Grantham Seminar introduced and chaired by Dr. Robert Falkner

This seminar starts from the puzzling observation that two countries from the global South (Costa Rica and Vietnam) with different political systems in terms of their state-society relations and historical records of national green politics have both produced ambitious formal commitments towards substantial green transformations across the economic, ecological and social dimensions.

Thus the seminar will (1) analyse the role of different change agents – focusing in particular on the state and its bureaucratic apparatus – in this process and will (2) ask under which conditions formal commitment is actually turned into substantial action and (3) trace trade-offs and barriers at various scales towards effective policy implementation. Special attention will be paid to the role of national elites, state bureaucracies and state-society relations. The lecture will thus theoretically build on older work of the developmental state analysing and critically discussing more recent work on environmental authoritarianism.

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