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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Specialized Handbooks


Handbooks are useful for obtaining background information about contemporary theories, concepts, issues, events, or topics and for understanding how scholars have debated climate change and environmental affairs. These handbooks are available either electronically and/or located on the book shelves in the Medicine Crow Center Library for International and Public Affairs.

Atapattu, Sumudu A., Sara L. Seck, and Carmen G. Gonzalez, eds. The Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Justice and Sustainable. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
This handbook offers critical perspectives on the multi-dimensional, intersectional nature of environmental injustice and the cross-cutting forms of oppression that unite and divide these struggles, including gender, race, poverty, and indigeneity. The work illuminates the social dimension of sustainability and its relationship to human rights and environmental justice. Using a variety of legal frameworks and case studies from around the world, this volume highlights the importance of overcoming the fragmentation of these legal frameworks and social movements in order to develop holistic solutions that promote justice and protect the planet's ecosystems at a time of intensifying economic and ecological crisis.

Bornemann, Basil, Henrike Knappe, and Patrizia Nanz, editors. The Routledge Handbook of Democracy and Sustainability. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook provides comprehensive and critical coverage of the complex relationship between democracy and sustainability in contemporary theory, discourse, and practice. It comprises theoretical, empirical, and practical contributions from different disciplines, which adopt diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives and address different problem areas and levels of political action.

Brauch, Hans Gunter, Heide Hackmann, and Paul Raskins. Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2016.
Sixty authors from eighteen countries examine in ten parts the following topics: Moving towards Sustainability Transition; Aiming at Sustainable Peace; Meeting Challenges of the 21st Century: Demographic Imbalances, Temperature Rise and the Climate–Conflict Nexus; Initiating Research on Global Environmental Change, Limits to Growth, Decoupling of Growth and Resource Needs; Developing Theoretical Approaches on Sustainability and Transitions; Analyzing National Debates on Sustainability in North America; Preparing Transitions towards a Sustainable Economy and Society, Production and Consumption and Urbanization; Examining Sustainability Transitions in the Water, Food and Health Sectors from Latin American and European Perspectives; Preparing Sustainability Transitions in the Energy Sector; and Relying on Transnational, International, Regional and National Governance for Strategies and Policies Towards Sustainability Transition.

Brinkmann, Robert, editor. The Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2023.
The handbook examines the major themes within what are known as the three E’s of sustainability–-environment, equity, and economics–-placed in the context of multiple sustainability challenges, such as, climate change, water depletion, ecosystem loss, and environmental racism. In addition, the work includes sections on history and sustainability, major figures in the development of sustainability as a discipline, and important organizations that contributed or that continue to contribute to sustainability as a field.

Brinkmann, Robert. and Sandra J. Garren, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability Case Studies and Practical Solutions. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2018.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the practice of sustainability through a diverse range of case studies spanning across varied fields and areas of expertise. It provides a clear indication as to the contemporary state of sustainability in a time faced by issues such as global climate change, challenges of environmental justice, economic globalization and environmental contamination. Contributors explore three broad themes, Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability and Economic Sustainability, and provides insight into their linkages with one another to demonstrate the substantial efforts currently underway to address the sustainability of our planet.

Bustos, Beatriz et al, editors. Routledge Handbook of Latin America and the Environment. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This book provides an in-depth analysis and theorization of environmental issues in the region. It illuminates connections between Latin American and other regions' perspectives, experiences, and environmental concerns, especially in relation to an acceleration of environmental degradation due to the expansion of resource extraction and urban areas. The work covers a broad range organized in three areas: physical geography, ecology, and crucial environmental problems of the region, key theoretical and methodological issues used to understand Latin America's ecosocial contexts, and institutional and grassroots practices related to more just and sustainable worlds.

