the environment and the world-system

Fri, 11 Apr 1997 14:33:52 +0200 (DST)
Nieuwenhuijs Robert (

This referrs to J. Timmons Roberts call for some discussion on the
environment and the world-system.

Even though I was not present at the PEWS conference, I wish to contribute
something to this issue, since I am currently writing a thesis on the
environmental economics of the world-system. I find that what is lacking
in the field of environmental economics is a more in-depth discussion on
how world-systems status effects environmental policy and natural resource
extraction. Also, since the current world-system is a capitalist
world-economy, I beleive that world-systems analysis should incorporate
more economic issues into discussions on the environment.

I approached the problem by looking at the role that core-based MNC's play
in the periphery, and how the periphery relaxes environmental controls in
order to stimulate foreign investment. This foreign investment is desired
by the periphery just because of their status in the world-system.
Peripheral status also alters the bias of consumption of natural
resources towards the present, rather than the future.

I am curious as to what the discussions of the PEWS conference involved,
and what subscribers to this list think about the economic issues of the
environment and the world-system.

Robert Nieuwenhuijs
Brussels, Belgium