Trade And Environment: A Historical Perspective

Open access


The relation between international trade and environmental and social issues has deep historical roots, having been manifest ever since the first industrial revolution. Ironically, the expansion of industrial activities marked, besides the exit from economic backwardness, the commencement of an inexorable war of men against nature. Concomitantly industrialization laid the groundwork for an explosive increase in international trade, which made the latter responsible for increasing environment degradation and social rights infringement. The removal of trade barriers in the first decades after the Second World War as well as the subsequent regulation induced by globalization rendered the bad effects of man’s activity upon nature even more conspicuous. Yet somewhat paradoxically, for all the harm inflicted upon the environment so far, international trade now seems to be an efficient vehicle by which dirty production still prevailing in many countries of the world could be curtailed. The paper is intended to explore, from historical perspective, how environmental issues have come to be entangled with international trade and how serious the problem is.

Ashton, Thomas S. (1948): The Industrial Revolution (1760-1830), Oxford University Press

Ashton, Thomas S. (1954): The Standard of Life of the Workers in England, 1790-1830 (Capitalism and the Historians, F. A. Hayek, ed., The University of Chicago Press)

Audretsch, David (1993): European Competitiveness, Cambridge University Press

Bhagwati, Jagdish (2002): Free Trade Today, Princeton University Press

Bhagwati, Jagdish (2005): In Defense of Globalization, Oxford University Press

Brunet, A. (1990): La civilization occidentale, Hachette

Carson, Rachel (1962): Silent Spring, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Daniels, Robert Vincent (1997): The Stalin Revolution: Foundations of the Totalitarian Era, New York: Houghton Mifflin.

DeCarlo, Jacqueline (2007): Fair Trade. A beginner’s guide, Oneworld publications

Frank, Andre Gunder (1969): The Development of Underdevelopment, (The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change. J.Timmons Roberts, Amy Bellone Hite and Nitsan Chorev Eds., John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 2015)

Freedman, David A (2009: Statistical Models. Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press

Gereffi, Gary (1990): Paths of industrialization. An Overview, (Manufacturing miracles. Paths of industrialization in Latin America and Asia. Gary Gereffi and Donald L. Wyman. Eds. Princeton University Press)

Grant, Jackie Ann (2012): The Great Leap Forward: The Rapid Industrialization of the Soviet Union between1927 and 1940, available at:

Held, David, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Perraton (2004) Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture (Romanian version), Polirom

Hoekman, Bernard M., Michel M. Kostecki (2002): The Political Economy of the World Trading System, Oxford University Press

Hudson, Ray (2009): The cost of globalization: producing new forms of risk to health and wellbeing, Risk management, vol. 11, nr.1, pp.13-29, available at:

Hutton, Will (2007): The Writing on the Wall. China and the West in the 21st Century, Little Brown

Lenschow, Andrea (2007): Environmental Policy in the European Union: Bridging Policy, Politics and Polity Dimensions, (Handbook of European Union Politics, Jorgensen Knud E., Mark A. Pollack & Ben Rosamond Eds., SAGE Publications Ltd.)

Lesourd J.A., Cl.Gérard (1976): Nouvelle histoire économique, tome I, le XIX-e siècle, Armand Colin, Paris

Low, Patrick (1995): International Trade and the Environment, (International Economics and International Economic Policy- A Reader, Philip King ed., McGraw-Hill Inc.)

Luther, Linda (2005): The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation, CRS Report for Congress, available at:

M.Kishlanski, P.Geary, P.O’Brien (1995): Civilization in the West, 2nd edition, Harper Collins College Publisher

Weightman, Gavin (2007): The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World, 1776-1914, New York: Grove Press

Kasa, Sjur (2007): Industrial Revolutions and Environmental Problems, Central for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), available at:

Mayer , Jorg (2004): Industrialization in developing countries: some evidence from a new economic geography perspective, UNCTAD, Discussion papers nr. 174/2004, available at:

McEvedy, Colin (1986): The Penguin Atlas of Recent History: Europe since 1815, Penguin Books

Milza, Pierre, Serge Berstein (1998): Istoria secolului XX, vol.1, All

Mayhew, Henry, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (2010): London Labour and the London Poor, Oxford University Press North, Douglas (2005): Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princeton University Press

Ostrom, Elinor (1990): Governing the Commons. The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge University Press

Pollard, Sidney (1990): Typology of Industrialization Process in the Nineteenth Century, Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH

Szirmai, Adam (2009): Industrialization as an engine of growth in developing countries, 1950-2005, United Nations University, Working Paper Series #2009-010, available at:

Tothova, Monica (2005): Liberalisation of Trade in Environmentally Preferable Products, OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers, 2005/06, OECD Publishing.

Trebilcock, Michael J., Robert Howse (2007): The Regulation of International Trade, 3rd ed., Routledge

Tuttle, Carolyn (2001): Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution, EH.Net Encyclopedia, Robert Whaples Ed., available at:

Tussie, Diana, Ngaire Woods (2000): Trade, Regionalism and the Threat to Multilateralism, (The Political Economy of Globalization, Ngaire Woods Ed., Macmillan Press Ltd.)

United Nations (1950): Economic development of Latin America and its principal problems.

Economic Commission of Latin America, available at:

United Nations (2005): Environment and Trade. A Handbook, United Nations Environment Programme, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Yearly, S. (1995): Dirty connections: transnational pollution, (A Shrinking World? Global Unevenness and Inequality, J. Allen and C. Hamnett Eds., Oxford University Press)

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 251 251 34
PDF Downloads 104 104 4