Maurie Cohen

Maurie Cohen
New Jersey Institute of Technology | NJIT · Department of Humanities | Program in Science, Technology, and Society

PhD

About

104
Publications
36,445
Reads
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3,257
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
2028 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - June 2007
University of Leeds
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2000 - present
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Position
  • Professor of Sustainability Studies and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society
September 1995 - December 1999
University of Oxford
Position
  • Ove Arup Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (104)
Article
A major shift in private and public investment is needed to forge a transition to a circular economy. A recent surge of activity from policy makers, the financial industry, and other stakeholders suggests commitment and progress toward providing resources to facilitate this process. In this forum article, we provide a measured, and in some respects...
Article
Housing plays a significant role in impelling demand for natural resources and driving economic growth in high-income countries. Public policies, commercial prerogatives, and other inducements have encouraged construction and occupancy of ever-larger homes and this pattern has persisted in the face of decreasing household size, declining fertility,...
Article
This perspective calls for building greater understanding of overlapping and conflicting considerations between the sustainability principles that inform current conceptions of circular economy and degrowth. We contend that scholars and practitioners need to be pragmatic and to recognize evident ideological differences, but simultaneously to acknow...
Article
The ongoing devolution of climate policy-making to sub-national levels has prompted growing interest in policy entrepreneurship by individuals who are politically and technically creative and institutionally resourceful. This paper investigates the case of the materials-management programme in the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality which ha...
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This introductory article to the special section first provides a cursory overview of the history of sustainable consumption and production as a policy issue dating back to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. While sustainable production has been absorbed over the past three decades into prevailing societal commitments, governance structures, and busines...
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The United Nations formulated the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a comprehensive global policy framework for addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges currently facing humanity. In this paper, we analyse SDG 12, which aims to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” Despite long-standing poli...
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The customary mode of flat rate-property taxation used in the United States and many other Anglospheric countries encourages the consumption of ever greater volumes of energy and materials by relatively affluent households and exacerbates social inequalities. Transition from an invariable tax rate on residential real estate to a graduated schedule...
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The United Nations formulated the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a comprehensive global policy framework for addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges currently facing humanity. In this paper, we analyse SDG 12, which aims to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” Despite long-standing poli...
Book
Consumer society is an unquestionably complex social construct. However, after decades of unremitting dominance there are signs emerging that it is starting to falter, both as a coherent and durable system of social organization and as a strategy for societal advancement. Debates concerning how we can transition beyond present energy- and materials...
Article
Recent years have seen growing interest in the design and implementation of interventions to reduce poverty in developing countries based on social entrepreneurship. While there are numerous examples of this model being applied around the world, we present a case of social entrepreneurship involving carpet weavers in Bamyan, an extremely rural and...
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While the field of sustainable consumption research is relatively young, it has already attracted scholars from all corners of the social sciences. The time has come to identify a new research agenda as trends in sustainable consumption research seem to suggest the dawning of a new phase. Not only does research need to be guided, but sustainable co...
Chapter
How different is the framing of the sustainability agenda in the United States (US) compared to Europe? Maurie Cohen: Sustainability policy discourse in the US is very different to the one in Europe. The sort of initiatives that are present in Europe are largely absent in the US, or appear in fragmented form. For instance, the issues of sustainable...
Chapter
Four decades have passed since modernization theorists first gave serious consideration to a transition from consumerism to post-consumerism. The intervening years have given rise to committed efforts in the United States and other affluent countries to reinforce the preconditions of consumer society through the deregulation of key economic sectors...
Book
Putting Sustainability into Practice offers a robust and interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary consumption routines that challenges conventional approaches to social change premised on behavioral economics and social psychology. Empirical research is featured from eight different countries, using both qualitative and quantitative data to...
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Recent developments in urban mobility in many affluent countries suggest that private car use is declining and this trend is beginning to open up opportunities for municipal planners to consider a future of less extensive reliance on automobiles. This analysis examines current efforts by cities to expand opportunities for non-motorised transport an...
Article
Because of lags realigning common conceptions with evolving extant conditions, macroeconomic transitions typically engender pronounced collective dissonance. The 2007 financial crisis triggered such a process in several Anglo-European countries and large fissures have been opening up in recent years between societal expectations and lived experienc...
Book
This timely volume recognizes that traditional policy approaches to reduce human impacts on the environment through technological change - for example, emphasizing resource efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources - are insufficient to meet the most pressing sustainability challenges of the twenty-first century. Instead, the edito...
Book
