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Risk society and ecological modernisation: Alternative visions for post-industrial nations

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Abstract

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 late modernity new social cleavages based on the distribution of environmental and technological risks are gaining salience. Standing in contrast is the theory of ecological modernisation originally advanced by Joseph Huber outlining a hyper-rational strategy for correcting the ecological flaws of contemporary production and consumption practices. This paper introduces a typology that joins the two theories into a unified framework and suggests that the direction toward which a particular society progresses will be conditioned by its predisposition to scientific rationality. Due to increasing public endorsement of alternative epistemologies, most countries will likely encounter great difficulty achieving ecological modernisation.

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... Light has been shed on the environmental capacity to resist to our patterns of development, creating skepticism over utilitarian frameworks in which natural resources are 'taken for granted'. Environmental responsibility consequently contrasts with previous understandings of progress as inevitable marches forward, assuring mastery over natural resources (Cohen, 1997). Instead of exogenous to human activities, natural systems are complex and co-evolving dynamics, directly affected by technological trajectories and social behavior. ...
... ! (! practices (Cohen, 1997). By encouraging flexible and precautionary governmental and industrial strategies, society is able to spur green innovations and continuous improvements towards environmentally-friendly technological trajectories. ...
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... Ecological modernization is argued to be a response to the failures of the initial wave of environmental management in the 1970s and early 1980s, and also served to break the impasse between the pursuit of economic progress and responsible environmental management, by reframing the terms of the discourse, enabling a perspective of the sustainable utilization of nature (Cohen 1997(Cohen , 1998. In addition to technological innovation, developments in institutional dimensions and cultural dynamics were regarded as important driving forces in environmental reform (Hajer 1995;Spaargaren and Mol 1992;Cohen 1997;Dryzek 1997). ...
... Ecological modernization is argued to be a response to the failures of the initial wave of environmental management in the 1970s and early 1980s, and also served to break the impasse between the pursuit of economic progress and responsible environmental management, by reframing the terms of the discourse, enabling a perspective of the sustainable utilization of nature (Cohen 1997(Cohen , 1998. In addition to technological innovation, developments in institutional dimensions and cultural dynamics were regarded as important driving forces in environmental reform (Hajer 1995;Spaargaren and Mol 1992;Cohen 1997;Dryzek 1997). Taken in the context of sustainable development, Washington (2015: 208-209) notes that aims espoused by ecological modernization, such as GDP growth, population, and resource utilization, can be described rather more aptly as ''sustainable growth'' or ''green growth,'' as basis for endless economic progress. ...
Article
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... Concepts clarifying and distinguishing innovation in processes, products, services, and business models (Barras, 1986;Chesbrough, 2010;Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995;Ettlie and Reza, 1992;Gallouj and Weinstein, 1997;Hipp and Grupp, 2005;Utterback and Abernathy, 1975;Zott et al., 2011) Collaborative frameworks for generation and diffusion of open innovation, triple helix, and user innovation (Chesbrough, 2003;Leydesdorff, 2000;Mortara and Minshall, 2011;Pisano and Verganti, 2008;Von Hippel, 2001) Distinctions between Anthropocentric and Ecocentric approaches (Grey, 1993;Morton, 2007;White, 1967) Theories on growth and environment trade-offs, e.g., degrowth, growth limits, steady-state, and growth-fetish, (Daly, 1991;Daly and Townsend, 1993;Hamilton, 2004;Jackson, 2009;Kallis, 2011;Meadows et al., 1972) International sustainable governance discussion on environmental, social, and economic dimensions (Brundtland, 1987;Clark and Crutzen, 2005;Elkington, 1999;Kates et al., 2005;Middleton and O'Keefe, 1993;O'Riordan, 1993;Sachs, 2015) Different perceptions of what is to be sustained, what is to be developed and what is attainable (Fowke and Prasad, 1996;Kates and Parris, 2003;Leach et al., 2007;National Research Council, 1999;UNCED, 1992;United Nations, 2015;Williams and Millington, 2004) Vulnerability, resilience and complexity of social-environmental systems (Kharrazi et al., 2016a;Meerow and Newell, 2015;Rockström et al., 2009;Stirling, 2014;Turner et al., 2003) (Kharrazi et al., 2016;Meerow and Newell, 2015 Falke, 2009;Stirling, 2014;Turner et al., 2003) Sustainable corporate strategy, e.g., sustainable industries, CSR, shared value, bottom of the pyramid, and circular economy (Cohen, 2006(Cohen, , 1997Crane et al., 2014;Evans et al., 2009;Jänicke and Jacob, 2006;Mcwilliams, 2016;Porter and Kramer, 2011;Prahalad, 2004;Prahalad and Hart, 2002;Webster, 2015) ...
... These risks have resulted from extensive anthropogenic activities and fuelled by rapid technological developments beyond "the wildest Neolithic dreams" (Grey, 1993:464). Furthermore, these emerging sustainability risks challenge our former understandings of development patterns as purely positive and question our ability to sufficiently account for the scarcity of environmental resources (Cohen, 1997). The identified threats initiated international discussions on the complex and dynamically interconnected nature of the environment, society and the economy (Kates et al., 2005). ...
Article
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This paper synthesises and discusses the theoretical foundations of sociotechnical systems change for sustainability by conducting a systematic literature review of 182 scientific articles. The articles were sampled and analysed through a combination of bibliometric analysis, snowballing, content analysis and problematization. After grouping the literature and synthesising its key contributions, we identified 14 embedded ontological and normative foundations grounding the theoretical developments of this field. They delineate the underlying motivations of research questions; the understanding of what is considered positive and attainable change; the factors considered to be part of the explanation of phenomena; and the correlation and causality patterns that can be explored to steer sociotechnical system change for sustainability. By revealing dominant and pervasive foundations to how sociotechnical system change is analysed, we contribute to clarify theoretical developments and identify opportunities for future contributions.
... Changing lifestyles and consumption patterns in developing countries: A scenario analysis for China and India. Cohen (1997). Risk society and ecological modernisation alternative visions for post-industrial nations. ...
... Florida (1995) reaffirmed the importance of regions amidst increasing globalization trends. Cohen (1997) critiqued and integrated two theories of social progress and modernization. Mathews (2011) proffered a way for capitalism to continue to persist in a more sustainable way in the future. ...
Article
This article provides a visual, objective and comprehensive review of the academic activity in futures studies from its origin (Futures, Volume 1, 1968) to present. Several bibliometric visualizations of the cumulated 50 years of futures studies scholarship are created to show 1) thematic clusters of research, 2) research intensity, 3) recent research trends, 4) research trajectory by cluster over time, 5) relative clusters’ representation within and across journals and 6) research locations. The 6 research clusters identified by the clustering algorithm are renamed corporate foresight; past & futures; humanity at the limen; environmental futures; post-normality & complexity, and technological trends, according to their underlying themes, and discussed in depth one by one. Several objective observations on the maps’ structure uncover the main research gaps in the literature. Based on these observations, the article provides 6 recommendations on how to fill these research gaps to improve the discipline's fragmentation. Based on the visualizations, it can also be observed that the majority of futures studies publications belong to two clusters: past & futures and corporate foresight, and that the sudden increase in the total number of futures studies articles citations after 2004 is attributable to the corresponding increase in the relative percentage of research activity in one cluster: corporate foresight.
... Can I eat the food without getting sick because of either assimilated or deliberately applied toxins? Cohen (1997) attempted to reconcile Beck's thesis with that of joseph Huber which is referred to as ecological modernization. That approach requires a commitment to the concept of sustainability, an adoption to some degree of the precautionary principle, and a continued commitment to strict environmental regulation. ...
... Interestingly enough, the community around Mobile Bay has begun to evidence symptoms of a society that Cohen (1997) clearly describes as being in a transition state. The potential is there to become either a risk society, motivated by fear, or an ecologically modern society guided by reason and planning. ...
... This scientific approach examines the capacity of Ecological Modernisation Theory (Hajer and Wagenaar, 1995; Mol, 1995;Christoff, 1996;Hajer, 1996;Cohen, 1997a;Jänicke, 2010), used as a paradigm for decision making process in the field of wastewater collection , to ensure sustainability, competitivity and the commercial success of eco-innovative technologies versus classical technologies for wastewater collection. ...
... Ecological modernisation concept is nowadays on many country policy agenda. To talk about a paradigm change in what concerns the scientific justification to declare ecological modernisation a change in environmental practices towards the ecological industrialisation (Spaargaren and Mol, 1992;Cohen, 1997a;Spaargaren, 1997), in order to get a more practical value of the concept it was necessary to introduce specific instruments to measure the level of ecological modernisation beginning with the design and planning process. ...
