The International Relations collection available for individuals to purchase gives access to the most recent editions of these books. These titles are also available in the complete collection. If you have access already you can choose to view all titles in your subscription. 

 1-13 of 13 Results  for:

  • Environmental Politics x
  • International Relations x
Clear all

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

11. Backlash  

Gray Radicalism

This chapter analyzes an anti-environmental discourse that can be understood as a profound reaction against environmentalism in its entirety. This anti-environmental “gray radicalism,” especially prominent under the Trump presidency in the United States, entails climate change denial, but is much more than that, drawing on populism, extreme conservatism, nationalism, and (in the US) evangelical Christianity. It is opposed to technological progress that would for example replace coal with renewable energy. This chapter locates gray radicalism in relation to right-wing partisan identity, expands on its differences with Promethean discourse, and details how it can be enmeshed in broader “culture wars.” Because gray radicalism is a matter of fundamental identity for its subscribers, it can be difficult to engage through evidence and argument.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

9. Changing People  

Green Consciousness

This chapter delves into the world of radical green discourse, which is a diverse and lively place, home to a wide variety of ideologies, parties, movements, groups, and thinkers that befits imaginative and radical leanings. Those that stress green consciousness believe the way people experience and regard the world in which they live is the key to green change and confronting ecological crisis. This prioritization of consciousness is widespread in the green movement, among deep ecologists, ecological justice and citizenship advocates, bioregionalists, ecofeminists, ecotheologists, and lifestyle greens. Critics stress that consciousness change will not produce the desired results so long as environmentally destructive structures such as states and capitalist markets continue to dominate.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

12. Encountering the Anthropocene  

This chapter examines environmental discourses in light of recognition of humanity’s entry into the Anthropocene, an emerging geological epoch that dramatizes what is at stake in the politics of the Earth. The Anthropocene is the successor to the unusually benign and stable Holocene of the previous 12,000 years, during which human civilization evolved. The human institutions, practices, ideas, and discourses that still dominate the politics of the Earth all took shape under perceived Holocene conditions. The most important quality demanded of the configuration of environmental discourses is now a capacity to generate critical reflection on the trajectory of human societies in the context of an unstable Earth system. This will require meaningful deliberative and democratic engagement across discourses.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

7. Greener Growth  

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development became the dominant discourse in global environmental affairs in the 1980s, spurred by the landmark Brundtland report to the United Nations, and remains widely popular, embodied for example in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by an assembly of all the world’s countries in 2015. Sustainable development combines ecological protection, economic growth, social justice, and intergenerational equity, which can be sought globally and in perpetuity. “Green growth” becomes possible, while ecological limits and boundaries fade into the background. However, it is necessary for a collective effort that involves governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, and citizens to make this happen. Sustainable development is an integrating discourse that covers local and global environmental issues and a host of economic and development concerns. Beyond this shared discourse, different actors (such as corporations and environmentalists) ascribe different means to the idea. Despite its popularity as a discourse, sustainable development has not actually been achieved anywhere.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

3. Growth Unlimited  

The Promethean Response

This chapter covers a response to the discourse of limits which stresses the unlimited capacity of ingenious humans to overcome ecological limits, especially when they are organized in capitalist markets. For Prometheans, long term trends show environmental improvement and declining resource scarcity, such that economic growth can therefore go on forever. This Promethean discourse has often been advanced by market economists, and has often been highly influential in government, especially in the United States. More recently a Promethean environmentalism looks forward to a ‘good Anthropocene’ in which government too plays a role in bringing natural systems under benign human control, so that technologies such as geoengineering can be used effectively against problems such as climate change. In the background of Promethean argument is an older cornucopian discourse that stresses natural abundance of resources and the capacity of ecosystems to absorb pollutants. Ecologists and Earth systems scientists are not convinced and remain critical of Promethean discourse.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

8. Industrial Society and Beyond  

Ecological Modernization

Countries such as Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have apparently turned in some of the most successful environmental policy performance in recent decades. The reason has much to do with their adoption of ecological modernization discourse. This discourse is most at home in prosperous consensual democracies, though it has spread to many countries, including developing ones, as well as to global governance. Ecological modernization sees environmental protection and conservation implemented by government as good for business, and so economic growth. The slogan “pollution prevention pays” is prominent. Ecological modernization is largely a moderate technocratic discourses that stresses green re-tooling of the capitalist economy, though more radical “strong” versions exist that would contemplate thoroughgoing structural change that moves beyond the liberal capitalist status quo.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

