Central and Eastern Europe in transition: prospects for sustainable development
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This dissertation seeks to describe and analyze the problem of environmental degradation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the context of international relations theory. Using the concepts of sustainable development and the theory of the commons, this analysis seeks to broaden understanding how the degradation occurred and how further degradation may be avoided in the future. It begins by explaining the global environmental debate, into which the states of CEE have not quite been incorporated. It then explains how, prior to the 1989 political changes in the Soviet bloc, the planned economies of CEE were characterized by an emphasis on heavy industry, high output, and the use of less energy-efficient fuels such as brown coal. The lack of a pricing mechanism to reflect relative scarcity of natural resources, along with the use of outdated industrial technology, both contributed to an overuse of natural resources. The effect on the environment has been significant. A survey of environmental pollution, as well as human health data which may be relevant, provides empirical evidence. Finally, a review of multilateral assistance to the region shows that the international community is taking a part in the attempt to set the region on a path to sustainable development, as well as to curb potential transboundary pollution and further degradation of "the commons."
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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