Thesis
The thesis evaluates two alternative systems of wastewater collection (conventional with lift stations versus vacuum system) from the perspectives of attributes of Ecological Modernisation Theory (EMT) and Resilience. The thesis points out, in terms of ecological modernisation, on the capacity of eco-innovative technologies to contribute to the greening of wastewater collection systems. Since the field of environmental engineering concerns aspects related to the technological and economic components of development of certain products or processes and their impact on the environment, in this specific scientific approach, only some themes of the Ecological Modernisation Theory are identified as being relevant. In this regard, the study explores the techno- corporatist version of ecological modernisation, called also the engineering or weak version, that focus on the role of science and technology in providing development win-win solutions to the environment and economy. The thesis integrates two main lines of analysis. The first line approaches the available eco-innovative technologies in wastewater collection versus classical ones and concludes on their economic, social and environmental impact in terms of ecological modernisation. The second line of analysis makes a comparative analysis of two alternative wastewater systems in terms of resilience attributes and represents a window of opportunity for the introduction of resilience as an instrument to measure the degree ecological modernisation. Therefore, indirectly, there are evaluated the challenges the local actors involved in the decision-making process, but also the opportunities that derive from the analysis of the alternatives, that can lead to the forecasting of their impact and solutions to improve the functioning of wastewater collection systems since design stage. The final objective is to explore the relation between the ecological modernisation and resilience by evaluating the use of economic instruments and of eco-innovation in providing and implementing competitive technologies for wastewater collection. The study suggests the introduction of resilience as a new pillar of ecological modernisation, together with the economical, ecological and institutional reform and the role of social movements. The approach proposed in this scientific research by adopting the concept of resilience of infrastructure, integrates, besides the two main analysed pillars of engineering EMT (economic and technological reform), another two aspects: capacity of fast recovery following certain natural or anthropic pressures and the economic, social and environmental reliability of two alternative wastewater collection systems.
... Consequently, environmental responsibility contrasts with previous understandings of progress as an inevitable march forward, ensuring mastery over natural resources (Cohen, 1997). Natural systems are not exogenous to human activities. ...
... Similarly, authors from the ecological modernization school challenged the trade-offs between economic activity and nature, focusing on simultaneous improvements in human welfare and environmental stewardship. Initially proposed by Huber, the theory described a hyper-rational strategy for correcting ecological damage from contemporary practices (Cohen, 1997): By encouraging flexible and precautionary governmental and industrial strategies, society spurs the development of green technologies and environmentally friendly procedures. ...
Conference Paper
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Eco-innovations are fundamental to redefine the environmental impacts of productive activities towards a new paradigm of sustainable development. Yet, still little is known about how eco-innovations take place in firms, especially in emerging economies like Brazil. The purpose of this chapter is to portrait the landscape of eco-innovations in Brazilian firms, concerning the characteristics of eco-innovators, as well as the determinants, results, types of innovation, main environmental initiatives what cooperative arrangements take place for the development of eco-innovations. It presents the results of an unprecedented survey on eco-innovative activities in Brazilian firms carried out in 2012. The methodology is quantitative, descriptive and explanatory, using precise measurement to provide a representative picture of eco-innovations in Brazil. The results show that firms are mostly driven by the opportunity to create new businesses with their eco-innovations. Moreover, it reveals that most ecoinnovative firms in our sample conduct systematic, in-house R&D activities; most ecoinnovative firms participate in cooperative arrangements for innovation especially with universities and research institutes; and most eco-innovations are organizational, with incremental impacts.
... Third, successful execution of this approach depends on the organisational internalisation of ecological responsibility. Finally, ecological modernists emphasise the role of strict governmental regulations to promote innovation in environmental technology" (Cohen, 1997). ...
... This was rapidly embedded as best practice in state and corporate policymaking, and is now sufficiently taken for granted as to be conventional wisdom. As Cohen elaborates, "ecological modernisation has been tailored to serve as a political programme and a corporate competitivenessenhancing strategy", rejecting the environment vs efficiency trade-off that justified private and public sector reluctance to adjust, instead championing the benefits of "eco-efficiency" and its associated reduction of costly waste (Cohen, 1997). The convenient fundamental compatibility of free trade, free markets and sustainability reached its apogee in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, which are of such applicability and common sense that major consulting firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers have constructed sophisticated consulting packages designed to facilitate other organisations' adherence to these. ...
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Global value chains (GVCs) are both a product and a facilitator of the model of globalization that dominated for almost two decades following Soviet collapse in 1991. The North Atlantic Financial Crisis of 2007 onwards undermined that dominance, as did the subsequent economic stagnation and associated rising political and social discord. The reversion to more nationalist modes of discourse and policy marks the return of a more visibly geopolitical dimension to the global political economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated and accentuated these trends. This paper charts the emergence and consolidation of the era of "one world, ready or not", and employs the work of various critical authors, most prominently William Greider. Greider's extensive critique of US-led globalization, offshoring, and what has since become known as "supply chain capitalism" not only appears prescient by comparison with the work of contemporaneous, high profile representatives of the economics discipline who were its champions, but helps us to locate the sources of its unravelling. The implications of this for GVCs are outlined in the final section, which foresees a fragmentation of the world into spheres of influence dominated by regional powers, each of varying strength and cohesion. This will most likely result in the reconfiguration of many GVCs along more regional lines, as the dictates of efficiency clash with the requirements of supply chain resilience and the associated prerogatives of national security, as defined by those states at the centre of the new regional power blocs. Common to all phases of development discussed in this paper is the subordination of the peoples of the Global South, as the mechanisms of imperialism are adjusted and adapted to the changing conditions arising from the irreconcilable contradictions of global capitalism.
... However, it is important to note that this highlights the shift from environmental policy approaches in a traditional sense (general stewards of environmental protection) towards an approach that is increasingly economically-driven. Authors like Weale (1992) and Jänicke (1991) originally focused outlining the role of the market in achieving ecological goals, yet studies moved quickly towards analysing the broader institutional and sociological dynamics of ecological modernisation that were needed to support these new environmental markets (Cohen, 1997;Hajer, 1995;Spaargaren and Mol, 1992). ...
Article
Climate change and the continuing changes that accompany it require society and its broader institutions to evolve continuously. Today’s continual atmospheric damage requires a commitment to ecological considerations that show consistent and meaningful carbon reductions. The success of global carbon mitigation depends entirely on the capabilities of individual governing bodies agreeing and delivering upon their climate ambitions. However, delivering impactful progress on emissions is a considerable challenge. Although there has been significant research as to what climate mitigation goals should encompass, the policy path and resulting incremental changes needed to achieve them require additional scholarly attention. This thesis analyses the role of institutions as they adapt to support societies addressing climate change. Adopting a historical institutional approach provides a pathway for understanding the coordination of information, individuals, institutional adjustments, and their role in the carbon policy process. By focusing on the impact of ecological modernisation ideas, this work addresses the ambiguity that lies between contradicting approaches to climate governance and instead, analyses the incremental changes needed to support societies as they address climate change. Systemically gathering policy tools from 1992-2012, this research empirically examines the nature, ambition, and achievements of mitigation policy in the EU and US as they transition to a low-carbon future.
... Neste momento, tudo o que ocorre na sociedade, objetiva e subjetivamente passa a ser foco de análise, situação que denuncia o elevado nível de incerteza que impregna as relações sociais. Como impacto desta incerteza verifica-se que agentes sociais rompem de forma drástica com suas crenças ao se desvencilharem de qualquer comprometimento institucional (COHEN, 1997). A teoria da sociedade de risco, em parte justificada por uma modernidade reflexiva é complementada pela noção de uma irresponsabilidade organizada, por meio da qual nota-se "um encadeamento de mecanismos culturais e institucionais pelos quais as elites políticas e econômicas encobrem efetivamente as origens e conseqüências dos riscos e dos perigos catastróficos da recente industrialização" (GOLDBLATT, 2006, p.241). ...
