A critical examination of the concept of effectiveness in relation to international relations theory and to policy practice. In political terms the negotiation of an international environmental agreement is often considered a success in itself. However, the author argues that the crucial test is not agreement, or even compliance, but the adequacy of the international environmental agreement to deal effectively with the specific problem nominally addressed. Yet this crucial test for effectiveness is neglected in both the international relations and international policy literature. Integrating positions from critical theory and from IPE into her analysis of effectiveness, Kutting offers a book which presents a major challenge to IR theory, and which is intended to advance our understanding of international environmental politics.