Building international institutions for environmental protection : The case of Baltic Sea environmental cooperation

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Abstract: This thesis focuses upon the ambiguity in international environmental law and practice, between, the principle of sic utere tuo ut alienum non iaedas, also referred to as the solidarity principle, and the sovereignty principle. Accordingly, the international regime for environmental protection could, on the one hand, be regarded as promoting policies out of concern for the common good, but on the other hand; the sovereignty principle restricts the possibilities for such policies. The aim of the study is to examine how these principles are reflected in the establishment and maintenance of international environmental institutions; to analyse how the dilemma has been treated in the case of Baltic Sea environmental protection; and to explore various theoretical conceptions of international cooperation, focusing upon different concepts of sovereignty and slate action. Moreover, the traditional notions of international cooperation are complemented with the concept of international cooperation understood as communicative action, which widens the interpretation of sovereignty and state action.The central argument is that, although the solidarity principle and thesovereignty principle can be viewed as equal from a moral/legal perspective, the dominating interpretation of them makes the former principle subordinated to the latter. Within the framework of professional strategies policies out of concern for the common good are possible; whereas cooperation at the political level is restricted by the sovereignty principle and institutionalised state action. Accordingly the forms of Baltic Sea environmental cooperation have changed, both due to changing political circumstances, and as a result of institutional development.

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