Paul G. Harris has authored and edited many books on global environmental politics, policy and ethics. He has written extensively on the problem of climate change.
Professor Harris is currently writing a book on climate governance for Cambridge University Press; editing a major volume on governing oceanic change, also for Cambridge University Press; starting work on a scholarly handbook about marine environmental politics for Routledge; and in the early stages of editing an academic collection on climate justice.
Scroll down this page to learn about most of Professor Harris’s authored and edited books (more information on forthcoming books will be added soon). Click on the titles (or the pictures) for additional information.
Pathologies of Climate Governance: International Relations, Domestic Politics and Human Nature (Cambridge University Press, under contract/forthcoming 2019). Climate change is growing worse. Despite international agreements brokered by the United Nations, national policies to encourage the use of renewable energy, and increasing awareness of environmental sustainability among publics, enormous amounts of greenhouse gas pollution continue to enter Earth’s atmosphere, even as scientists warn that this pollution must be eliminated very soon. The resources needed to adapt to climate change are orders of magnitude less than what is available, especially for the poorest communities least responsible for the problem. Tragically, the problem is outpacing the solutions – there is a chronic, pathological inability to govern climate change effectively. What are the sources of this pathology and how can it be remedied? How can more effective policies be implemented by nations, communities and individuals? Pathologies of Climate Governance answers these questions. Readers will become familiar with climate change as a vital global problem, understand its fundamental causes and impacts, develop an awareness of key underlying driving forces, and learn about alternative pathways for moving beyond historically weak policy responses. Pathologies of Climate Governance is for people who are frustrated with slow action by governments and other actors to address climate change. It is for those who want to find real solutions to this vexing and increasingly urgent problem.
Global Ethics and Climate Change, second edition (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). Climate change is the world’s greatest challenge. Solutions to it can be found in global ethics. With each passing year, the causes and consequences of climate change grow worse: more pollution from more people and more countries, leading to more adverse environmental changes and widening human suffering. The failure of governments to address climate change effectively has never been more evident. Making the connections between global ethics and climate change, and acting on those connections, has never been more urgent. Building on the ethical and political analyses of the first edition, this edition updates the science and impacts of climate change, exposes the increasing intensity of dangerous trends – particularly growing global affluence, material consumption and pollution – and highlights the intensifying moral dimensions of resulting changes to the environment. In so doing, the book shows readers how vital global justice will be to our common future. Alas, it is too late to stop climate change. It is not too late to reduce the untold injustices it portends. (All of the author’s royalties from sales of this book are paid by Edinburgh University Press directly to Oxfam.) To help professors and students use Global Ethics and Climate Change in university courses, a companion learning guide is freely available here.
What’s Wrong with Climate Politics and How to Fix It (Polity, 2013). Governments have failed to stem global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases causing climate change. Indeed, without far more aggressive action, climate-changing pollution will remain far too high for decades to come. What explains this failure to effectively tackle the world’s most serious long-term problem? And what can be done about it? To answer these questions, Paul G. Harris looks at climate politics as a doctor might look at a very sick patient. He performs urgent diagnoses and prescribes vital treatments to revive our ailing planet before it is too late. What’s Wrong with Climate Politics and How to Fix It begins by diagnosing what’s most wrong with climate politics, including the anachronistic international system, which encourages nations to fight for their narrowly perceived interests and makes major cuts in greenhouse pollution extraordinarily difficult; the United States and China, which together produce over one-third of global greenhouse gas pollution; and affluent lifestyles and overconsumption, which are spreading rapidly from industrialized nations to the developing world. The book then prescribes several antidotes to the failed politics of climate change, including a new kind of climate diplomacy with people at its center, national policies that put the common-but-differentiated responsibilities of individuals alongside those of nations, and a campaign for simultaneously enhancing human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development in China (Policy Press, 2012). Drawing on practices and theories of sustainability, Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development in China explores the prospects for achieving environmentally benign economic and social development in China and beyond. Using the Chinese “world city” of Hong Kong as a backdrop and case study, it introduces major conceptions of sustainability, describes historical and political contexts for environmental policymaking, and analyses key challenges related to sustainable development, including air pollution, water quality, waste, transport and climate change. Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development in China is intended to be a valuable and unique resource for students, teachers and readers interested in environmental policy, sustainable development and ecological governance, especially in China and Hong Kong. (All of the author’s royalties from sales of this book are paid by Policy Press directly to Friends of the Earth and WWF.)