... However, it is important to note that this highlights the shift from environmental policy approaches in a traditional sense (general stewards of environmental protection) towards an approach that is increasingly economically-driven. Authors like Weale (1992) and Jänicke (1991) originally focused outlining the role of the market in achieving ecological goals, yet studies moved quickly towards analysing the broader institutional and sociological dynamics of ecological modernisation that were needed to support these new environmental markets (Cohen, 1997;Hajer, 1995;Spaargaren and Mol, 1992). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
4151442 2 ABSTRACT Climate change and the continuing changes that accompany it require society and its broader institutions to evolve continuously. Today's continual atmospheric damage requires a commitment to ecological considerations that show consistent and meaningful carbon reductions. The success of global carbon mitigation depends entirely on the capabilities of individual governing bodies agreeing and delivering upon their climate ambitions. However, delivering impactful progress on emissions is a considerable challenge. Although there has been significant research as to what climate mitigation goals should encompass, the policy path and resulting incremental changes needed to achieve them require additional scholarly attention. This thesis analyses the role of institutions as they adapt to support societies addressing climate change. Adopting a historical institutional approach provides a pathway for understanding the coordination of information, individuals, institutional adjustments, and their role in the carbon policy process. By focusing on the impact of ecological modernisation ideas, this work addresses the ambiguity that lies between contradicting approaches to climate governance and instead, analyses the incremental changes needed to support societies as they address climate change. Systemically gathering policy tools from 1992-2012, this research empirically examines the nature, ambition, and achievements of mitigation policy in the EU and US as they transition to a low-carbon future. 4151442 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
... 216). The works of Porter and van der Linde [85,86], Cohen [87], Elkington [88], and Green, Groenewegen, and Hofman [89] were amongst those which challenged this misconception, arguing that participation in such practices would in fact facilitate innovation and economic growth for corporations thus delivering business benefits, especially in the longer-term [84] (pp. 216-217). ...
Article
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The relationship between human rights and the environment has been on the international policy and scholarly agendas for over two decades. Equally, the dynamics between business activities and corporations’ working methods and their impact on human rights have been developing at the policy and legal levels. However, within these developments there has been limited consideration of the environment in the context of adverse corporate impacts and their human dimensions, which have been approached in an ad-hoc and piecemeal manner. This Special Issue exposes the advances and deficiencies in the theoretical and practical integration of human rights and the environment within the business and human rights framework, as well as the role and impact of greater integration for achieving positive social and environmental change. In this editorial to the special issue of Sustainability on Business, Human Rights, and the Environment, we set the stage to push forward the development of an integrated and coherent theoretic Business, Human Rights, and Environment framework and its international legal implementation which places the needs of the people and the planet at its core.
... Post-normal science theory, which sees major environmental issues as requiring lay participation in science? It turns out that nine articles citing Funtowicz & Ravetz's work (e.g., 1993) also reference Commoner's (e.g., Cohen, 1997 Egan is certainly correct that "Commoner influenced the direction of the modern environmental movement and helped foster its sophisticated concern for public health and the human body as an environmental landscape needing protection." But his account ultimately sheds too little light on the nature of the fostering and the degree of influence beyond 1980. ...
... There is a similar concept to reflexive modernisation that is equally pertinent to the third point of criticism that must be raised. Ecological Modernisation is a related concept coined by Huber (cited by Cohen, 1997) in the 1980s. According to this thesis, the focus of modern society should be on adapting to industrial development. ...
Thesis
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Many within the field view South Africa’s disaster management legislation as a shining example of how to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development. Yet, more than a decade after adopting this landmark legislation in 2003, there remains a dearth of evidence that this has translated into substantive action. This thesis investigates DRR and its operationalisation, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in South Africa. In contrast to existing literature, the analysis does not hover towards the arguably clichéd narrative of “a lack of state capacity” or “political will” for policy implementation. Instead, the author ventures upon an alternative analytical slant, informed by Critical Theory. The primary explanatory tools employed are Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, with particular emphasis on instrumental reason and the eventual new barbarism emanating from such rationality. Michel Foucault’s particular notion of structuring power is interjected to reconfigure the Dialectic of Enlightenment’s somewhat ahistorical Freudian underpinnings. Accordingly, practitioners as knowledge workers appropriate the contemporary meta-narrative of risk assessment and management, within a more general narrative of neoliberal governmentality. This privatised mode of emancipation may be called Disaster Risk Assessment and Management (DRAaM). The adverse consequences of DRAaM manifest as a set of depoliticising and re-politicising discourses and practices by an intertwined self-referential complex constituted by the twin ideal types, academia and practice. Depoliticising entails applying excessively technocratic and legalistic technologies of risk assessment and management to the politics of danger. It is here where means as performance indicators become de facto ends, and initial ends largely fall by the wayside as supposed beneficiaries become objectified means. Thus, re-politicising unfolds as self-serving practitioners market expedient, standardised and watered-down administrative procedures in light of a deeply rooted and complex affliction. The subsequent inertia results in multiple dystopias, for both the intended beneficiary and the practitioner. Much like Robert Merton’s explication of anomie, these practitioners are burdened by the disjuncture between their objectives and the lack of legitimate means by which to achieve these objectives in a competitive post-industrial industry. The primary conclusion is that the only way to remedy the restraints of rational emancipatory prophecy is for power to turn on itself when required, in awareness of the politics by which its professional identities are created.
... Reflecting on the future of NEPA, Clark (1997) proposed that decision makers must come to understand the value of environmental assessment for its ability to make change rational. Bartlett (1997) provided further caveats to the discussion of rationality and NEPA, reiterating that NEPA sought to bring about the inclusion of ecological rationality alongside other forms of rationality, including technical, social, economic and legal. ...
Thesis
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Contributing to sustainable development is commonly noted as an overall goal for both Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Over a decade ago, EU Directive 2001/42/EC (SEA Directive) reinforced the need for strategic assessment of plans and programmes in the UK. However, the SEA Directive does not stipulate the methodological approach and, as environmental matters are devolved to the individual nations of the UK, implementation is varied. This research considers strategic assessment processes in England and Scotland and the implications of system variation upon the contribution made to sustainable development. Attention is paid to the purposes expressed for strategic assessment, the roles and relationships between actors and organisations involved and also the processes, practices and outcomes of SA and SEA. Two case studies of SA in England and two of SEA in Scotland as applied to development plans are analysed. A range of purposes for both SA and SEA are identified, including; regulatory compliance, identifying and documenting impacts, considering options and alternatives, allowing consultation, and informing and influencing plans. This research concludes that there exists variation between cases in the ambition held for strategic assessment, ranging from basic compliance to influencing plans. This research then focuses on the relationships between actors and organisations involved in SA and SEA with particular attention given to the role of assessment practitioners, planners and consultees. It is found that independence or ‘distance’, to provide legitimacy, and ‘closeness’, to enable influence, are both considered desirable features of the relationship between planning and assessment. In addition, overlap between consultation on both plans and assessment reports adds complexity to the role of consultees. Finally, this research concludes that strategic assessment influence is largely limited to marginal modifications to policy wording and explanatory text, including; strengthening language, increasing clarity, cross referencing to other policies and plans, and requiring lower tier assessments. Thus, strategic assessment fails to achieve more substantial influence, significantly limiting its ability to contribute to sustainability transition in development planning. A number of institutional barriers to increasing strategic assessment influence and contribution to sustainable development or sustainability are identified.
... Ecological Modernisation (EM) theory is often described as an optimistic reform-oriented school of environmental social science, and has gained increasing global attention amongst scholars and policymakers for several decades now (Mol, Sonnenfeld, & Spaargaren, 2009;Redclift & Woodgate, 2005;Spaargaren, Mol, & Buttel, 2000). Central to the theory is that industrialisation, technology development, economic growth, and capitalism are not only compatible with ecological sustainability they are key drivers of environmental reform (Cohen, 1997;Mol, 2001;Mol & Sonnenfeld, 2000;Spaargaren, 2000). Although the frontier of EM has broadened theoretically since the 1980s, most notably to include consumption (see Spaargaren, 1997), many studies retain similar broad fundamentals. ...
Article
Technology is all pervasive in modern society transforming people’s everyday lives and work environments. Societal change is coinciding with the ever increasing availability of small, light, and affordable tools for communication and consumption, most notably the mobile phone. Dominant views of the relationship between society and technology among policymakers and business leaders, however, are frequently production-focussed and pay limited attention to end-users and wider issues of consumption. This theoretical paper argues for a practice theory approach to allow for the greater integration of social factors into technology development and adoption processes, in particular that of telework. An initial critical review of key sociological approaches to society technology interactions will serve to highlight gaps in the existing body of literature, the limitations of many of these approaches, and help demonstrate the need for a practice approach that incorporates aspects of structure, agency, and context. The paper questions the role technologies are likely to play in promoting more sustainable forms of (over)consumption and how these relate to people’s everyday social practices. Drawing on qualitative data collected from sixteen structured interviews as part of the EPA-funded ConsEnSus Project, Consumption, Environment and Sustainability (www.consensus.ie), key components and interactions that influence people’s practice with regard to telework were identified. These was then used to develop an appropriate framework for further analysis in an attempt to more clearly define and understand the interconnectivity and conflicts between the various elements that go to make up the practice of telework.