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'This is a very timely and inspiring book. The editors have carefully compiled original contributions from leading researchers in sustainable consumption, reflecting the important work of the SCORAI network and beyond. This is a "must" read for those who want to know where research in sustainable consumption is really heading.' - Lucia A. Reisch, C...
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Automobile society has been triumphant for a century. While this success is often ascribed to entrepreneurial tenacity and indefatigable demand, it is more correctly credited to auspicious political, economic and cultural trends. The macro-scale factors responsible for the entrenchment of automobility in developed countries are now moving in revers...
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This introductory article situates the contributions that comprise this special issue within the field of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) studies. After a brief review of the policy history surrounding SCP, we organize our discussion and the subsequent collection of articles into two groups. The first suite of articles views the enviro...
Article
A growing volume of scholarship and policy practice focuses on developing societal capacity to guide transitions of socio-technical systems toward more sustainable alternatives. Because several prominent modes of transportation are widely regarded as systemically problematic, the notion of sustainable mobility has received considerable attention fr...
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Metaphors are essential devices for fostering collective understanding and forging political commitment across diverse constituencies. Due to the ineffectualness of prevailing linguistic representations of climate change, discursive entrepreneurs have begun to invoke over the last few years new imagery that frames the challenge as tantamount to a p...
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The 1992 Earth Summit highlighted the critical role of consumption in affluent nations as a source of global environmental deterioration. While most developed countries have begun over the past decade to grapple with the difficult challenges of reducing household demand for energy and materials, sustainable consumption has yet to attract substantiv...
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Adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit and elaborated at the Johannesburg Conference a decade later, sustainable consumption occupies an increasingly prominent political position. Numerous governmental ministries and supranational organisations have produced sustainable consumption plans. However, actual programmatic initiatives have been limited to mode...
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Research on sustainable mobility transitions has focused on battery-electric vehicles, urban ‘smart’ cars, fuel-cell powered transport modes and power-assisted bicycles. While these studies have usefully exposed some of the dynamics governing sociotechnical change, developments outside the purview of sustainability have been largely ignored. A crit...
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During the years since the 2002 Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the issue of sustainable consumption has come to occupy an increasingly prominent position within global environmental politics. The United Nations Environment Program in particular has played a pivotal role advancing this agenda through its flagship initiative known as the Marrakech Pro...
Chapter
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Scholars working within the field of comparative environmental policy have regularly noted the disparity in how different countries react to ecological threats. The 1986 Chernobyl accident, a catastrophe that spread measurable amounts of radioactivity across a broad stretch of northern Europe, provides a particularly poignant illustration of the wa...
Article
Over the past decade, sustainable consumption has emerged as an issue of growing international prominence. Policy initiatives to facilitate more environmentally and socially preferable household provisioning have typically emphasized materials and energy efficiency. While this approach holds the prospect for some notable short-term gains, experienc...
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While the intellectual shoots of sustainability science are surely tangled and diverse, one of the most important taproots springs from the pioneering work of geographer Gilbert F. White who passed away this past October at his home in Colorado at the age of 94.
Article
Ecological modernization provides a theoretical framework for situating the emergence of new technology-intensive modes of environmental reform such as industrial ecology, environmentally conscious manufacturing, and ecological design. These forms of professional engineering practice all seek to exploit opportunities for aggressive innovation to ac...
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Over the past three decades, critical assessment of the automobile has evolved from a focus on the technical inadequacies of the internal combustion engine to a more comprehensive appraisal of the sociotechnical system for providing mobility. The following study charts the evolution of this discourse by focusing in particular on the way in which th...
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The American environmental movement has been struggling for more than a year to digest the strong critique offered by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus in their widely disseminated treatise "The Death of Environmentalism." Their essay accuses organized environmentalism of framing key issues in overly narrow terms, of failing to connect with ev...
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Academic proponents of sustainable consumption have marshaled considerable evidence over the past decade to support calls for more efficacious lifeways among residents of the world’s developed countries. Policymakers continue, however, to resist these recommendations because sustainable consumption runs counter to dominant tenets of neo-liberal eco...
Article
As industrial ecology (IE) solidifies conceptually and methodologically, and as it gains visibility and legitimacy in academia, industry, and government, it is important that the IE community periodically evaluate the status of its emerging institutional arrangements. At the same time, industrial ecologists should assess the political relations dev...
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While mainstream policymakers in the United States have to date evinced little interest in sustainable consumption, this does not mean that a political agenda designed to highlight the adverse impacts of consumerism has failed to take root in the country. In fact, a considerable number of activities are occurring that are broadly consistent with th...
Article
