Presenter: Gregory M. Fulkerson
Advisor(s): Michael Schulman
Author(s): Gregory M. Fulkerson, Olena Antonaccio, Elizabeth Seale, Gretchen Thompson
Graduate Program: Sociology

Title: State, Economy, and Environment: Toward the Integration of Political Economy and Political Democracy

Abstract: The political economy perspective assumes that states have a low capacity for reducing environmental problems because their primary interest is with improving the economy.  The political democracy perspective argues that state capacity can vary, but neglects the role of economic power in shaping environmental outcomes.  We propose an integration whereby the level of state capacity mitigates the negative effects of the economy on the environment, and whereby the level of economic power increases state capacity to solve environmental problems.  We test this idea using combined data from the World Resource Institute and the Environmental Sustainability Index for 129 countries with complete data.  The results of a non-additive OLS regression analysis support our proposition for a theoretical integration.