Pleading with the Emperor: Pax Americana and the Transformation of Environmental Governance

Franks, D and Mackenzie, J (2005) Pleading with the Emperor: Pax Americana and the Transformation of Environmental Governance. Griffith International Journal of the Environment, 1 1: .

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Author Franks, D
Mackenzie, J
Title Pleading with the Emperor: Pax Americana and the Transformation of Environmental Governance
Journal name Griffith International Journal of the Environment
ISSN 1832-8520
Publication date 2005-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 1
Issue 1
Total pages 34
Place of publication Brisbane, Australia
Publisher Griffith University, Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Language eng
Subject 360000 Policy and Political Science
05 Environmental Sciences
9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards
0502 Environmental Science and Management
Abstract The combined effects of the globalisation and integration of productive networks of capital, the hegemony of neo-liberal discourse in the framing of policy toward capital markets, the unchallenged dominance of the US military, the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the more recent signing of bilateral free trade agreements(BITs) have circumscribed the ability of governments to exercise sovereignty in the creation of environmental policy. The resultant capacity to "insulate policy from the chaos of politics" (Economist 1994, 9) has prompted a number of authors to situate issues of global governance within the context of Empire. In this paper, we chart the re-emergence of Empire as concept and phenomena. In the first section, we identify three schools of thought that invoke the concept of Empire: the image of Pax Americana held by US neoconservatives for whom Empire is a reality justified by the necessities of geo-political power; the liberal-humanitarianism of European foreign policy elites who argue for a multi-polar Empire to balance American power; and the complex multi-dimensional entity of domination depicted by the global justice movement. We reveal the tensions that exist between Empire’s agents, most notably between a vision of a multi-polar Empire and that of Pax Americana. Through the work of Hardt and Negri, Harvey and Foucault, we develop an operational concept of Empire to explore how the tensions between the agents of Empire manifest as a global system of governance. Drawing on this analysis, we discuss the implications of Empire for environmental politics and policy through a case-study of the Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) to illustrate the complex, multiform strategies of power operating in the maintenance and transformation of Empire.
Keyword Environmental policy
Concept of Empire
Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA)
Q-Index Code CX
Additional Notes Issue 1, June 2005: Ecopolitics XVI Conference, selected papers: Ecopolitics XVI: Transforming Environmental Governance for the 21st Century conference held at Griffith University 4-6 July 2005.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Fri, 17 Apr 2009, 14:27:53 EST by Dr Daniel Franks on behalf of Sustainable Minerals Institute