Global institutional clashes: economic versus environmental regimes

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Most globalization scholars identify negative consequences for the environment in the neo-liberal orientation in current economic globalization processes. But at the same time, we can witness constant efforts at the supra-national level to institutionalize environmental interests and considerations in new institutions, arrangements and regimes. Many of the multilateral environmental arrangements give evidence of such developments. This paper aims to analyze the nature, substance and place of institutional clashes that take place between these emerging environmental institutions and the more established economic institutions linked to liberalization of trade and investment. The paper finds that (i) current globalization processes cannot be defined as giving only leeway to capital without taking care of the environment, (ii) the clashes between the economic and environmental institutions are more than only a clash between economic priorities versus environmental interests, and (iii) the pacification of these clashes will not happen in a fortnight, as the environmental advocates especially are unlikely to move towards an integration of the two kind of institutions in the short term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-318
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Deregulation
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Globalization


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