The Politics of Environmental Performance

Institutions and Preferences in Industrialized Democracies

New: Speech about the ASPM and Environmental Performance

Watch Detlef Jahn speaking about "Political Partisanship and Environmental Performance" in the WIPCAD Lecture Series at the University of Potsdam!

About the Book

Jahn, Detlef. 2016. The Politics of Environmental Performance. Institutions and Preferences in Industrialized Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This book has not only "set a new standard of excellence for those seeking to understand comparative environmental politics" (advance praise from Ron Mitchell), but it also "shows how various styles of politics exist simultaneously in modern democracies" (advance praise from Arend Lijphart). Furthermore, it uses the PIP dataset (Parties, Institutions and Preferences) for constructing government positions in the left-right and environmental policy dimensions. The data and supplementary material is available on this site. Here you will also find advance praise by leading scholars: Arend Lijphart, George Tsebelis, Ron Mitchell, and Lyle Scruggs. For access or ordering you may also visit Cambridge University Press' website.

Advanced Praises

This excellent study shows how various styles of politics exist simultaneously in modern democracies. In environmental politics there are clashes between prioritizing the environment over growth and vice versa. However, there is also a consensus style in some areas of environmental politics, which may be more efficient in the end. A major contribution of this study is the agenda setting power model which illustrates how these two strategies work in democracies. The conclusions build on a rigorous data analysis which underlines the argument compellingly. This approach provides a very attractive model for other studies in the field of macro-comparative politics.
Arend Lijphart - Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California, San Diego

Jahn’s work is bound to become the go-to book for anyone interested in understanding why industrialized democracies differ so much in how well, or poorly, they treat the natural environment. This book provides a sophisticated and carefully articulated argument that reflects Jahn’s unique depth and breadth of knowledge regarding political and policy processes, on the one hand, and environmental degradation, on the other. The book brings together an impressively broad range of theoretical insights, methodological tools, and empirical evidence in an analysis that provides a compelling examination of why countries sometimes succeed but too often fail in their efforts to protect the natural environment. This book has set a new standard of excellence for those seeking to understand comparative environmental politics.
Ronald Mitchell - University of Oregon

Detlef Jahn studies environmental politics in advanced industrialized countries in a global environment. To achieve this goal, he faces multiple challenges: the interaction between agenda setters and veto players at the national as well as the international level; the multiple dimensions of political competition (left–right and growth–environment); the multiple issues of environmental policies; and the complicating effects of factors like climate. He has produced a thorough and impressive synthesis of theoretical arguments and empirical evidence which will contribute to our understanding of the most important problem of the planet before it is too late.
George Tsebelis - Anatol Rapoport Collegiate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

Professor Jahn has produced an impressive, nuanced study of the determinants of environmental performance among advanced industrial democracies, a neglected topic of increasing importance in comparative politics. It includes many important innovations on the conceptualization of environmental performance and policy-making at various levels, and its focus on political factors is an important contribution to this debate. The book should be read by students and scholars of comparative environmental politics and policy.
Lyle Scruggs - University of Connecticut

Supplementary Material