Dabelko, Conca create fifth edition of 'Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics'

Madison Koenig
September 24, 2014

International environmental politics are constantly changing, and even experts sometimes struggle to keep up with the latest developments. Since its first publication in 1995, however, Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics has been a foundational resource for understanding the scope of environmental issues.

This summer, Westview Press published a fifth edition of the anthology, edited by Geoff Dabelko, professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program at the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and his colleague Ken Conca, a professor and director of the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University.

With every revision of Green Planet Blues over the last two decades, Dabelko and Conca have changed between 40 percent and 45 percent of the content. “Each time we add new voices on some of the same issues, and add new issues or perspectives that have new resonance,” Dabelko said.

Some of the new material responds to the Rio+20 Summit, the United Nations conference on sustainable development that was held in Brazil in June 2012. All of the chapters, however, address how international politics shape the ways different communities respond to environmental issues.

Green Planet Blues includes chapters by authors from around the globe, covering diverse topics including technology, sustainability, climate change, environmental security, and ecological justice. When editing this edition, Dabelko stressed the importance of featuring authors who come from varying backgrounds and often present conflicting outlooks on environmental issues.

“We work hard to include voices from around the world and include perspectives that students are less likely to encounter,” he said. “We include very different views on big questions on global environmental politics to facilitate active discussions and critical thinking. I’m using the book in Environmental Studies classes now and it is exposing students to key debates in the field while facilitating a productive questioning of assumptions.”