"Regulating the Polluters: Markets and Strategies for Protecting the Global Environment” Oxford University Press (2017)

National governments and private stakeholders have long recognized that protecting the global environment requires international cooperation. In working to mitigate problems such as deforestation or climate change, national governments have developed a wide variety of environmental regime designs. What explains the pattern of regime design in global environmental governance? In this book, I demonstrate that national governments have developed different institutional responses to global issues because the markets producing environmental pollution impose varying constraints and create varying opportunities for governments. Contrary to the prevailing literature, governments are more inclined to impose stringent rules and regulations on oligopolistic industries than on competitive ones. In global governance, oligopolistic businesses face a “double-edged sword” arising from their wealth and market concentrations. The findings invert the literature on regulatory capture and collective action by presenting empirical evidence of the irony of market power in global environmental politics.


"Pathways of Cooperation: Integrated and Un-integrated International Environmental Governance"

Governments have incentives to form integrated rules and institutions when they pursue international environmental cooperation. Under what conditions do they form environmental cooperation consisting of un-integrated rules and institutions? I argue that governments form integrated cooperation when they share convergent preferences over cooperation. They form un-integrated cooperation when have divergent preferences. Preferences diverge under one of two conditions: (i) economic actors (“stakeholders”) responsible for the environmental problem operate in diffuse markets, or (ii) states have an asymmetrically interdependent relationship in managing the environmental issue. When neither condition holds, governments share convergent preferences over environmental cooperation. I evaluate the importance of stakeholder concentrations by studying patterns of cooperation on global environmental issues such as climate change, ozone layer depletion, biodiversity loss, and mercury pollution. I evaluate the importance of interdependence structures by studying patterns of cooperation on regional rivers, lakes, and seas. The analysis employs original data stemming from agreement texts, field surveys, primary-source interviews, field observations, primary texts, quantitative data, as well as secondary sources. Governments create integrated global environmental cooperation when stakeholders are economically concentrated. They create un-integrated cooperation when stakeholders are economically diffuse. On regional water bodies, governments form integrated cooperation when states share symmetrical exposure to pollution and other externalities. They form un-integrated cooperation when states have asymmetrical exposure. Neither the number of states with control over an environmental issue nor the wealth and geopolitical relations among states better explain patterns of cooperation on global environmental issues or regional water bodies. 

Committee: Robert O. Keohane (chair), Christina L. Davis, Helen V. Milner

Dissertation Prize: 2014 Virginia Walsh Award for the best dissertation in Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics (American Political Science Association)