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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.


Cover Poverty and Development

19. Engineering for Development  

Peter Robbins, David Wield, and Gordon Wilson

This chapter focuses on the concept of engineering for development (E4D), which falls within the idea of development as deliberate intervention. Some such interventions may contain large-scale infrastructure engineering to meet human needs and/or facilitate economic development, while others are at small scale to meet primarily everyday human needs. Public finance and/or aid usually plays a large part in these interventions, although implementation is likely to include NGOs or the private sector. By following and analysing what engineers do, it becomes clear how E4D is socially produced beyond its strictly technical dimensions. Case studies of E4D suggest that the key concepts for analysing its social production are: ecological modernization, networks, bricolage, and reflexivity. Key issues for infrastructure development are access and effective coordination of implementation networks through cooperative partnerships and/or contracts.