Laws, states and super-states: international law and the environment

R. J. Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental systems are global in their operation, and so environmental problems can only be tackled at the global scale. This creates many potential problems, because of the division of the earth's territory into many separate sovereign states: solution of environmental problems thus involves those states acting both individually and collectively. This paper reviews the nature of international collective agreements in general, analyses examples of relevant environmental issues involving potential collaboration over land, oceans and atmosphere, and concludes that little has yet been achieved. The difficulties of reaching agreement are set out, but it is concluded that without such agreement, overseen by a strong, central, state-like body, the chances of successfully solving many environmental problems are slim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-228
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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