The May issue of International Affairs focuses on environmental sustainability, reflecting on what international relations scholarship can contribute to our understanding of the global politics of sustainability.

Andrew Hurrell and Sandeep Sengupta lead the issue with an examination of the impact that the rise of emerging economies has had on international environmental politics. Their analysis of the climate negotiations shows clearly that emerging powers such as India and China have acquired the status of veto-players. Looking ahead to the Rio+20 conference in June, the authors argue that global economic and political inequalities continue to shape the politics of climate change.

Conventional wisdom is also challenged by Jennifer Clapp and Eric Helleiner, who argue that the dominant focus on international cooperative arrangements has served to marginalize certain environmental issues and trends. Clapp and Helleiner call for a return to the more structurally oriented origins of international political economy and set out a research agenda that shifts the focus to so-called non-regimes: the globalization of financial markets, high and volatile commodity prices, and shifts in the global economic balance of power.

Also in this issue, Robert Falkner explores the normative foundations of international society and asks whether these have been ‘greened’ over time, and Alexander Ovodenko and Robert Keohane review the growing literature on diffusion processes and offer an analysis of how diffusion of international institutional designs occurs in international environmental governance.

Notes to Editors

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