Cadman, Timothy, and Tapan Sarker, editors. De Gruyter Handbook of Sustainable Development and Finance. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2022.
This work explores the difficult and challenging issues confronting society and the environment, in the contexts of unprecedented climate change, bio-diversity loss, and the global pandemic. Contributors analyze the effectiveness of current and proposed actions to build a sustainable future, and the public and private finance necessary to prevent an impending planetary catastrophe. The first section of the handbook introduces readers to the origins and evolution of sustainable development. An examination of public and private finance follows in the next two sections, presented from the perspectives of authors from both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries. Climate change, one of the largest sectors of finance for sustainable development, is investigated in detail, as is the new and emerging development frontier, the ‘blue’ economy of the world’s oceans.

Chapaux, Vincent, Frédéric Mégret, and Usha Natarajan, editors. The Routledge Handbook of International Law and Anthropocentrism. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
The book explores, contextualizes, and critiques the relationship between anthropocentrism-- the idea that human beings are socially and politically at the center of the cosmos-- and international law. This handbook offers a broader study of anthropocentrism in international law as a global legal system and academic field. It assesses the extent to which current international law is anthropocentric, contextualizes that claim in relation to broader critical theories of anthropocentrism, and explores alternative ways for international law to organize relations between humans and other living and non-living entities.

Coates, Ken S. and Carin. Holroyd, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Arctic Policy and Politics. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2020.
This work focuses on the central theme of Arctic policy innovation in response to the challenges of rapid environmental change, empowered and engaged with Indigenous peoples, and dealt with the multiple challenges of natural resource development. The portrait that emerges from these chapters is of a complex, fluid policy environment, shaped by internal, national and global dynamics and by a wide range of political, legal, economic, and social transitions.

Fitzmaurice, Malgosia, David M. Ong, and Panos. Merkouris. Research Handbook on International Environmental Law. Second edition. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2021.
This handbook examines recent developments in international environmental law (IEL) and the crossover effects of this expansion on other areas of international law, such as trade law and the law of the sea. Contributors offer analyses of foundational issues, such as responsibility for environmental damage, sustainable development and the precautionary principle, alongside studies in topical subject areas including marine protection and the law of international watercourses. The book offers an in-depth analysis of IEL, both as a field of law in its own right, and as part of the wider system of international law.

Harris, Paul G., editor. Routledge Handbook of Marine Governance and Global Environmental Change. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook provides a detailed overview of current thinking about marine governance in the context of global environmental change. It provides a thorough review of current thinking about marine environmental governance, including law and policy, in the context of global environmental change. Initial chapters describe international law, regimes, and leadership in marine environmental governance, in the process considering how existing regimes for climate change and the oceans should and can be coordinated followed by an exploration of the role of non-state actors, including scientists, non-governmental organizations, and corporations. The next section highlight governance schemes in a variety of marine environments and regions, including coastlines, islands, coral reefs, the open ocean, and regional seas in the context of  plastic pollution, maritime transport, sustainable development, environmental justice, and human rights.

Kalfagianni, Agni, Doris A. Fuchs, and Anders Hayden, eds. Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance. Abingdon, Oxon ;: Routledge, 2020.
The book provides a review of core debates and contributions that offer a more normative, critical, and transformatively aspirational view on global environmental sustainability governance. The volume highlights aspects to be considered and blind spots to be avoided when trying to understand and implement global sustainability governance. In this context, the authors debunk many myths about all-too optimistic accounts of progress towards a sustainability transition. Simultaneously, they suggest approaches that have the potential for real sustainability transformation and systemic change, while acknowledging existing hurdles.

Lackner, Maximilian., Baharak. Sajjadi, and Wei-Yin. Chen, editors. Handbook of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. New York: Springer, 2020.
This handbook covers issues about the consequences of human behavior changing the global climate, the  technological challenges and monumental financial and societal costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from stationary and mobile sources, pursuit of sustainable energy resources, and mitigation activities that range from energy conservation, carbon-neutral energy conversions, carbon advanced combustion process that produce no greenhouse gases and that enable carbon capture and sequestion, to other advanced technologies. Contents are divided into the following sections: Scientific Evidence of Climate Change and Societal Issues, Impacts of Climate Change, Energy Conservation, Alternative Energies, Advanced Combustion, Advanced Technologies, and Education and Outreach.

