Green Political Ideas and Environmental Policy

Walter F. Baber and Robert V. Bartlett

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744671
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Green Political Ideas and Environmental Policy


The development of U.S. environmental policy has been influenced by six collections of ideas from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. All six—ecological perspectives, notions about knowledge and rationality, participatory politics, economic principles, environmental justice, and organizational structure—continue to affect ongoing policy, policy debates, and policy initiatives, sometimes in conflict with each other. This article provides a brief overview of these six sets of ideas as they have appeared in the research literature and have (or have not) influenced environmental politics and policy development in the United States. It concludes with a discussion of why political theory and political philosophy have not been, and are not soon likely to be, significant contributors to the pool of influential green political ideas shaping American environmental politics and policy.

Keywords: environmental policies; ecology; knowledge; rationality; participatory policies; economic principles; environmental justice; organizational structure

Article.  8387 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

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