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Abstract

Globalization has contributed to unprecedented rise in the density, resources, and reach of transnational actors in environmental politics. Simultaneously, the interplay between transnational actors and the state has also evolved from more traditional pressure and lobbying activities toward greater willingness to govern collaboratively through transnational public-private partnerships. What explained the increased and differential willingness of states to engage non-state actors in partnerships for the environment? While there is hardly a disagreement in the literature on the rising significance of transnational actors, their impact on the state and environmental governance remains debated. There is still limited research on the political and power dynamics that drive the merging of transnationalism and statism in environmental governance. This paper seeks to advance the study of environmental politics by elaborating a model of the domestic and international determinants of the "recalibration" of the state and its participation in transnational public-private partnerships. The argument is tested first through cross-sectional analysis of the determinants of state participation in some 400 partnerships adopted at the Johannesburg Summit for Sustainable Development. The statistical study is complemented with two comparative cases illustrating the political processes of a significant vs. limited recalibration of state strategies and engagement in partnerships with non-state actors.

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