Legislative leadership on environmental issues: Single-use plastic bans

Petra Alderman, Nic Cheeseman, David Hudson, Graeme Ramshaw

Fish surrounded by plastic in ocean.  Naja Bertolt-Jensen, Unsplash.
Image: Fish surrounded by plastic in ocean. Naja Bertolt-Jensen, Unsplash.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

How legislatures have protected the environment by passing key environmental legislation.

WHAT WE EXPECT TO LEARN

What role legislatures play in environmental policymaking, and how this role changes between different regime types. The main enablers and barriers to legislative action on environmental issues. What donors can do to support legislative leadership on environmental issues.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Over the past two decades, the notion that ‘environmental authoritarianism’ might be a more productive way of tackling environmental issues than the participatory and deliberative democratic mode of governance has become a hotly debated topic in both public and academia (for example, see Mittiga 2021; Han 2015; Beeson 2010). Yet there have been few systematic studies of this topic based on cross-regional data. This project will provide valuable insights into this question – and to the broader role of legislatures in providing leadership on environmental issues, by examining formal environmental action across different regime types. Given the scope of environmental issues faced by governments the world over, the project narrows its focus on the issue of single-use plastics and one increasingly popular policy option – a single-use plastic ban. Combining desk-based research with data analysis and semi-structured elite interviews, the project will examine the role legislatures play in enacting the bans.

WHO’S INVOLVED, WHERE

Petra Alderman, University of Birmingham
Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham
David Hudson, University of Birmingham
Graeme Ramshaw, Westminster Foundation for Democracy

RESEARCH COUNTRIES

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US)

OF INTEREST TO PEOPLE WORKING ON

Legislative leadership; environmental democracy; plastics

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Authors


Petra Alderman

Petra Alderman

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Leadership for Inclusive and Democratic Politics

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Nic Cheeseman

Nic Cheeseman

Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham

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David Hudson

David Hudson

Professor of Politics and Development, University of Birmingham, and Director, Developmental Leadership Program

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Graeme Ramshaw

Director of Research and Evaluation at Westminster Foundation for Democracy

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