World Ethics and Climate Change (Edinburgh University Press, 2010). More than two decades of international negotiations have failed to reduce adequately emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming and climate change. This book identifies a way to escape this ongoing tragedy of the atmospheric commons. It takes a fresh approach to the ethics and practice of international environmental justice and proposes fundamental adjustments to the climate change regime, in the process drawing support from cosmopolitan ethics and global conceptions of justice. World Ethics and Climate Change makes a case for “cosmopolitan diplomacy,” which sees people, rather than states alone, as the causes of climate change and the bearers of related rights, duties and obligations. The book describes the role of ethics and justice in world affairs and demonstrates that climate change is a matter of extreme injustice; summarizes and critiques the flawed doctrine of international (interstate) justice upon which governments have premised climate change agreements and policies; examines the practical and ethical significance for climate change of growing numbers of new consumers in the developing world; and proposes a cosmopolitan approach to climate change that is more principled, more practical and more politically viable than current international policies. (All of the author’s royalties are directly paid by the publisher to Oxfam in support of the world’s poor, who are most harmed by – and least responsible for – climate change.)
International Equity and Global Environmental Politics (Ashgate, 2001). This book examines international environmental equity, which is a vital concern in international efforts to address climate change and other environmental problems. Equity in this context is defined as a fair and just distribution of the benefits, burdens and decision-making authority associated with international environmental relations. International environmental equity, if made a reality, can help protect the global environment, and it can reduce human suffering. International Equity and Global Environmental Politics defines this concept and shows how it found its way into global environmental politics and started to affect U.S. foreign policy. But the United States has never done enough to take on its fair share of global environmental burdens, as evidenced by meager actions of the Clinton administration and the subsequent Bush administration. The book explains why. The imperfect U.S. response to the emerging international consensus on environmental equity resulted from concerns about environmental security, America’s pluralistic policy-making process, and the too-subtle influence of the principle of international equity per se. More broadly, the book discusses the implications for the world of embracing – or failing to embrace – international equity as a core objective of global environmental policy. Those who wish to better understand the importance of equity, justice and fairness – as well as the United States – in shaping future efforts to address climate change and protect the world’s environment will find the book useful. (This book is no longer in print, but it is available from libraries and used-book sellers. Professor Harris has a few copies that he would be happy to send to economically deprived research libraries.)
Climate Change and Ocean Governance: Politics and Policy for Threatened Seas (Cambridge University Press, under contract/forthcoming 2018). Some of the most profound effects of climate change will occur across the world’s oceans, seas and coastlines. Indeed, these effects are already being experienced. The environmental, social and economic consequences of oceanic change present tremendous challenges for governments and other actors. Existing national and international institutions for marine governance that were created when oceanic conditions were relatively static may not be adequate for a future characterized by continuous oceanic change. The impacts of climate change on oceans and seas will have political implications at all levels – local, national, international and global. Oceanic change will require politically difficult choices for governments and other actors. New and innovative policies for governing oceans and seas, and managing vital marine resources, have never been more important. Scientific literature on the role of oceans and seas in climate change is now extensive. In contrast, the body of literature analyzing the governance of oceanic change is relatively small. Climate Change and Ocean Governance aims to address this imbalance by bringing together research findings from political science and cognate disciplines to examine the political and policy dimensions of climate change for the world’s oceans. Climate Change and Ocean Governance will present a snapshot of the current state of knowledge and portray a cross-section of research and analyses being conducted in this vital area of climate-related scholarship.
