwestern University, as well as the co-director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship. He is author of numerous articles in public policy, political economy, and political science as well as three previous books covering a broad set of related issues.

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