Leal Filho, Walter, et al. African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2021.
This book discusses current research and presents the main issues and challenges associated with climate change in Africa. It introduces evidences from studies and projects which show how climate change adaptation is being successfully implemented in African countries. It contains papers prepared by scholars, representatives from social movements, practitioners, and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing climate change projects in Africa, and working with communities across the African continent.

Leal Filho, Walter, Johannes M. Luetz, and Desalegn Ayal, editors. Handbook of Climate Change Management Research, Leadership, Transformation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2021.
This work contains papers prepared by scholars, social movements, practitioners, and members of governmental agencies, showcasing how climate change affects countries and regions on the one hand, but also on how the many problems it causes may be managed on the other, vis-a-vis a better ability to adapt. The book outlines how climate change impacts are manifold and vary from sea level rise to the increased frequency of extreme events such as hurricanes and storm surges, which not only poses problems to property and infrastructure, but also to human health as well as to biodiversity.

Matthew, Richard A., Evgenia Nizkorodov, and Crystal Murphy, editors. Routledge Handbook of Environment Security. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
The handbook provides an accessible and comprehensive overview of the field of environmental security. The volume outlines the defining theories, major policy and programming interventions, and applied research surrounding the relationship between the natural environment and human and national security. Through the use of large-scale research and ground-level case analyses from across the globe, it details how environmental factors affect human security and contribute to the onset and continuation of violent conflict. It also examines the effects of violent conflict on the social and natural environment, and the importance of environmental factors in conflict resolution and peace-building.

Mayer, Benoit and Francois Crepeau. Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration, and the Law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017. [Medicine Crow Center Library bookstacks K 3585.5 .R473 2017]
This handbook offers a picture of laws and institutions relevant to climate migration and the multiple, often contradictory perspectives about the impact of climate change on human mobility and how people affected by climate change are forced or otherwise decide to migrate within or across international borders. The contributors provide a cross section of the various debates on what laws do, can do, and should do in relation to the impacts of climate change on migration.

McCusker, Brent, Waquar Ahmed, and Maano Ramutsindela, editors. The Routledge Handbook of Development and Environment. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
The handbook seeks to illuminate the key concepts in the study of development-environment through showcasing some of the Majoritarian (formerly "Developing") world's emerging scholars in order to explore theoretical connections through critical/radical theory, "small" theory, various conceptual frameworks, and non-western and subaltern viewpoints. Part 1 covers theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of development and environment by examining the diverse ways in which people perceive, understand, and act upon the world around them. Cross-scalar topics such as neo-liberalism and globalization, human rights, climate change, sustainability, and technology are covered in Part 2. The book shifts to examinations of resources and production in Part 3, focusing on one or more environmental resources or types of economic production are presented. Topics range from water, agriculture, and food, to energy, bioeconomy, and mining. The fourth section presents chapters where people are at the center of the development-environment nexus through topics such as gender relations, children, health, and cities. Finally, policy and governance of development and environment are explored in Part 5.

Milstein, Tema, editor. Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
Focusing on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and age as discursive formations that shape and are shaped by societies, this handbook provides insights into the ways in which individual and collective ecocultural identities are being produced and performed on individual, local, and global scales. Each section includes authoritative grounded theoretical essays and an international range of case studies and focuses on the following key aspects of this growing field: Section I: examines and builds generative theory about ways in which ecocultural identities are produced, performed, negotiated; Section II: revisits and redefines conventional concepts of identity; Section III: examines the cultivations and forces of ecocultural identity and looks at how these intersect with race, ethnicity, and class within historical, political, and environmental contexts; Section IV: examines contexts and outcomes of mediations of ecocultural identity; and, Section V: examines the intersections of identities with praxis and politics, implicating both problems and opportunities.