Ethics, Environmental Justice and Climate Change (Edward Elgar, 2016). Climate change has started to affect communities and individuals adversely, sometimes causing extreme suffering and death. This has been manifested acutely in extreme weather events, but also chronically in prolonged droughts and associated adverse impacts on food production. The practical issues associated with climate change, for example those related to international negotiations and domestic economic and social policies, have been extensively addressed in scholarly literature. But climate change is also a normative problem: it presents individuals, communities and businesses with challenges and choices that raise profound questions of what is right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust. Scholars have debated these normative issues. Arguably, effective long-term policies on climate change will never be realized if these debates are not understood by policymakers, diplomats and other government officials, as well as by those influencing climate policies outside governments. Importantly, the lessons arising from these debates will have to be integrated into international agreements, national regulations, local policies and individual human behaviors. With an original introduction by the editor, Ethics, Environmental Justice and Climate Change brings together articles written by eminent experts in the field to illuminate the ethics of climate change and the related questions of justice. It explores the themes of environmental philosophy, duties and responsibilities, intergenerational justice, international equity, cosmopolitanism, human rights, individual obligations and climate policy.
Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, updated paperback edition (Routledge, 2016). The Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of global environmental politics. It brings together leading international academic experts and features 40 chapters that describe the history of global environmental politics as a discipline and explain the various theories and perspectives used by scholars and students to understand it; examine the key actors and institutions in global environmental politics, explaining the role of states, international organizations, regimes, international law, foreign policy institutions, domestic politics, corporations and transnational actors; address the ideas and themes shaping the practice and study of global environmental politics, including sustainability, consumption, expertise, uncertainty, security, diplomacy, North-South relations, globalization, justice, ethics, participation and citizenship; and assess the key issues and policies within global environmental politics, including energy, climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, acid rain, sustainable transport, persistent organic pollutants, hazardous wastes, water, rivers, wetlands, oceans, fisheries, marine mammals, biodiversity, migratory species, natural heritage, forests, desertification, food and agriculture. With an in-depth update by the editor, this expanded paperback edition of the handbook should be an invaluable resource for students, scholars, researchers and practitioners of environmental politics, environmental studies, environmental science, geography, international relations and political science.
Climate Change and American Foreign Policy, updated paperback edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world. The role played by the United States may determine our collective future. Now available in paperback, Climate Change and American Foreign Policy examines the actors, institutions, and ideas shaping US policies and actions. With a lengthy update by the editor, the book introduces the issue of climate change in the context of US foreign policy. It analyses policies and critically evaluates the US role. Chapters analyze a full range of topics, including the politics of climate science, economics and regulation, domestic politics and nongovernmental organizations, the presidency and Congress, diplomacy and international negotiations, environmental agreements and regimes, and questions of responsibility and justice. The book concludes by looking at how international norms have influenced US climate change policies. Climate Change and American Foreign Policy will be of interest to everyone concerned about climate change, global environmental politics, US foreign policy and international relations. (For the additional updated material, be sure to read the paperback edition. For information on the original hardback edition, scroll down to the bottom of this web page.)
Routledge Handbook of Environment and Society in Asia, co-edited with Graeme Lang (Routledge, 2015). Nowhere is the connection between society and the environment more evident and potentially more harmful for the future of the world than in Asia. In recent decades, rapid development of Asian countries with very large populations has led to an unprecedented increase in environmental problems such as air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, deforestation, and depletion of natural resources and extinction of native species. The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Society in Asia provides a comprehensive survey of the cultural, social and policy contexts of environmental change across East Asia. A team of international experts critically examine a wide range of environmental problems related to energy, climate change, air, land, water, fisheries, forests and wildlife. The chapters demonstrate that, with nearly half of the human population of the planet, and several rapidly growing economies, most notably China, Asian societies will determine much of the future of human impacts on the regional and global environments. As climate-change related threats to society increase, the book strongly argues for increased environmental consciousness and action in Asian societies. The handbook is intended to be an essential companion for students, scholars, policy makers and researchers working on environmental issues in Asia.
Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics (Routledge, 2014). This original hardback edition of The Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of global environmental politics. (See above for the updated paperback edition published in 2016.) It brings together leading international academic experts and features 40 chapters to describe the history of global environmental politics as a discipline and explain the various theories and perspectives used by scholars and students to understand it; examine the key actors and institutions in global environmental politics, explaining the role of states, international organizations, regimes, international law, foreign policy institutions, domestic politics, corporations and transnational actors; address the ideas and themes shaping the practice and study of global environmental politics, including sustainability, consumption, expertise, uncertainty, security, diplomacy, North-South relations, globalization, justice, ethics, participation and citizenship; and assess the key issues and policies within global environmental politics, including energy, climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, acid rain, sustainable transport, persistent organic pollutants, hazardous wastes, water, rivers, wetlands, oceans, fisheries, marine mammals, biodiversity, migratory species, natural heritage, forests, desertification, food and agriculture. This book is an invaluable resource to students, scholars, researchers and practitioners of environmental politics, environmental studies, environmental science and geography.
Ethics and Global Environmental Policy: Cosmopolitan Conceptions of Climate Change (Edward Elgar, 2011). This collection of provocative essays evaluates the world’s failed policy responses to climate change, in the process demonstrating how cosmopolitan ethics can inform global environmental governance. A cosmopolitan worldview points to climate-related policies that are less “international” and more “global.” From a cosmopolitan perspective, national borders should not delineate obligations and responsibilities associated with climate change. Human beings, rather than the narrow interests of nation-states, ought to be at the center of moral calculations and policy responses to climate change. In this volume, expert contributors examine questions of individual and global responsibility, burden sharing among people and states, international law and environmental justice, capitalism and voluntary action, pluralist cooperation and hegemony, and alternative approaches to climate action and diplomacy. The book helps to illuminate new principles for global environmental policy that can come from cosmopolitan conceptions of climate change. Ethics and Global Environmental Policy is intended for scholars, students, policymakers, activists and analysts in the fields of climate change, international ethics, environmental policy, international environmental diplomacy, global environmental politics and environmental studies. Government officials, nongovernmental actors and informed readers concerned about climate change and global justice will also find much to interest them in this book. (All of the editor’s royalties from the sale of the book will be paid directly by the publisher to Oxfam.)
China’s Responsibility for Climate Change: Ethics, Fairness and Environmental Policy (Policy Press, 2011). China is the largest national source of the greenhouse gas pollution causing global warming and resulting changes to Earth’s climate. Therefore, on a very practical level, China is absolutely central to the world’s efforts to address climate change. That said, it is a more complex and controversial question to ask whether, and to what degree, China is responsible for climate change. Certainly the question needs to be asked because the answer to it will be central to China’s willingness, and indeed the willingness of the Chinese people, to be fully involved in global solutions to this problem. However, the question of China’s responsibility for climate change is seldom posed, making this book possibly the first one devoted to it. Drawing on practices and theories of environmental justice, China’s Responsibility for Climate Change describes China’s contribution to global warming and analyzes its policy responses. Contributors critically examine China’s practical and ethical responsibility from a variety of perspectives. They explore policies that could mitigate China’s environmental impact while promoting its own interests and meeting the international community’s expectations. The book is accessible to a wide readership, including academics, policymakers and activists. (All of the editor’s royalties from sale of this book are paid directly by the publisher to Friends of the Earth.)
The Politics of Climate Change: Environmental Dynamics in International Affairs (Routledge, 2009). Climate change is now a mainstream part of the international political agenda. It has become clear that it is not solely a technical issue, to be resolved by scientists, but a political issue with political implications at all levels of global governance. The purpose of this book is to reveal and apply some of the latest thinking on the implications of climate change for international affairs, and to explore how various proposals for tackling climate change will affect interstate relations in coming years. Chapters by scholars of international relations, international political economy and international law contribute to current discussions of climate change, doing so in way that is accessible to students, stakeholders, government officials and informed laypersons. Some questions considered in the book include the following: How has the discussion of climate change affected interstate relations? How does this problem, and how do environmental issues more generally, challenge international relations theory? How do international climate politics influence domestic politics, and vice-versa? How would climate change or action taken to tackle it affect the balance of power or balance of influence? Is climate change a matter of international security or international justice (or both) and how does the answer to this question affect policy responses of governments? Which states are likely to benefit or suffer from the various proposals to address climate change? What are the legal, ethical and political implications of the uneven distribution of the impacts of climate change?
Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2009). Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice and its companion volume, Climate Change and Foreign Policy: Case Studies from East to West, examine and explain the role of foreign policy politics, processes and institutions in efforts to protect the environment and natural resources. These books seek to highlight international efforts to address human-induced changes to the natural environment, analyze the actors and institutions that constrain and shape actions on environmental issues, show how environmental changes influence foreign policy processes, and critically assess environmental foreign policies. Focusing on theory and practice, Environmental Change and Foreign Policy introduces the concepts and theories of Environmental Foreign Policy, providing a theoretical overview as well as addressing the construction of nature, the symbolism of environmental policy, and business and government responses to climate change. The book explores the practice of environmental foreign policy, describing how both developed and developing countries have approached a variety of environmental issues, including persistent organic pollutants, water, biodiversity, climate change and the trade-environment nexus. The book will be of strong interest to scholars and students of environmental policy and politics, foreign policy, public policy, climate change and international relations.
Climate Change and Foreign Policy: Case Studies from East to West (Routledge, 2009). Climate Change and Foreign Policy: Case Studies from East to West and its companion volume, Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice, examine and explain the role of foreign policy politics, processes and institutions in efforts to protect the environment and natural resources. They seek to highlight international efforts to address human-induced changes to the natural environment, analyze the actors and institutions that constrain and shape actions on environmental issues, show how environmental changes influence foreign policy processes, and critically assess environmental foreign policies. Climate Change and Foreign Policy examines the problem of global climate change and assesses the manner in which governments and other actors have attempted to deal with it. It presents a series of in-depth international case studies on climate policy in Australia, Japan, China, Turkey, Hungary, Denmark, France, the European Union and the United States. The authors demonstrate how studying environmental foreign policy can help us to better understand how governments, businesses and civil society actors address – or fail to address – the critical problem climate change. Climate Change and Foreign Policy will be of interest to scholars and students of environmental policy and politics, foreign policy, public policy, climate change and international relations.
Europe and Global Climate Change: Politics, Foreign Policy and Regional Cooperation (Edward Elgar, 2007). The core objective of this book is to better understand the role of foreign policy – the crossovers and interactions between domestic and international politics and policies – in efforts to preserve the environment and natural resources. Underlying this objective is the belief that it is not enough to analyze domestic or international political actors, institutions and processes by themselves. We need to understand the interactions among them, something that explicit thought about foreign policy can help us do. Europe and Global Climate Change explores European and EU responses to global climate change. Major aims of the book are to analyze the “what, how and why” of climate change policies of several EU member states and of the EU itself (e.g., the European Commission and its agencies), and to supplement existing knowledge of climate change policies by explicitly adding environmental foreign policy analysis to the mix of tools used to understand those policies. The eclectic group of contributors explores European and EU responses to global climate change, and provides insights into issues on environmental protection, sustainable development, international affairs and foreign policy. While many important arguments are made throughout the book, the main one is this: analyzing and thinking about European climate change policies from the perspective of foreign policy will help us to better understand how and why Europe has responded to this issue and how (or whether) it will do so in the future.
The Global Politics of AIDS, co-edited with Patricia Siplon (Lynne Rienner, 2007). With tens of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS—and millions dead from related diseases since the early 1980s—the need to understand the causes and impact of the pandemic is manifest. In response, The Global Politics of AIDS explores power and politics at multiple levels, ranging from individual behavior to corporate boardrooms to international institutions and forces. The contributors combine careful scholarship with sensitivity to both the suffering of those afflicted and the frustration of those seeking to bring about meaningful change. (All royalties from sales of the book are donated to AIDS-related charities.)
