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Ozone Discourse: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation

Karen T. Litfin

January, 1995
Paper, 257 pages, 10 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-08137-5
$33.00 / £23.00

How can scientific knowledge be translated into political change? Ozone Discourse examines the first global environment treaty, the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent revisions, which was a highly effective collaboration among scientists, policymakers and activists.

The treaties were the work of a small group of experts who, without conventional political or economic resources, were able to persuade most of the world's nations to agree to reduce and then eliminate chlorofluorocarbons. These experts used their understanding of atmospheric science to supplement the policymakers' short-term perspective with a wider, intergenerational timeframe characteristic of global environmental problems.

Litfin argues that the discipline of international relations requires a broader conception of power in order to accomodate the knowledge-based problems such as environmental degradation.

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About the Author

Karen Litfin is Assistn Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington at Seattle. She teaches and writes on the environment in world politics; her primary interest is in the intersection of politics, science, and philosophy.

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