This article analyses the complex interconnections between global environmental politics and trade politics against the background of biodiversity politics. Genetic resources are one of the most important inputs in post-Fordist economies: they are the raw materials of the new biotechnology companies. The system of global environmental governance that has emerged in recent years was established by a number of international institutions and organizations to serve as a political-institutional framework for emerging global markets. To date, this system has not proved to be an effective regulative framework. On the contrary, it is highly contradictory and contested. We develop theoretical and empirical arguments why and in which form the transforming national state remains crucial in global environmental politics. We call this transformation the “internationalization of the state.” It is argued that the emerging post-Fordist relationships with nature, as a highly contested process, are stabilized by a new kind of global political regulation and domination. This article is theoretically informed by the concept of “societal relationships with nature,” regulation and critical state theory as well as Gramsci's concept of hegemony.

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