Confronting Environmental Change in East and Southeast Asia: Eco-Politics, Foreign Policy and Sustainable Development (Earthscan/United Nations University Press, 2005). As their economies and populations expand, almost all Asian countries are experiencing profound ecological problems at the national, regional and global level. While the countries of East and Southeast Asia are often the victims of environmental change, they are also complicit in causing it at home and abroad. Confronting Environmental Change in East and Southeast Asia takes foreign policy considerations into account in its analyses of how states and other actors in East and Southeast Asia confront environmental change through international cooperation and environmentally sustainable development. The first section of the book examines many of the actors, institutions and forces shaping environmental diplomacy and foreign policy in East Asia, with a focus on China and Japan. The second section takes a deeper look at the relationships between ecological politics, international relations and environmentally sustainable development in East and Southeast Asia. Several chapters focus on how environmental foreign policies impact countries in the region as they endeavor to implement environmentally sustainable development. Together, the analyses and case studies in this volume illuminate how environmental change is confronted (or not) in East and Southeast Asia, with a host of important insights for researchers, governments, policy-makers, conservationists and business people dealing with the profound environmental problems facing the region.
Global Warming and East Asia: The Domestic and International Politics of Climate Change (Routledge, 2003). Global Warming and East Asia analyses the domestic politics, foreign policy and international relations of climate change in East and Southeast Asia. The countries of this important region are often disproportionately affected by climate change and, as they expand and develop, their contribution to the problem grows. The contributors investigate the increasingly widespread and disparate efforts to address global warming at international, national and local levels, and in so doing increase our understanding of a region vital to mitigating and coping with climate change. This unique volume includes in-depth studies of China and Japan, two of the most important countries in East Asia with regard to global warming, and examines the role of East and Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, in combating the problem.
International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia (University Press of Colorado, 2002). As the twenty-first century commenced, the countries of Pacific Asia were grappling with the impact of regional development, industrialization and economic growth on their increasingly acute environmental problems. International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia brings together innovative and insightful studies of international environmental politics in this increasingly critical part of the world. The first section of the book examines many of the issues and actors impacting international environmental cooperation, highlighting important themes such as cooperation between developed and developing countries, international justice and regional environmental security. Chapters in the first section illustrate key features of specific multilateral environmental agreements and the competing interests of important national bodies, international organizations, multinational corporations and nongovernmental entities. The second section of the book focuses on environmental diplomacy and regime building in Pacific Asia, examining issues such as acid rain, nuclear waste, deforestation and conflict over regional seas. Contributors from Asia, Europe and North America bring an international perspective to questions of environmental cooperation. International Environmental Cooperation provides policymakers, citizens, scholars and students with essential information for understanding and addressing some of the world’s most significant environmental problems. (This book is no longer in print, but it is available from libraries and some used book sellers.)
The Environment, International Relations, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Georgetown University Press, 2001). It is now commonly acknowledged that humans are subjecting the global environment to potentially overwhelming stresses. The United States, as the world’s largest polluter and greatest consumer of natural resources, has had a greater impact on the environment than any other country. The United States is therefore an essential participant in international efforts to address adverse changes to Earth’s natural environment. The Environment, International Relations, and U.S. Foreign Policy is the first book dedicated to examining many of the most important aspects of environmental change as they relate to U.S. foreign policy. Researched and written by an international group of scholars under the auspices of the Project on Environmental Change and Foreign Policy, this book is an innovative and sometimes provocative work that is accessible to scholars and laypersons interested in environmental change, American foreign policy and international relations. Broken into three broad areas – national security and geopolitics, domestic and international politics, and national interests and international obligations – the book examines a host of important issues, including environmental and energy security, ozone depletion and climate change, biodiversity and the whale hunting, and trade and the environment. It also explores moral issues associated with environmental change and America’s obligations to humanity. As such, the book should be important reading for policy makers, students and activists around the world.
Climate Change and American Foreign Policy (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). (See above for information on the updated paperback edition published in 2016.) Climate Change and American Foreign Policy examines the actors, institutions, and ideas shaping US policy on climate change. This, the original hardcover of the book, begins by introducing the issue of climate change in the context of US foreign policy, before critically evaluating US policies and actions. It analyzes the domestic and international politics of US climate change policy, covering such issues as science, the presidency and Congress, non-governmental organizations, diplomacy, and the international negotiations leading to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The book concludes by looking at the role of international norms in shaping US climate change policy.
2017 Paul G. Harris. All rights reserved. Photo credits: UN, USGS, book publishers