Green theory

Green theory is a theory of International Relations (IR). In contrast to mainstream theories of IR, it posits environmental issues as central to the study of international relations. According to green theory, mainstream theories like neorealism and neoliberalism fail to understand environmental problems through their rationalist and state-centric frameworks of analysis. Green theory focuses on the study of global justice, international development, modernization, and security.[1] Green perspectives in IR emerged in the 1970s as a response to the increase of transnational issues related to the environment. By the end of the 20th century, green theory had established itself within the discipline.[2] Green theory aligns itself with postpositivism that emerged from the so-called third (or fourth) debate of IR. The theory can be divided into an International political economy (IPE) oriented wing and a cosmopolitan wing.[3] Initially, the IPE wing,[4] mainly interested in environmental regimes,[3] was stronger, but subsequently many cosmopolitan theorists, like David Held, Andrew Linklater, Henry Shue, and Thomas Pogge, have made contributions related to environmental issues.[4]

See also


  1. Eckersley 2007, p. 247.
  2. Eckersley 2007, p. 248.
  3. Eckersley 2007, p. 255.
  4. Eckersley 2007, p. 262.

Works cited

  • Eckersley, Robyn (2007). "Green Theory" (PDF). In Dunne, Tim; Kurki, Milja; Smith, Steve (eds.). International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 247–265. ISBN 978-0-19-929833-4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-15.

Further reading

  • Dyer, Hugh C. (2017). "Green Theory". In McGlinchey, Stephen; Walters, Rosie; Scheinpflug, Christian (eds.). International Relations Theory (PDF). Bristol: E-International Relations. pp. 84–90. ISBN 978-1-910814-20-8.
  • Lawson, Stephanie (2015). "Green Theory". Theories of International Relations: Contending Approaches to World Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-9513-6.
  • Paterson, Matthew; Doran, Peter; Barry, John (2010). "Green Theory". In Hay, C.; Lister, M.; Marsh, D. (eds.). The State: Theories and Issues. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 135–154. ISBN 978-0-230-80227-8.
  • Paterson, Matthew (2013). "Green Politics". In Burchill, Scott; Linklater, Andrew (eds.). Theories of International Relations (5th ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 266–290. ISBN 978-1-137-31136-8.
  • Steans, Jill; Pettiford, Lloyd; Diez, Thomas; El-Anis, Imad (2010). "Green Perspectives". An Introduction to International Relations Theory: Perspectives and Themes (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-86299-4.
  • Tienhaara, Kyla; Downie, Christian (2019). "Green Theory and the G20". In Slaughter, Steven (ed.). The G20 and International Relations Theory. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 183–209. ISBN 978-1-78643-265-0.
  • Vogler, John (2020). "Environmental Issues". In Baylis, John; Smith, Steve; Owens, Patricia (eds.). The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (8th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 387–403. ISBN 978-0-19-882554-8.