|A theoretical study of the politics of transnational environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the World Wildlife Fund that argues that environmental activists practice world civic politics and play a central role in the way the world addresses environmental issues.
"Grounded in a detailed examination of the actions of several leading environmental non governmental organizations (NGOs), the argument of this important book is relevant far beyond the realm of environmental issues. Wapner adds empirical depth to the gathering sense that the activities of non state actors are giving rise to influential forms of global governance that operate partially or even wholly outside the states system." -- Oran R. Young, Director, The Institute on International Environmental Governance, Dartmouth College
Organized across national boundaries and with millions of supporters worldwide, transnational environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, and Friends of the Earth play a central role in the way the world addresses environmental issues. This book provides the most systematic and theoretically informed study to date of the strategies these organizations use to advance global environmental protection. Based on case studies of three transnational groups, it argues that in addition to lobbying governments, activists operate within and across societies to effect widespread change. They work through transnational social, economic, and cultural networks to alter corporate practices, educate vast numbers of people, pressure multilateral development banks, and shift standards of good conduct. Wapner argues that because this activity takes place outside the formal arena of inter-state politics, environmental activists practice "world civic politics"; they politicize global civil society. The theoretical import of this book is to bring the practice of world civic politics into sharp relief and generalize its significance beyond environmental affairs to explain the efforts of all NGOs in world politics.
"This book is a pleasure to read. It offers fresh insights into the ways NGOs operate and the types of roles they play in the world political system and will be recognized as a significant contribution to the literature on international NGOs." -- Marvin S. Soroos, North Carolina State University
"This insightful and well-written book provides an engaging analysis of how transnational environmental activists are creating social change and a global civil society. Too rarely do activists have the opportunity to see their efforts put into the context of the evolving nature of world politics. I recommend it to anyone interested in transnational politics and environmental activism." -- Joshua Handler, Greenpeace International
Paul Wapner is Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at the American University.