Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

Major Professor

Dr. Yang Zhong

Committee Members

Dr. Robert A. Gorman, Dr. Anthony Nownes, Dr. David L. Feldman, Dr. Robert Emmet Jones


Research Questions:

What determines the level of environmental sustainability in national level analyses? How can the quality of governance be defined, measured and applied in the dynamics of political processes? And, how does the quality of governance influence the level of environmental sustainability?

Model proposed and a priori Expectations:

Model Summary

ES = b0+ QGb1+ DEMb2+ EGb3+ GEIb4+ PGb5+ e

a priori Expectation of Relationships












Where ES denotes Environmental Sustainability; QG, Quality of Governance; DEM, Level of Democracy; EG, Annual Economic Growth Rate; GEI, Global Economic Integration; and PG implies Population Growth Rate.


The cross-national design adopted in this study attempts to investigate some of the general mechanisms of environmental sustainability and its multifaceted conditions, using bivariate descriptive statistics (correlation matrix) and multivariate analyses (OLS regression). Bivariate descriptive statistics addresses the zero-order correlations among all variables, which consist of one for all 122-sample country and six regional-economic groups, i.e. Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, The Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, East and Central Europe and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) member states. And then, multivariate analyses with five independent variables are examined.


Being aware of the inconclusiveness and the nature of multifaceted characteristics of environmental sustainability, this study proposes the concepts of governance, political software and political elasticity theory as a political and institutional condition for articulating the determinant of the level of environmental sustainability and argues that the quality of national governance is intrinsically related to, and even generates pressure for, environmental sustainability.

Suggestions for Further Research:

Although the cross-national design research can provide not only a context to interpret the case studies but also hypotheses for further studies, further research should try to combine cross-national studies with longitudinal and case studies to encompass the complex and multidimensional nature of environmental studies. Moreover, endless efforts have to be put into improving conceptual and operational definitions and measurements.

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