... Hamdouch and Depret, 2010;Machiba, 2010;OECD, 2010), "environmental innovation" (Ayres, 2008;von Weizsäcker et al., 1997) and "technological transfer" (Ockwell and Rydin, 2006). Such technological optimism is inherent in ecomodernism (Cohen, 1997;Ecomodernist Manifesto, 2015), for example. This paper is a first attempt to address the apparent gap in empirical and theoretical research on attitudes towards technology in general and attitudes of Ecological Economists in particular. ...
Article
A trend analysis of Eurobarometer data shows that attitudes towards science and technology are diversifying in the EU, with enthusiasm clearly losing out to more ambivalent stances. In the past any diversion from unquestioned optimism was interpreted as a bad sign and attributed to the public's ignorance. Today it is often welcomed as a sign of an increasingly emancipated public. In the sustainability sciences, including Ecological Economics, attitudes towards technology also cover a wide spectrum, the formalisation and exploration of which are the goals of this paper. Drawing on social and philosophical studies of technology and insights from Ecological Economics and related fields, we develop a framework of attitudes towards technology consisting of four main categories: Enthusiasm, Determinism, Romanticism and Scepticism. We illustrate the empirical relevance of our framework with a qualitative content analysis of Ecological Economics lecture material. The analysis uncovered and mapped a diversity of views, which co-exist without an open debate. It suggests difficulties of scholars to consistently articulate their techno-attitudes, except for enthusiasm. Our framework could help to amplify underlying vocabularies and visions of research and teaching in Ecological Economics and beyond. It could be applied in both deeper qualitative and broader quantitative analysis.
... Beck's version of the Risk Society (see e.g.: Cohen, 1997;, and specifically when the hypothesis is considered that risk deniers rather than risk alerters could be a silent majority among the public (Sjöberg et al., 2005). ...
... All these important and extremely necessary contributions can be summarised under the aspect of sustainable production or sustainable products and are reflected in concepts like Ecological Modernisation (Ayres and Simonis 1993;Weizsäcker, Lovins et al. 1998), Industrial Ecology (Ayres, Ayres et al. 1996;Erkman 1997) or Integrated Product Policy (IPP) (Rubik and Scholl 2002;Scheer and Rubik 2006). However, as it turns out, technological solutions are not enough (Beck 1986;Cohen 1997). ...
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Achieving sustainable consumption patterns is a crucial step on the way towards sustainability. The scientific knowledge used to decide which priorities to set and how to enforce them has to converge with societal, political, and economic initiatives on various levels: from individual household decision-making to agreements and commitments in global policy processes. The aim of this thesis is to draw a comprehensive and systematic picture of sustainable consumption and to do this it develops the concept of Strong Sustainable Consumption Governance. In this concept, consumption is understood as resource consumption. This includes consumption by industries, public consumption, and household consumption. Next to the availability of resources (including the available sink capacity of the ecosystem) and their use and distribution among the Earth‘s population, the thesis also considers their contribution to human well-being. This implies giving specific attention to the levels and patterns of consumption. Methods: The thesis introduces the terminology and various concepts of Sustainable Consumption and of Governance. It briefly elaborates on the methodology of Critical Realism and its potential for analysing Sustainable Consumption. It describes the various methods on which the research is based and sets out the political implications a governance approach towards Strong Sustainable Consumption may have. Two models are developed: one for the assessment of the environmental relevance of consumption activities, another to identify the influences of globalisation on the determinants of consumption opportunities. Results: One of the major challenges for Strong Sustainable Consumption is that it is not in line with the current political mainstream: that is, the belief that economic growth can cure all our problems. So, the proponents have to battle against a strong headwind. Their motivation however is the conviction that there is no alternative. Efforts have to be taken on multiple levels by multiple actors. And all of them are needed as they constitute the individual strings that together make up the rope. However, everyone must ensure that they are pulling in the same direction. It might be useful to apply a carrot and stick strategy to stimulate public debate. The stick in this case is to create a sense of urgency. The carrot would be to articulate better the message to the public that a shrinking of the economy is not as much of a disaster as mainstream economics tends to suggest. In parallel to this it is necessary to demand that governments take responsibility for governance. The dominant strategy is still information provision. But there is ample evidence that hard policies like regulatory instruments and economic instruments are most effective. As for Civil Society Organizations it is recommended that they overcome the habit of promoting Sustainable (in fact green) Consumption by using marketing strategies and instead foster public debate in values and well-being. This includes appreciating the potential of social innovation. A countless number of such initiatives are on the way but their potential is still insufficiently explored. Beyond the question of how to multiply such approaches, it is also necessary to establish political macro structures to foster them.
... This second wave of interest in environmental issues was characterized by the optimistic win-win perspective of ecological modernization (e.g. Cohen, 1997), and it lasted until the late 1990s backlash. A third wave of interest in the environment emerged in the mid-2000s, focused in particular on climate change (e.g. ...
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Many central concerns of social economics, such as embeddedness, plural values and social justice, are highly pertinent to environment and sustainability. Somewhat paradoxically, there has been relatively little research on environment and sustainability in the core social-economics research community. But this is not to say that social-economics research on the environment and sustainability does not exist. This research has just been mostly carried out by scholars identifying themselves with ecological economics or political ecology. Our chapter sets this scholarship in its broader context and examines in some detail some of its core research strands. In what follows, we will first briefly discuss how we understand social economics, how it has related to the emerging agenda of research on the environment, and how that research has become institutionalized. We will then examine in somewhat greater detail two areas of environmental research where social economics plays a significant role: the research on institutional sources of environmental problems; and the research on monetary valuation and environmental decision making. We conclude the chapter with a brief assessment of the likely future agenda for social-economic research on environment and sustainability.
... From late 1980s to mid-1990s, this theory emphasized a more balanced role of states and markets in ecological transformation (Weale, 1992). Moreover, this theory asserts that institutional and cultural dynamics need to be focused for ecological reforms (Cohen, 1997). From the mid-1990s the scope of ecological modernization theory extended theoretically and geographically to incorporate studies on the ecological transformation of consumption and ecological modernization in non-European countries. ...
Article
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Climate change and changing climatic patterns are posing a threat to the sustainability of life on earth. Climate change is attributed to the accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the atmosphere representing environmental degradation. This study explores the links of renewable energy, water withdrawal, and economic growth with environmental degradation and provides empirical evidence using the panel data of 166 countries over the period 1990-2017. The study used panel data techniques and reported the results obtained from Pooled OLS, Random Effects, Fixed Effects estimations and 2 Stage Least Square(2SLS). The results support the role of renewable energy in environmental mitigation whereas water withdrawal contributes to emissions. Furthermore, results support the existence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). Empirical evidence also suggests the positive role of solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectricity in environmental improvement. The sensitivity analysis also confirms the robustness of empirical findings. The sensitivity analysis also indicates the validity of N-shaped EKC. The study provides useful insights into the role played by renewable energy in environmental mitigation and water withdrawal in increasing emissions which help to promote the consumption and production of renewable energy and increase its share in the energy mix for environmental mitigation.
... We might have expected natural science experts to promote potential benefits by drawing on technological optimism or ecological modernism. Ecological modernism is a theory suggesting technology promotes both economic growth and ecological stability (Cohen 1997). Current de-extinction plans may lack the clarity needed to promote 'buy-in' among experts. ...
Article
Advances in biotechnology may allow for de-extinction. Potential impacts of de-extinct species remain uncertain; they may improve ecosystem function, or hinder conservation efforts and damage socio-ecological systems. To better anticipate de-extinction's outcomes, ethical dilemmas, and governance needs, we surveyed experts from multiple disciplinary backgrounds. We applied a mixed-method approach to our analysis, integrating quantitative responses of perceived outcomes with qualitative responses, to clarify and provide context. Overall, respondents indicated de-extinction was more likely to induce hazards, not benefits. Reasons for this viewpoint included a ‘moral hazard’ argument, suggesting conservation policies could be undermined if society perceives that species need less protection because they can be revived later. Pessimistic views of de-extinction were linked to concerns about unclear development paths. Experts believed the public might be skeptical about de-extinction. Our results suggest future de-extinction efforts may benefit from collaborative efforts to clarify hazards and explore salient concerns among the engaged public.