International institutions over the past decade have begun to emphasize the need to reduce the environmental impacts of heavily consumerist lifestyles in affluent nations as a precondition for sustainable development. Originally outlined in Agenda 21, and discussed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, sustainable consumption has now emerged as a definable...
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International institutions over the past decade have begun to emphasize the need to reduce the environmental impacts of heavily consumerist lifestyles in affluent nations as a precondition for sustainable development. Originally outlined in Agenda 21, and discussed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, sustainable consumption has now emerged as a definable...
Article
The failure of Los Angeles' RECLAIM emission trading market in the summer of 2000 uncovers important issues that have direct relevance for the various systems now emerging for exchanging greenhouse gas credits. Two primary causes for the breakdown of RECLAIM are apparent. On the one hand, RECLAIM did not succeed because of a series of unpredictable...
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During the first 2 years of his presidential term, George W. Bush matured as a political leader and neutralized many of his harshest critics. A glaring exception to this characterization is the area of environmental policy. The Bush administration adamantly refused to advance a meaningful strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to commit th...
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Full-text available
The failure of Los Angeles' RECLAIM emission trading market in the summer of 2000 uncovers important issues that have direct relevance for the various systems now emerging for exchanging greenhouse gas credits. Two primary causes for the breakdown of RECLAIM are apparent. On the one hand, RECLAIM did not succeed because of a series of unpredictable...
Article
Full-text available
Soon after taking office in 2001, President George W. Bush renounced the Kyoto Protocol and withdrew the USA from participation. While this decision did not ultimately break the treaty as many observers had anticipated, the lack of US engagement has profoundly impaired its effectiveness to mitigate the risks of human-induced climate change. In just...
Article
Disaster preparedness and emergency response in the United States have become increasingly decentralised with state and local governments assuming a larger share of these responsibilities. Policy planners generally view these as positive developments because of the presumed greater adaptability of lower levels of government rapidly evolving crisis...
Chapter
This chapter deals with emergent environmental policy that discourses on sustainable consumption, which is a long-neglected topic in dominant environmental discourse. There are indications that consumption is now emerging as a central conceptual frame for policy-making. With the rise of sustainable development within mainstream circles as the organ...
Chapter
This chapter develops a complex and multi-layered understanding of consumption and the policies related to it. Around 1972, governments throughout the developed world began to institutionalize environmental protection. In 1971, eight of the world's richest countries created environmental ministries. Other actions common at this time were the establ...
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This chapter introduces consumption, the environment and the policies related to both. It undermines the atomistic and economistic mode of public policymaking in the area of consumption and the environment and builds a richer and more accurate view of consumption. Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, consumption has emerged as a signif...
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Comparative research regarding the varying capabilities of the advanced countries to pursue strategies consistent with ecological modernisation has typically focused on institutional and economic capacity. Though these features certainly shape preparedness for this policy programme in important ways, they do not provide sufficient insight into the...
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This special issue brings together contributions from nine scholars who have been working at the frontiers of the comparative study of risk. Most of the papers that follow use a cross-national approach to investigate public attitudes to risk in a broad range of settings including Germany, Sweden, Denmark, England, and the United States. Two of the...
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Over the past decade risk society theory has become increasingly prominent within the field of environmental social theory. This perspective contends that conventional political divisions based on class are becoming less salient and are giving way to a politics predicated upon the distribution of risk. There is much in risk society theory, especial...
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Attentive observers in recent years have begun to ascertain a policy shift in advanced nations as the concept of sustainable development has gained credence across a range of the political-economic spectrum. Even interests typically regarded as staunch antagonists to reform — for instance major chemical and resource extraction corporations — have b...
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Ecological modernization is emerging as a new paradigm for the environmental improvement of advanced nations. Rather than emphasize the use of remedial technologies as has been customary since the 1970s, this approach reframes the relationship between economics and the environment to overcome the zero-sum antagonism of the earlier era. This transfo...
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For corporate managers throughout most of Western Europe and North America the environment initially emerged as a strategic consideration during the early 1970s. During this decade, the political systems of the world’s advanced nations, acting in response to both public demands and the objective criteria of serious ecological deterioration, develop...
Article
Two prominent social theories have been shaping the discourse of environmental politics during recent years. Ulrich Beck's risk society theory contends that conventional definitions of social class are losing their significance in advanced nations due to the success of the welfare state in reducing economic scarcity. As societies transition toward...
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The United States has experienced considerable industrial decentralization to non‐metropolitan areas during the past thirty years. Whereas researchers have extensively documented the social and economic effects of this process, the environmental consequences of manufacturing activities in rural communities have received less attention. This paper u...

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Projects (2)
Project
Paper examines the potential of demographic contraction (particularly in several key Asian countries) to contribute to a transition toward absolute reductions in the consumption of energy and materials.