The environmental state and environmental governance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Since the late nineteenth century, the nation-state has played a major role in protecting the natural environment. This resulted in the proliferation of specialized state environmental organizations, institutions and practices. For decades this state centrality in environmental protection was judged favourably. However, since the framing of ‘state failure’ in the 1980s and accelerated processes of globalization in the 1990s the environmental state is contested, resulting in the foregrounding of other actors, institutions and authorities in environmental protection. This contribution assesses these debates and developments with respect to the concept of environmental state in OECD countries. It concludes that within today’s polycentric landscape of environmental governance, it is still a useful concept but it has lost its monopoly position and conventional meaning that prevailed earlier.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironment and Society
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts and Challenges
EditorsMagnus Boström, Debra Davidson
ISBN (Electronic)9783319764153
ISBN (Print)9783319764153
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'The environmental state and environmental governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this