Regimes in Global Environmental Governance and the Internationalization of the State: The Case of Biodiversity Politics
International Journal of Social Science Studies
Scholarly debates on the relative (in-)effectiveness of global environmental governance increasingly focus on problems of cooperation across regime boundaries and on the missing knowledge base for such interlinkages. Global environmental change and related politics are increasingly seen as taking place in a complex field in which several ecological processes are interlinked -e.g. climate change, biodiversity, water, and land-use change -and these processes are deeply interconnected with
... nected with societal processes, such as food supply and nutrition and the economic and financial crisis. We argue that institutionalist approaches have their merits but they are nevertheless inadequate because they do not seriously address questions concerning the root causes of problems, power, and domination. Furthermore, they do not critically scrutinise how the political institutions of current global environmental governance may in fact support broader socio-economic and political developments. This could effectively undermine the supposed goals of global environmental governance institutions and could seriously threaten other social or ecological processes. Informed by critical research on global environmental governance and adding to this literature insight from critical state theory, we develop an understanding of the internationalized state as well as its role and function in globalized capitalism. We illustrate our argument with recent developments in international biodiversity politics. We show that the predominant forms of politics are not very effective with respect to the ongoing erosion of biodiversity. However, the complicated and conflictive political processes within an apparatus of the internationalised state are mainly in line with hegemonic developments and dominant interest, i.e. the increasing valorization of biodiversity and especially of genetic resources.