Nautiyal, Sunil, editor. The Palgrave Handbook of Socio-Ecological Resilience in the Face of Climate Change Contexts from a Developing Country. Singapore: Springer, 2023.
This book shares experiences and knowledge on climate change impacts and adaptation, risk reduction strategies, communities’ responses, and best practices from different landscapes of India. It provides insights into climate change risk reduction in trans-disciplinary frameworks. The findings and discussions put forward in the chapters, largely based on micro-level case studies, provide an in-depth understanding of interactions among ecology, society, and economy under different conditions of changing climate. It contains critical discussion on both existing and required actions as adjustments to climate change impacts by different actors at diverse scales and contexts. The recommendations support climate change adaptation planning for India and other developing countries, where a large portion of the population directly depends on climate-sensitive sectors.

Pahl-Wostl, Claudia, Anik Bhaduri, and Joyeeta Gupta. Handbook on Water Security. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016. [Medicine Crow Center Library bookstacks HD 1691 .H3633 2016]
A resource that helps the reader navigate between the differing interpretations of water security. It explains the various dimensions of the topic by approaching it both conceptually and thematically, as well as in relation to experiences in different regions of the world. Topics discussed include: challenges from human security to consumerism, how trade policies can help to achieve water security in a transboundary setting, the potential of risk-based governance arrangements, and the ecology of water security.

Pali, Brunilda, Miranda Forsyth, and Felicity Tepper, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Restorative Justice. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2022.
This handbook explores environmental restorative justice and how principles and practices of restorative justice can be used to address the threats and harms facing the environment. The book covers a wide variety of subjects, from theoretical discussions about how to incorporate the voice of future generations, nature, and more-than-human animals and plants in processes of justice and repair, through to detailed descriptions of actual practices. Case studies explore a wide range of countries and in the context of varied forms of environmental harm from small local pollution incidents, to endemic ongoing issues such as wildlife poaching, to cataclysmic environmental catastrophes resulting in cascades of harm to entire ecosystems.

Rayner, Tim, Kacper Szulecki, and Andrew Jordan, editors. Handbook on European Union Climate Change Policy and Politics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2023.
This volume provides a wide-ranging and in-depth assessment of current and emerging challenges facing the EU in committing to and delivering increasingly ambitious climate policy objectives. It traces the development of climate and energy policies since the early 1990s and examines their continued evolution in the context of the 2019 European Green Deal, describing the key dynamics driving policy developments and the role of key actors in climate and energy-related policy processes.

Sowers, Jeannie Lynn, Stacy D. VanDeveer, and Erika Weinthal, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Environmental Politics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2023.
This handbook focuses on addressing a range of environmental issues facing communities, non-state actors, and nation-states. It draws not only on the disciplinary study of politics and policy, but also draws from anthropology, geography, sociology, law, and development studies to study the governance of environmental issues in the context of political economy, political theory, political behavior, and political institutions. The contributors illustrate the diverse trends in the field of comparative politics with in-depth case studies of a single country or sub-national jurisdiction based on domestic political dynamics and state–society relations.

Techera, Erika J. et al. Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law. 2nd edition. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2021.
This book critically explores the legal tools, concepts, principles and instruments, and issues, that comprise the field of international environmental law. The book is split into six parts: The foundations of international environmental law covering the principles of international environmental law, standards and voluntary commitments, sustainable development, issues of public participation and environmental rights and compliance, state responsibility, liability and dispute settlement. The key instruments and governance arrangements across the most critical areas of international environmental law: biodiversity, wildlife, freshwater, forestry and soils, fisheries, marine pollution, chemicals and waste, air and atmospheric pollution and climate change. Crucial developments in seven distinct regions of the world: Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, South East Asia, the Polar regions and small island states. Examine human rights and Indigenous rights, war and armed conflict, trade, financing, investment, criminology, technology, and energy. Contemporary challenges and the emerging international environmental law regimes which address the changing climate, forced migration, marine plastic debris, and future directions.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.