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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article evaluates the institutions society uses to mitigate environmental externalities. A unified theory of environmental governance is reviewed, which determines the key players influencing environmental outcomes and their objectives, the institutions within which they interact, and the expected results of their interactions. It incorporates a number of key ideas from political science, and takes initial steps toward integrating non-governmental organizations (NGOs) into the overall theory. Environmental governance includes markets for green products and investments, regulatory relationships, and NGO/corporate engagements. Inducing compliance becomes increasingly difficult as the number of firms covered grows. A full theory of environmental governance must comprise interest-group politics and industrial organization. Markets increasingly provide incentives for companies to green themselves. The penetration of information technology into every crevice of modern life continues to change the set of strategies available to both activists and firms.

Keywords: environmental governance, political science, non-governmental organizations, green products, firms, industrial organization, markets, information technology, activists

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