... Risk Toplumu ile ilgili dünyada ve Türkiye'de yapılmış farklı alanlardan pek çok çalışma mevcuttur. Bu çalışmalardan bazıları terörizm (Erendor, 2016;Üvez, 2014), modernleşme (Soydemir, 2011;Bakır ve Bahtiyar, 2013), güvenlik (Koçak ve Memiş, 2017;Özben, 2010;Çevik, 2014), belirsizlik (Esgin, 2013;Ertürk, 2018), doğal afetler (Yıldırım, 2008), din (Günerigök, 2017;Aslan, 2020), medya (Saf, 2017;Köse, 2007;Cottle, 1998;Kline, Stewart, ve Murphy, 2006;Bakir, 2010;Kitzinger, 1999;Chalaby ve Segell, 1999), kriz (Canpolat, 2012), korku (Korkmaz, 2019), küreselleşme (Yıldırım , 2000;Bayhan, 2011), gıda (Lu ve Zhang, 2010), hukuk (Howell, 2012), sanat (Kleppe, 2017), teknoloji (Webster, 1999;Fitzgerald ve Rubin, 2010), çevre (Cohen, 1997) gibi alanlarda yapılmıştır. ...
Article
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Yaşam varolduğundan beri insanoğlu farklı biçimlerde çeşitli risklerle karşılaşmışlardır. İlk çağlarda doğa şartlarına karşı savunmasız olan insanlar birlikte yaşamaya başlayarak ve çeşitli önlemler alarak bu risklere karşı durmaya çalışmıştır. Teknik anlamda yaşanan gelişmelerle birlikte farklı riskler ortaya çıkmış ve mücadele konusunda da yine bilime başvurulmuştur. İlkel topluluklardan modern toplumlara kadar geçen dönemde büyük bilimsel gelişmeler yaşansa da gelinen noktada bu gelişmelerin sorunları da beraberinde getirdiği görülmektedir. Özellikle son iki yüzyılda yaşanan sanayi alanında gelişmeler ve büyük dünya savaşları teknolojik gelişimi hızlandırmış dünya hiç olmadığı kadar risklerle dolu bir yer olmuştur. Bu kapsamda Alman akademisyen Ulrich Beck içinde yaşanılan dönemi Risk Toplumu olarak adlandırmaktadır. Özellikle son dönemde tüm dünyada yaşanan Covid-19 salgını Beck’in ku-ramını ve endişelerini haklı çıkarır niteliktedir. Bu bağlamda çalışmada Beck’in Risk Toplumu bağlamında Covid-19 haberlerinin internet haber organlarında temsiline odaklanılmıştır. Çalışmada Hürriyet ve Sözcü gazetelerinin haber siteleri nitel ve nicel içerik analizi tekniği ile incelenmiştir. Elde edilen bulgular SPSS paket programı ve Maxqda nitel veri analiz programlarında analiz edilmiştir. Buna göre ilgili haber sitelerinde mayıs ayı içerisinde sunulan haberlerde kamuoyunu bilgilendirmeye yönelik haberlerin sıklığı dikkat çekmektedir.
... Moreover, regrettably, these industries are beginning to profit from their secondary problems, ignoring their role in origin. Beck's theory illuminates such piercing issues in the proliferation of hazardous technology, the liabilities of economic growth, and the insufficiency of reductionist scientific research [12]. Modern society is constructed around and impacted by new, never existing qualities of risks that could not be analyzed beforehand. ...
Article
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Plastic, an offer of modernity, has become one of the essential parts of our everyday life. However, it is presenting a massive threat in altered forms, to our health and environment. Plastic does not only pollute the surface environment, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, but toxic elements released from plastics also percolate down the surface and contaminate groundwater, which we often use as ‘safe’ drinking water. This probable future risk is deeply rooted in the entire governance infrastructure of plastic waste which could potentially lead to contamination of groundwater. Thus, a state-sponsored ‘safe drinking water’ initiative could contrarily produce a ‘risk society’. A recent study finds 81% of tap water samples collected worldwide contained plastic pollutants, which means that annually we may be ingesting between 3000 and 4000 microparticles of plastic from tap water. Based on review, ethnographic observations and interviews, and lived experience in a plastic-wrapped city (Dhaka), this paper sheds light on the complex interface of plastic, water, and public health, on the relevance of Beck’s ‘risk society’ to understand this complexity, and on replicating the idea of ‘risk society’ in the case of Bangladesh. Through understanding the plastic–groundwater–waste management nexus, this paper highlights and advocates for a new strategy of plastic governance in modern states.
... Modernisation theory has been very influential historically within development studies and the social sciences in general. Its depiction of development as an historical process that must progress in pre-defined stages has also infiltrated the mentality of the development state, as well as neoliberal institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Beck, 1996;Cohen, 1997;Grenz, 1996;Grosfoguel, 2000;Wittrock, 2000). ...
Thesis
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For rural citizens in developing countries, the extension of infrastructural networks into previously remote areas is one of the primary ways in which the state comes into view through development. In some countries, citizens affected by infrastructural development are able to negotiate with the state over local developmental outcomes through engagement with the state and the advocacy of interested intermediaries. An examination of Mozambique’s experiences, in this thesis, however suggests that the dominance of state power within developmental processes, as well as a lack of commitment to governance of the authoritarian Mozambican state, limits the ability of Mozambican citizens to equitably engage with the state over the negotiation of local developmental outcomes. The aim of this thesis is to analyse the development of the Nacala Development Corridor Programme and the N13 Highway Rehabilitation Project in northern Mozambique as a lens through which to more broadly interrogate the impacts of the development on local citizens and examine the relationship between citizen and state within development processes. The research contributes to theoretical debates, in which a gap exists for critical, English-language research, set within a developing nation context. The study adopts a qualitative and deductive explanatory case study design in order to evaluate the implications of the infrastructure interventions associated with the Nacala Development Corridor and the N13 Highway Rehabilitation. The study is rooted within the discipline of development studies and provides critical engagement with the theories of the developmental state and Mozambican neoliberalism. Furthermore, the study draws on Foucault’s concept of ‘governmentality,’ as well as a number of post-Foucauldian concepts in relation to state-citizen relations, in order to provide a set of analytical concepts for interpreting the interactions between citizen and state. This study reveals that in the case of the Nacala Development Corridor and the rehabilitation of the N13 Highway, state-citizen relations in Mozambique are complex, and are constantly being reshaped by the transformational impacts of infrastructural development. As a result of these developments, citizens along the N13 have altered their relationship with a previously distant government and are increasingly looking to hold the state accountable on development issues. The rehabilitation of the N13 in particular, has dramatically increased the number and nature of local communities’ interactions with state institutions by forcing affected individuals to negotiate their continued existence in relation to the road. However, processes of negotiation over local developmental outcomes are shallow, with the state dominant in decision-making. As a result, some citizens have turned to alternative forms of participation, such as lodging complaints, in order to have their voices heard. Such methods are unevenly available to citizens within the study area, and are largely ineffective in challenging the exertion of state power within development. However, the majority of citizens within the study area are reluctant to resist the state, instead demonstrating a passive sense of ‘uncritical’ citizenship evident in the term ‘governo papa’ in describing the role of the state.
... 42 Cohen critiqued and integrated two theories of social progress and modernization. 43 Mathews proffered a way for capitalism to continue to persist in a more sustainable way in the future. 44 In the 2000s, projections of future global population and the economy become protagonists of the scholarly debate in this cluster. ...
Chapter
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A simplified version of the article "Mapping futures studies scholarship from 1968 to present: A bibliometric review of thematic clusters, research trends, and research gaps" (Futures, 105: 104-123)
... Because of the spread of the Internet and other communication technologies in recent years, environmental studies focus on researching the effects of these technologies on environmental issues. Towards the end of the 1990s, the relationship between the information society and sustainable development was explained in a theoretical framework with the studies carried out by Cohen (1997) and Jokinen et al. (1998). Some papers have investigated the link between Internet use, technological innovation, and e-commerce. ...
Article
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Today, as a result of the developments and widespread use of information and communication technologies, the weight of online shopping in the economy has increased. The environmental impacts of this new order, which is an important part of electronic finance, are discussed. In this study, the effect of electronic finance, economic growth, renewable energy consumption, and urbanization on emissions in EU member countries is examined using the panel vector autoregression (PVAR) approach for the period from 2005 to 2018. The main results suggest that e-finance has a positive and statistically significant effect on CO2 emissions. However, the renewable energy consumption-increasing effect of e-finance is greater than its emission-reducing effect. Moreover, renewable energy consumption has a statistically insignificant effect on emissions. Therefore, the contribution of e-finance on environmental quality weakens. The requirement for EU member countries to prioritize the use of environmentally friendly energy to benefit from the environmental contribution of e-finance in the most optimal way is stated as the main policy implication of this study.
... The environmental implications of ICT were not researched until the early 1990s. Since then, Cohen (1997) and Jokinen et al. (1998), amongst others, began to investigate the information society sustainable development nexus from both theoretical and conceptual perspectives. ...
