Scott Barrett has produced a readable, understandable, and successful application of elementary game theory to the incentives that determine whether international treaties succeed or fail, and to the incentives to participate and, if participating, to comply. Barrett’s mastery of incentive theory makes a lot of puzzling issues clear. From fur seals to ozone to carbon dioxide he has a theoretical framework that makes impressive sense.
Contrary to many theoretical analyses, Scott Barrett presents an ingenious theory of how nation states may be able to overcome dilemmas and protect transboundary environmental resources. Any theory that successfully helps to explain international agreements regarding biodiversity, the ozone layer, global climate as well as diverse fisheries is a powerful theory. Students of international relations as well as of environmental science will have many useful lessons to learn from a careful reading of this book.
Every now and again, a treatise appears that alters the way we see events in an important way. Scott Barrett’s Environment and Statecraft is one of those works.
A truly important contribution to the literature on international environmental cooperation.
Environment and Statecraft is an extremely valuable contribution..... Barrett traces with skill and insight the policy challenges facing international lawmakers.
Scott Barrett’s....Environment and Statecraft is destined to become a landmark in the pursuit of knowledge regarding the determinants of success and failure in efforts to solve large scale environmental problems through sustained cooperation
This is an impressive book that should be of interest not only to those interested in the application of game theory to international relations but also to anyone interested in understanding how cooperation can be promoted.
This is a learned book; well-written, theoretically precise, rich in anecdotal details, and student friendly for both economics majors and non-economists..... I recommend this book to anyone interested in the political economy of environmental policy. The lessons learned work at many levels. Barrett’s detailed insight into the strategic behavior at work in environmental treaty formation and participation makes the book well worth reading for scholars, students, and policymakers.
Why did the Montreal Protocol succeed and the Kyoto Protocol fail? A new book by Scott Barrett, professor of environmental economics at Johns Hopkins University, agues that the different fortunes of these two treaties shed light on why some international agreements work and others fail. Such treaties, he argues, work only if they are self-enforcing.
Using a game-theory framework augmented by numerical and real-life examples, Barrett makes conceptual points and then skillfully applies them to a host of environmental treaties, from the Fur Seal Treaty of 1911 (a success) to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 (bound to fail).