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Global warming and other environmental threats pose serious collective action challenges to an international system that since the Treaty of Westphalia has been predicated on national sovereignty. International cooperation normally requires national government consent. In a pure Westphalian system, the right and power to make international agreements to curb the causes of global warming rests exclusively with national governments, and thus, cooperation can be stymied if one or more powerful national leaders opposes the effort. But the reality of the contemporary international system is less pure and more complex than the abstract Westphalian model, and hence, the possibilities for forms of environmental cooperation other than formal national treaties are greater than they might initially seem.
UC Berkeley on May 6-7, 2011 Link to Book