Article
It is indisputable that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has reshaped the way we live, work, and interact. The information and technology (IT) age has led to radical economic changes in both the relationships between individuals, companies, and governments and in the environment they exist in. Currently, electronic finance (e-finance) and environmental quality are critical issues that have received significant research attention in the form of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. With this in mind, this study aims to investigate the impact of e-finance on CO2 emissions. The study crafts a model with numerous control variables, including renewable and non-renewable energy consumption, urbanisation, manufacturing, and an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) for the 29 OECD countries from 2007 to 2016. Fixed and random effects models of panel data are employed to control for the possible heterogeneity between countries. In addition, the study uses an instrumental variable estimation approach and a Canay(2011) panel quantile regression as a robustness check. The main results reveal that e-finance reduces CO2 emissions in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and leads to a lower pollution rate. The paper also finds that the EKC hypothesis holds. These findings have several important policy implications for OECD countries, and the model may be extended to investigate similar issues in developing economies.
... Beck suggests that these attitudes characterise "risk society", characterised by pervasive insecurity, a preoccupation with technological threats because of the failure to develop effective institutional controls or to recognise the limitations of reductionist science. Cohen (1997) outlines a more optimistic scenario -ecological modernisation -which describes societies which recognise the shortcomings of scientific inquiry, emphasise technologies that support social learning and promote institutional flexibility. The ability to switch from the former to the latter scenario is dependent on preserving scientific rationality, now under attack from competing epistemologies, as the dominant knowledge system. ...
Research
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Report from TSER Project No.SOE1-CT96-1036. This study compared the changing organisation and structure of public sector research (PSR) in 12 European countries, and developed a methodology to examine how national policies affect researchers at bench level. The project was led by Jacky Senker at SPRU.
... They have been the results of extensive anthropogenic activities and fuelled by ungoverned global industrialization [133]. The sustainability risks produce doubts on both the positive nature of designing adequate development paths, accounting for the increasing scarcity of natural resources [134,135] and studying the dynamical interconnection of economy, environment, and society [136,137] and the mutual effects and influences [138]. ...
Preprint
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This paper results from a critical literature overview on systems theory and socio-technical engineering. It has allowed exploring a vast interdisciplinary domain along an interdisciplinary path. It starts from a preliminary analysis of Kondratieff cycles and today's transition from mature to innovative technologies, which will characterize the future decades. Then, it discusses the genesis of the socio-technical problems from its philosophical roots and the evolution along a non-linear path that involves philosophy and system theory, psychology, philosophy , and engineering. The results evidence the foundations of both system theory and socio-technical engineering. Different criteria for building a robust and consistent socio-technical model have been identified and discussed. Therefore, it analyses the possible links between contemporary philosophy, psychology, engineering, thermodynamics, and physics, which have the possibility of active cooperation toward supporting the design of more effective socio-technical systems. The importance of modern thermodynamics and constructal law has been discussed. Finally, the actual social trends are discussed: the populisms which agitate society against scientific objectivity and social and environmental responsibility. On the other hand, Pope Francis moral teaching and Greta Thunberg's movement promote the paradigms toward responsibility and change. Hence, some reflections on the possible future role of socio-technical engineering have been proposed.
... This bias is particularly attractive to wealthier, highly industrialized countries, which have a greater capacity to invest in such "solutions," thus minimizing the need for socio-cultural changes, such as their disproportional consumption patterns (Baker 2007;Blühdorn 2011). And fourth, ecological modernization uncritically advances (Western) scientific rationality as the one dominant knowledge system, with all its assumptions, prevailing norms, and related power structures (Cohen 1997;Pataki 2009). Governance guided by the ecological modernization paradigm usually offers little space for alternative, contrasting views. ...
Chapter
A seemingly inevitable transition to a bioeconomy is underway, raising expectations as well as important social and environmental questions. Climate change, ocean plastic pollution and other ecological issues have made the phase-out of fossil resources an imperative. Still, greater global reliance on biomass alternatives poses as many opportunities as risks. Ensuring that such a transition delivers sustainable development—with the inclusion of marginalized groups, addressing inequalities, and eradicating poverty in line with the Sustainable Development Goals rather than aggravating these problems—is a daunting task, yet a fundamental one. For that, more attention is needed on governance, on the political dynamics that have steered bioeconomy promotion, and on the often-overlooked social dimensions of sustainability. This introductory chapter discusses the concept of bioeconomy, its tenets, goals, potentials, and key risks. It presents an initial critical inquiry into the political ecology of bioeconomy promotion and then outlines this book’s in-depth assessment focused particularly on emerging economies. As these actors increasingly come to shape the fate of global sustainability in the twenty-first century, the bioeconomy reveals to be an essential domain in which to analyze sustainable development politics in large democracies of the Global South.
... In contrast, the social criterion has a more prominent role than the economic one as a transmission channel in the financial markets of developing nations. This conclusion highlights the need to focus on Ulrich Beck's theory of risky society (Cohen 1997) in developing countries, which expresses that external shock (such as COVID-19) can increase the social risks in a country, leading to negative consequences for the national economy. (iii) COVID-19 affects developed countries' financial markets more through supply reduction, demand reduction, and economic instability. ...
Article
The research aims to prioritize the pandemic's impact on the financial markets of developed and developing economies using a multi-criteria decision-making approach. The results revealed that COVID-19's pandemic effects on financial markets differ between developed and developing nations. COVID-19 pandemic affects developed countries' financial markets more through supply reduction, demand reduction, and economic instability. Regarding developing nations, confidence and expectations, changes in consumption patterns, and the bandwagon effect are the three most significant impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on financial markets. The best decisions to lower the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on developed nations' financial markets are the declaration of the stimulus package and support of small-and-medium-sized enterprises. Contrastingly, in developing countries, support for vulnerable households and declaration of the stimulus package are the best decisions to combat COVID-19's negative impact on their financial markets. As practical policy implications for lowering COVID-19's negative impact on financial markets, the promotion of new financing instruments, reconstruction of the relationship between public and private sectors, and support of vulnerable households and enterprises are highly recommended.
Article
The article examines the specificity of transdisciplinary orientations in modern scientific knowledge and reveals the multidimensionality of transdisciplinarity as a phenomenon of post-nonclassical science. Since transdisciplinarity is largely formed as a response to the challenge of increasing complexity and uncertainty of the future transformations in the “nature – man – society” system, the most appropriate area of transdisciplinary research today is environmental knowledge. In the example of the Ecological Modernization Theory (EMT), we investigate the interdisciplinary structure and transdisciplinary status of contemporary social ecology. The aim of the article is to analyze the various modes of transdisciplinarity in the structure of the ecological modernization theory and to identify its role in the dynamics of modern environmentalism. The epistemological status of EMT is explicated through philosophical and methodological reflection on the alternative discourses of sustainability as well as by using the principles of a systematic approach, methods of comparative analysis and semantic interpretation. The idea of sustainable development and the values of environmentalism are considered important factors in the formation of concepts and categories of this theory, its initial postulates and principles. The article substantiates the synthetic character of this theory, which meets the requirements of the post-non-classical type of scientific rationality. A conclusion is substantiated that EMT can be classified as a post-normal science. As a result of the analysis, it is argued that environmental philosophy has a special understanding of the goals of social development, principles of justice, social harmony, and human well-being. The reinterpretation of these concepts is a basis for adoption of novel theoretical schemes and methodological orientations in the system of modern socio-environmental studies.
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This book investigates the dynamics that are reshaping human and natural landscapes in the European agrarian world, with a specific focus on Mediterranean Europe. We focus here on more marginal rural settings, where the potential for agricultural intensification is structurally limited. These areas in particular have suffered from the geographical and socio-economic polarization of development patterns and have paid a relevant burden to the recent crisis.
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Every country has its customs (English proverb), and every field has its speciality. Modernization happens in all fields of human civilization, such as the spheres of economy, society, politics, culture, natural environment, and human self. Field-specific modernization is an important part of modernization science (Fig. 6.1) and interweaves with staged and stratified modernization. In general, modernization in different spheres has both commonality and difference, and the core theory of general modernization has somewhat different applicability in different spheres. Country is the basic unit for modernization, and modernization of each sphere is closely related with national modernization.
