Graduate Program

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Ryan C. Hendrickson

Thesis Committee Member

Andrew D. McNitt

Thesis Committee Member

Richard A. Wandling


In sum, when considering the findings of all three chapters of this thesis cumulatively, several implications are worth noting in regards to the relationship between environmental policy and economic competitiveness. First, the notion that adopting stringent environmental standards will impede on a state's ability to remain economically competitive was shown to be the exception, rather than the rule in all of the cases surveyed in this thesis. Moreover, the cumulative research throughout this thesis has shown the depth of complexity that exists between environmental and economic policy networks. Each chapter illustrated how the general relationship between government and private interests continues to evolve; in some cases the relationship between the government and interest groups was shown to enhance environmental policy standards, while in others private interests were shown to impede on the potential for environmental standards to expand. On the whole, I believe this thesis has served to expand McCormick and Mitchell's (2007) findings surrounding caucuses and interest groups in Chapter 4, and going further than that by showing how similar relationships have manifested at the domestic level in the United States and Europe through the public/private partnerships of utility and energy production companies outlined in the case studies of Chapters 2 and 3.