4. Leave It to the Experts  

Administrative Rationalism

Complex environmental issues have to date mostly been addressed by administrative means such as regulation, impact assessment, and planning that harness expertise in institutions such as pollution control agencies and resource management bureaucracies. Administrative rationalism is defined as the problem-solving discourse that emphasizes the role of the expert rather than the citizen or producer/consumer in social problem solving. Experts can be scientists, social scientists, or policy analysts who can deploy techniques such as cost-benefit analysis and risk analysis. Recent variations on the discourse involve evidence-based policy making and ‘nudge’. Administrative rationalism figures more strongly as an institutional style in some political systems than in others. The chapter focuses on the United States, as it pioneered many of the practices of administrative rationalism in environmental policy, and China, where administrative rationalism now finds its strongest application. Administrative rationalism is in crisis as its limits when confronting complexity become exposed, and it is arguably giving way to more networked and less hierarchical governance.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

6. Leave It to the Market  

Economic Rationalism

Economic rationalism involves the intelligent deployment of market instruments to achieve public ends such as environmental protection and resource conservation. The instruments in question can involve the establishment of private property rights in land, air, and water; “cap and trade” markets in pollution rights (emissions trading); tradeable quotes in resources such as fish; green taxes, such as a carbon tax; and the purchase of offsets to compensate for environmentally damaging behavior. These instruments have been adopted in many countries, though with some resistance from those who believe there is more to life than economic reasoning.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

5. Leave It to the People  

Democratic Pragmatism

This chapter treats democracy as a way of approaching problems through involving a variety of interests and actors along with citizens in interactive problem solving within the basic institutional structure of liberal capitalist democracy. It is manifested in for example public consultation, alternative dispute resolution, policy dialogue, lay citizen deliberation, and public inquiries. The turn from government to more decentralized and networked governance can be seen as a kind of democratic pragmatism, though networks do not always enhance democracy. This problem solving must be a flexible process that involves many voices and cooperation across a plurality of perspectives. The degree of participation with which pragmatists are happy often corresponds to existing liberal democracies and enables congruence between the demands of rationality in social problem solving and democratic values, though efforts exist to deepen both the democratic and problem-solving capacity of participation.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

2. Looming Tragedy  

Limits, Boundaries, Survival

Ecologists have applied the concept of “carrying capacity”, the population of a species that an ecosystem can support, to human populations. Ecological limits to growth in population and the economy dominated environmental concern in the 1970s and beyond. More recently they have been supplanted by the idea of planetary boundaries, based on the stresses that the earth system is capable of absorbing, several of which (including biosphere integrity and climate change) have already been transgressed, suggesting the system is in grave peril. This chapter also considers the points of critics of the idea that there can be limits, then analyzes the political implications of limits and boundaries, from the authoritarianism associated with some 1970s thinkers to the need for cooperative global action to the more democratic possibilities that could be associated with degrowth and planetary boundaries.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

1. Making Sense of Earth’s Politics  

A Discourse Approach

This chapter introduces the politics of the Earth, which has featured a large and ever-growing range of concerns, such as pollution, wilderness preservation, population growth, depletion of natural resources, climate change, biodiversity loss, and destabilization of the Earth system. It explains how the issues of Earth’s politics are interlaced with a range of questions about human livelihood, social justice, public attitudes, and proper relation to one other and other entities on the planet. It also discusses the consequences of discourses for politics and policies. The chapter clarifies how environmental issues like ecological limits, nature preservation, climate change, biodiversity, rainforest protection, environmental justice, and pollution are interconnected in all kinds of ways. It develops an environmental discourse analysis approach and shows how this approach will be applied in subsequent chapters, beginning with the positioning of environmental discourses in relation to the long dominant of discourse of industrialism.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

10. New Society  

Green Politics

The more political dimension of green radicalism analyzed in this chapter believes that ecological limits and boundaries can only be confronted, and the path to a better society charted, though political activism and thoroughgoing change in dominant institutions and practices. It finds its most conventional form of organization in green political parties that have been part of the electoral landscape since the 1980s, and that have in several countries (especially in Europe) joined governing coalitions and provided government ministers. However, social movements such as Occupy, Extinction Rebellion, Transition Initiatives, and those for environmental justice and sustainable materialism matter just as much. Movements for global environmental justice and the environmentalism of the global poor, and radical summits, have taken radical green politics to different parts of the world and to the global stage. An eco-anarchist disposition is associated with social ecology, and some radicals seek to link green politics and socialism. Green radicalism takes on economics in “doughnut economics” and proposals for a “Green New Deal”.

Book

Cover The Politics of the Earth
This book provides an accessible introduction to environmental politics through a powerful, discourse-centred approach which analyzes how environmental affairs are constructed and interpreted through language. It recounts developments beginning with the arrival of environmental crisis in the late 1960s, which yielded dire warnings about global shortages and ecological collapse. It moves through subsequent decades to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the anti-environmental backlash of denial and “Gray Radicalism”. The book develops an innovative approach to understanding contemporary environmental discourses, covering ecological limits and planetary boundaries, pragmatic problem-solving, sustainability, ecological modernization, and green radicalism, as well as radical anti-environmentalism. It analyzes key developments in environmental affairs alongside many examples that illustrate how discourses shape past and current debates on the environment. It concludes by examining the radical implications of the Anthropocene concept.