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In this book a multi-disciplinary team of experts from around the world studies the environmental challenge posed by China’s phenomenal economic growth. •An exploration of the environmental challenge posed by China’s phenomenal economic growth. •Written by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from around the world. •Argues that China’s development poses the greatest ever challenge for the modern world in terms of speed, size and resource scarcity. •Discusses issues such as cleaner production, green car technology, resettlement resulting from dam building, and biotechnology. •Moves beyond the dichotomy between alarmist, radical views and moderate notions of incremental change
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Calculating Political Risk is rich and illuminating, and much more than a political science treatise. Althaus draws on diverse literature, extensive interviews and intriguing case studies to offer interdisciplinary, practical and nuanced insight. This book provides new perspectives and more precise language for making sense of a critical dimension of politics, policy-making and public management. Evert Lindquist, Director and Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Canada This powerful new book is the first ever examination of the hard edge of how political risk - something faced by all political actors innumerable times every day - is calculated and used in decision-making. It opens with an outline of the historical and linguistic origins of risk, the various disciplinary understandings of risk, the risk society concept, and how risk has come to be so prominent in the context of environmental disaster and terrorism. The book then defines political risk and looks at its manifestations in the public sector, from project to high-level political risk. It also looks at risk identification versus risk management and compares the concept of political risk with the private sector practice of risk management. Unique research findings from interviews with over 100 risk practitioners and politicians provide a detailed look at how political actors calculate political risk. Case study-based chapters look in-depth at neat and discrete examples: risk calculation in state development plans in Australia; political risk identification and management in the UK during the mad cow crisis; and US government risk calculation in the post-September 11 context. The final chapters draw together the experiences and lessons learned from the case studies and practitioner insights to formulate a better understanding of what political risk is and what its calculation means in political practice. The author shows how political risk calculation provides a fresh perspective on policy analysis and identifies how political risk is relevant to a broader understanding of politics and political science, as well as policy formulation and implementation on the ground. © Catherine Althaus, 2008. Published by Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.
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The article explores the emergence of a new stage of technological development the post-industrial technological mode of production. Based on content analysis of industrial technologies and technologies of the new wave there is proposed criterion which can differ post-industrial technological mode of production from industrial. It is shown that a new wave of technologies: Renewable energy, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies Build the core of the post-industrial technological mode of production. Being at the beginning of its formation, it can only be described by some economic and environmental features. Attention is drawn to the success of post-industrial technologies in ecology and their possible adverse effects on the environment and human, the need for their thorough investigation. There are given the facts of the development of post-industrial business technologies, the formation of a new structure of energy and production. It is proved that there is no reason to consider contemporary social problems as problems of post-industrial society, they are peculiar to the modern super industrial society.
Article
This paper presents a critical evaluation on the global riskscape following the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus disease spread around the globe questioning the priorities in public health policies as well as the economic adaptability to prevention measures. Spreading with social, political and economic costs on societies, the issue of pandemic exceeds the limits of being identified as a health problem, and becomes to be a catalyst of a new paradigm considering the state of art of modernity and capitalist economic systems. Regarding the catastrophic impact on human life in all aspects, the virus-related problems lead individuals, nations and global society to evaluate the ways of ‘living with risks’. Departing from the threat posed by the COVID-19, this paper discusses the issues of society, city and planning by reading the past experiences, current situation and trends through the concept of ‘risk society’. It reflects on the historic dynamics of modernity, capitalism and public health priorities, and sheds light on the ‘new normal’ of the society at different scales for the post-pandemic world. Through the critical evaluation, this paper conceptualizes the new phase of risk society at individual, local, national and global scales; and portrays the dichotomies that each scale incorporates.
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In this study, the changing paradigms regarding the environment within the changing society are investigated by exploring the society-environment relations within a historical perspective. The classical sociologists such as Durkheim, Marx and Weber, who insisted on the separation of the “social” from the “nature”, were interested in natural and physical environment at a very low level. However, their theories and concepts have been a source of inspiration for their successors in the understanding of nature-environment relation. In the industrial ocieties, paradigms which are focused on individual and which do not pay attention to the nature have prevailed. Nevertheless, due to the rise in the problems related to the environment, alternative sociological conceptualizing with regards to the environment such as postmodernism, a reaction to the modernization theories focused on progress and development, new ecological paradigm and risk society have emerged. Therefore, societies have changed and the sociological approaches with regards to environment also have changed.
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Die gebruik van geneties-gewysigde gewasse om hongersnood in veral arm lande die hoof te bied, is uiters kontroversieel en kan sosiale, ekonomiese en politieke implikasies hê. Lewenswetenskap-onderwysers kan aan die kwessie aandag gee, en deur hul onderrig gebalanseerde inligting aan leerders en aan die gemeenskap deurgee. Nogtans moet onderrig nie bloot op kennisoordrag fokus nie; pogings moet ook aangewend word om veral leerders bewus te maak van die aard en impak van geneties-gewysigde gewasse en die ontwikkeling van ‘n wetenskaplike etiek. Die klem verskuif daarna om leerders uit alle bevolkingsgroepe te betrek en hulle te bemagtig om deur kritiese en reflektiewe denke weldeurdagte besluite te neem. Leerders moet derhalwe die geleentheid gebied word om ‘n wetenskaplike etiek te ontwikkel en om kontroversiële kwessies, soos die gebruik van geneties-gewysigde gewasse, te kan beredeneer. Bepaalde aanwysers wat tydens onderhoude met lewenswetenskap-onderwysers geïdentifiseer is, word in die artikel bespreek.
Article
Studying air pollution provides an opportunity to explore public opinion about the environment from a health perspective, and examine how the often-siloed fields of health, environmental, and science communication might inform each other to generate a more holistic understanding of these issues. This raises an important question for social scientists: what is the best way to understand public perception of hazards that rest at the intersection of health, the environment, and science? In this study, we examine the extent to which risk perceptions and environmental values predict individual-level protective behaviours and civic action surrounding air pollution in Portland, Oregon. We find that risk perceptions significantly predict individual-level protective behaviour, civic action, and engagement preferences to varying degrees. We also find that the inclusion of environmental values offers additional explanatory power. Results demonstrate that combining approaches from health, environmental, and science communication offers a more holistic understanding of public perception of and engagement with environmental risks.
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Eco-innovations are a crucial tool for firms to redefine the environmental impacts of their productive activities toward a new paradigm of sustainable development. Even though this is an important subject, still little is known about how eco-innovations take place in firms, especially in emerging economies like Brazil. The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the landscape of eco-innovations in Brazilian firms, concerning the characteristics of eco-innovators, as well as the determinants, results, types of innovation, and the existence of cooperative arrangements for the development of eco-innovations. To do so it presents the results of an unprecedented survey on eco-innovative activities in Brazilian firms carried out in 2012. The methodology is quantitative, descriptive, and explanatory, using precise measurement to provide a representative picture of eco-innovations in Brazil. The results show that firms are mostly driven by the opportunity to create new businesses with their eco-innovations. Moreover, it reveals that most eco-innovative firms in our sample conduct systematic, in-house R&D activities; most eco-innovative firms participate in cooperative arrangements for innovation especially with universities and research institutes; and most eco-innovations are organizational, with incremental impacts.
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Post-war Taiwan’s environment paid dearly for its so-called economic ‘miracle’. Various environmental problems resulted from Taiwan’s specific political economy, namely, that of a ‘developmental state’, favouring economic growth and development. Such a political-economic structure has affected, if not determined, environmental policy in Taiwan. This research adopts the theory of ecological modernization (EM) to investigate and understand the historical course of shifts in land use and industrial policy in relation to the imperatives of Taiwan’s developmental state.
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Introduction The aim of this study is to explore citizens’ attitudes towards science and nature of the recent decades, along with its relationships with other substantive variables such as private and public environmental behaviors in order to understand its significance to contemporary environmentalism and future research. The thesis research presented is a collection of scholarly papers by the author, comprised of published journal articles and conference papers reformatted accordingly to departmental formatting specifications. Although, the individual manuscripts that constitute each chapter were written concisely for publication and encapsulates concepts and arguments that allow it to be read and understood independently, this thesis also contain additional text that connects them. In addition to the integrative discussion and conclusion section of the last chapter, chapter 4 was also reorganized from its conference paper format in order to cohesively link potential relationships between concepts in environmental discourses and substantive variables within the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) that are discussed in preceding and succeeding chapters. However, chapters that were published journal articles were maintained in structure and content, with only minor changes in fonts and appearance in accordance to publishing rights and copyright responsibilities of the author. This thesis is presented as an attempt to produce a unitarily focused and documented program of research conducted for the doctoral program. All components were integrated into a cohesive unit with a logical progression fundamentally building from one chapter to the next and functions as an integrated whole in exploring environmental attitudes using established methods in novel arrangements, ranging from the international level to the specific case of the Philippines.
