This article addresses the transformation of the role played by environmental nongovernmental organizations in global politics. Such a change is placed into a larger framework of growing ecological concerns, the evolving political means to address them, and the overall mutation of the global state system. The relationship among environmental organizations, states, and intergovernmental institutions is framed as being an increasingly strategic one, where states seek to instrumentalize environmental organizations in order to prevail, while environmental organizations seek to take over functions previously held by states.

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