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Local Interests and Interstate Relations: Air Pollution Governance on the Canada-United States Border

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This paper assesses the development of the bilateral Canada-U.S. air pollution regime in light of developments in the domestic air pollution regimes of each of the two countries. It shows that, although multiple jurisdictions are implicated in the politics of air pollution around the Canada-U.S. border, the political will behind non-symbolic governance comes from landed interests based in urban areas. Since Canadian provinces are not able to utilize the U.S. Clean Air Act to prevent the transport of airborne pollutants into Ontario and Québec, and Northeast states are not able to use the statute to constrain the behavior of Canadian polluters, economic interests seeking relief from pollution have acted as forum shoppers by utilizing the bilateral regime. The author traces this dynamic, concurrently arguing that other explanatory factors in the regime's development, such as public opinion or NGO activity, have instead resulted in symbolic policy. Properly understood, the regime functions as a tool for local business interests to protect growth. This paper bridges a divide between the IR literature on environmental regimes, which understands them in terms of interstate relations, with the public policy literature discussing regimes as areas of domestic policy.

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state (147), pollut (137), air (129), regim (104), smelter (75), canada (73), govern (73), unit (70), negoti (67), interest (67), bilater (55), would (52), acid (50), polit (49), farmer (47), industri (46), effect (46), canadian (46), polici (46), feder (45), land (45),
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Name: International Studies Association Annual Conference "Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition"
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MLA Citation:

Temby, Owen. "Local Interests and Interstate Relations: Air Pollution Governance on the Canada-United States Border" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association Annual Conference "Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition", Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, Mar 16, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p498824_index.html>

APA Citation:

Temby, O. , 2011-03-16 "Local Interests and Interstate Relations: Air Pollution Governance on the Canada-United States Border" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association Annual Conference "Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition", Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p498824_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper assesses the development of the bilateral Canada-U.S. air pollution regime in light of developments in the domestic air pollution regimes of each of the two countries. It shows that, although multiple jurisdictions are implicated in the politics of air pollution around the Canada-U.S. border, the political will behind non-symbolic governance comes from landed interests based in urban areas. Since Canadian provinces are not able to utilize the U.S. Clean Air Act to prevent the transport of airborne pollutants into Ontario and Québec, and Northeast states are not able to use the statute to constrain the behavior of Canadian polluters, economic interests seeking relief from pollution have acted as forum shoppers by utilizing the bilateral regime. The author traces this dynamic, concurrently arguing that other explanatory factors in the regime's development, such as public opinion or NGO activity, have instead resulted in symbolic policy. Properly understood, the regime functions as a tool for local business interests to protect growth. This paper bridges a divide between the IR literature on environmental regimes, which understands them in terms of interstate relations, with the public policy literature discussing regimes as areas of domestic policy.


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