Regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone: which forms does it take and why?

Siegel, Karen Meike (2014) Regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone: which forms does it take and why? PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the forms that environmental cooperation takes in regions of the South and the processes determining these different forms. Environmental cooperation has been researched extensively in other contexts, notably in relation to global environmental regimes, but the regional dimension and regions in the South in particular, have received very little attention. This thesis provides an in-depth exploratory study comparing three cases of regional environmental cooperation in one region of the South, the Southern Cone of South America. Based on the findings from two extensive fieldwork periods which served to conduct over 50 interviews with policy-makers, civil society representatives and researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and to collect relevant documentation, the thesis argues that regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone takes place in three main forms; regional organisations; regional resource regimes; and the regional implementation of global environmental conventions. These vary in terms of the type of institutional framework and its political purpose; the scope of issues addressed; and the way the membership is determined. Regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone is promoted by different types of drivers from within the region, notably civil society organisations and networks of government officials, as well as drivers from outside the region, most importantly donors and international organisations. The variation in the forms of cooperation is thus determined not only by the position of national governments, but also by the objectives and strategies used by the different drivers. In addition, regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone is marked by low political will and takes a marginal position in particular in relation to economic interests. While different drivers have been crucial in shaping the different forms that regional environmental cooperation takes, the marginality of this is an outcome of the political and economic context and the development strategy adopted by governments. Consequently, during the research process it became clear that it is important to distinguish between differing levels of strength of regional environmental cooperation and the thesis has developed the concepts of robustness and marginality to this end. These theoretical tools provide an important basis for further research and comparisons on environmental cooperation in regions of the South.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: regional environmental cooperation; Southern Cone; Mercosur; La Plata basin; Convention on Migratory Species; neo-extractivism
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Kollman, Dr. Kelly and Hume, Dr. Mo
Date of Award: 2014
Embargo Date: 22 August 2019
Depositing User: Dr Karen M Siegel
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5271
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 08:38
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 10:17

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