This book is about power in the global political economy (GPE) and how local and global environment-society relations play out in coastal communities dependent on tourism for economic survival. It brings together several sub-disciplines from global political economy to political ecology, analyzes the consequences of social and economic policies in global institutions and industrialized countries on particular locales outside the center, and makes a case for studying the role of environmental values in global environmental governance. It takes as a starting point an alternative view of the global political economy of the environment, in contrast to the neoliberal institutionalist focus on institutional politics. Rather, it focuses on the underlying structures of the political economy and its social and environmental consequences — in this case, the tourist industry and seaside destinations in marginalized regions of the globalizing economy. These are regions that at first sight seem to have very little connection to the globalizing world, yet the tension between production and consumption, nature-society relations and equity leave their imprint in very particular ways. This book analyzes how these global linkages can have dramatically different results even in supposedly similar situations, thus illustrating the importance of historical and socio-structural factors in analyzing problems but also highlighting how environmental values can actually be more important than environmental law.
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