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In this chapter, I will present the results of an investigation that I conducted in August and September 2018 with experts inside and outside the eThekwini municipality who were involved in it’s green and ecological infrastructure policy landscape. Although a green infrastructure plays an important role in the municipality’s urban and peri-urban environment, an ecological infrastructure has a more prominent place beyond its political boundaries. The uMngeni River, which supplies the bulk of Durban’s water, originates in the rural areas of eThekwini’s municipal neighbours, particularly the uMgungundlovu District Municipality and, to a certain extent, the uThukela District Municipality. This river, as well as others, supply not only valuable goods and services, but they can also cause hardship. It is within this context, as well as that of long-term anthropogenic climate change, that eThekwini frames its green and ecological infrastructure policies. It is my conclusion that positivism dominates the thinking and practice of municipal officials and members of the epistemic community that collaborate with the municipality. A theory that stands out is liberal institutionalism. What is also noticeable is that the municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department consists of numerous experts who focus on climate change adaptation as the foundation that underpins the theory. It would appear, therefore, that an epistocracy is operating within the municipality and driving its climate adaptation strategy, by using green and ecological infrastructure initiatives.
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In this in-depth analysis of First Nations opposition to the oil sands industry, James Heydon offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. The environmental consequences of the oil sands industry have been thoroughly explored by scholars from a variety of disciplines. However, less well understood is how and why the provincial energy regulator has repeatedly sanctioned such a harmful pattern of production for almost two decades. This research monograph addresses that shortcoming. Drawing from interviews with government, industry, and First Nation personnel, along with an analysis of almost 20 years of policy, strategy, and regulatory approval documents, Sustainable Development as Environmental Harm offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. Providing a thorough account of the ways in which the regulatory process has prioritised economic interests over the land-based cultural interests of First Nations, it addresses a gap in the literature by explaining how environmental harm has been systematically produced over time by a regulatory process tasked with the pursuit of 'sustainable development'. With an approach emphasizing the importance of understanding how and why the regulatory process has been able to circumvent various protections for the entire duration in which the contemporary oil sands industry has existed, this work complements existing literature and provides a platform from which future investigations into environmental harm may be conducted. It is essential reading for those with an interest in green criminology, environmental harm, indigenous rights, and regulatory controls relating to fossil fuel production.
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What assistance can be provided to disadvantaged youngsters to help them conquer the many challenges they face while growing up? At-Risk Children & Youth: Resiliency Explored analyzes the results from accumulated research on the risk and resiliency of children and youth in Ireland. Author Niall McElwee explains many of the challenges faced by children, including poor literacy and numeracy skills, poverty, distrust, and other difficult issues. Practical strategies are presented to help disadvantaged children and youth to overcome societal and self-imposed barriers for improvement. A detailed review and assessment is provided on the efficacy of Ireland's Youth Encounter Projects. This important resource focuses on what works and what does not in youth services.
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The relations between technology, production, distribution and consumption are the very centre of classical political economy. The discussion of environmental issues goes back to the last century. But a coherent integration had to be delayed until the situation developed in a way that made assessment possible. Technology assessment is a strategy that has developed since the 1960s and includes environmental problems. Recent sociological debates turn on the concepts of risk (Beck, Duclos) or catastrophe. These contributions are too narrow in their approach and become "sociologistic'. Work and therefore the forms of technology, production and consumption, including the solution of environmental problems, remain at the centre of society. -from Author
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Abstract To minimize or at least substantially reduce damage to the natural resource sustenance-base we urgently need institutional reform within modern society. Environmental sociologists have different views as to which institutional traits can be held primarily responsible for the environmental crisis. Examples include its capitalistic or industrial character as well as the complex, highly administrated technological system of modern society. We discuss these matters in the context of the theory of "ecological modernization" as developed by the German sociologist Joseph Huber, among others. To analyze the institutional reforms required for bringing human interaction with the sustenance-base under rational ecological control, however, the theory needs to be substantially modified and complemented in several respects. However, restructuring the processes of production and consumption is only half the story. The change to ecologically sound patterns of production and consumption is limited by the dimension of the environmental crisis that has to do with nature as sustenancebase and does not provide a solution to problems related to what we call the second dimension of the environmental crisis: the changing role of nature as "intuited nature" and the way people "deal with" these aspects of the environmental crisis within everyday life. In this respect we propose that theories of modern society as a risk-society should be given greater attention within environmental sociology.
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The apocalyptic dimension of the ecological situation seems to emerge in the present-day environmental debate. But in contrast to the early seventies, eco-alarmism in its present form seems to reflect growing uncertainties and anxieties related to the changing character of late modern society. Such uncertainties and anxieties do not only pertain to high-consequence risks, as exemplified by the Chernobyl accident, but also to local problems of providing safe drinking water from the tap. Ulrich Beck's risk-society theory, elaborated by Anthony Giddens, analyses these eco-anxieties against the background of changing conditions of modernity. Because of its overall pessimistic undertone and its basic questioning of the role of science and technology in overcoming an eco-catastrophe, the risk-society theory seems to fundamentally contradict ecological modernisation theory. In confronting both perspectives, the paper aims to contribute to environmental sociology in three ways. First, we try to come to understand the present-day rise of ecoalarmism. Second, an evaluation is made of the contribution of risk-society theory in analysing environmental problems and in developing projective realistic utopian models dealing with the environmental crisis under conditions of late or reflexive modernity. Finally, by bringing formal sociological theory into environmental sociology, both models contribute to the conceptual development and refinement of the sub-discipline.
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Ecological problems rooted in organizational activities have increased significantly, yet the role corporations play in achieving ecological sustainability is poorly understood. This article examines the implications of ecologically sustainable development for corporations. It articulates corporate ecological sustainability through the concepts of (a) total quality environmental management, (b) ecologically sustainable competitive strategies, (c) technology transfer through technology-for nature-swaps, and (d) reducing the impact of populations on ecosystems. It examines the implications that these concepts have for organizational research.
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In this paper we explore the relationships between public interest in, knowledge of, and attitudes towards science and technology and the level of industrialization in 12 countries of the European Community. Using the 1989 Eurobarometer survey no 31 (N = 11,678), we constructed four scales measuring interest, knowledge, general attitudes to science, and support for EC funded science for each of the 12 EC countries. We found that overall factual scientific knowledge correlates moderately positively with interest and attitudes to science. For example the Netherlands and Great Britain have relatively high levels of knowledge, interest, and support for science in general. Spain and Greece have relatively low levels of knowledge, interest, and support for science in general. However, the simple correlation hides more complex relationships. First, the variance within and across countries of knowledge, attitudes and interest increases with national levels of knowledge. This indicates greater degrees of polarization of both support and interest. Second, the data indicates a post-industrialism effect: knowledge, interest in, and attitudes to science show a curvilinear relationship with levels of industrialization. The decline of interest in science and the less positive attitudes in highly developed countries requires further exploration. Third, we found, that the consistency of the knowledge and the attitude measures declines as the national level of knowledge increases. We suggest that this reflects a knowledge-ignorance paradox and knowledge specialization among informed populations. Support for EC level science follows a different pattern. We found that France, Italy, and Spain show high levels of support for EC level science. This is not the case in Great Britain and Germany. The pattern suggests that attitudes towards EC science are formed on the basis of national level scientific strength: if the national science base is strong, EC science initiatives find less support and vice versa. These findings represent a first step towards a comparative assessment of public understanding of science in EC countries.
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This volume seeks to identify the major social and psychological impacts stemming from residential toxic exposure and to examine their significance. The theoretical framework for analysis is based on four postulates: the social and psychological impacts of toxic exposure involve complex interactions among various levels of society [and] they also differ across time and environmental context; these impacts not only affect how victims behave but how they perceive and comprehend their lives, in both the short and long term; toxic exposure incidents are stressful, forcing victims to adopt some form of coping response; [and] contamination is inherently stigmatizing and arouses anticipatory fears. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Sumario: In industries such as petroleum and chemicals, which are already plagued with overcapacity, fierce competition, and declining margins, a company's ability to respond to environmental challenges in a cost-efficient manner may well determine its viability. The perceived conflict between environmental protection and economic competitiveness is, in fact, a false dichotomy. Managers might redesign a product so that it uses fewer environmentally harmful or resource-depleting raw materials. If successful, that effort could also result in significant cuts in direct manufacturing costs and inventory savings and appeal to consumers'growing desire for environmentally friendly products
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Sumario: The new environmental conflict -- Discourse analysis -- The historical roots of ecological modernization -- Accumulating knowledge, accumulating pollution?. Ecological modernization in the United Kingdom -- The micro-powers of apocalypse: ecological modernization in the Netherlands -- Ecological modernization: discourse and institutional change Bibliografía: P. 297-318
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Sumario: The new politics of pollution -- Idioms of analysis -- The politics of ecological modernisation -- Controlling pollution in the round -- Turning government green -- Implementation, economic instruments and public participation -- The international dimension -- Beyond the tragedy of the commons?
The role of corporations in achieving ecological sustainability
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The supreme intellectual obligation
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