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date: 29 November 2023

p. 1658. Industrial Society and Beyond: Ecological Modernizationlocked

p. 1658. Industrial Society and Beyond: Ecological Modernizationlocked

  • John S. DryzekJohn S. DryzekProfessor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, Australian National University


This chapter examines ecological modernization, a discourse that addresses the restructuring of the capitalist political economy along more environmentally defensible lines. At one level ecological modernization is about the search for green production technology, and especially clean energy. However, this search also opens the door to intriguing possibilities for more intensive transformation, involving political change as well as technological change. So although at first sight ecological modernization looks like a rescue mission for industrial society, albeit an imaginative one, it also points to political and economic possibilities beyond industrial society. The central assumption of ecological modernization is that the capitalist political economy needs conscious reconfiguring and far-sighted action so that economic development and environmental protection can proceed hand-in-hand and reinforce one another. The chapter first explains the idea of ecological modernization before discussing its discourse analysis. It concludes with some remarks on the future of ecological modernization.

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