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Ecological modernisation, environmental knowledge and national character: A preliminary analysis of the Netherlands

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Abstract

Comparative research regarding the varying capabilities of the advanced countries to pursue strategies consistent with ecological modernisation has typically focused on institutional and economic capacity. Though these features certainly shape preparedness for this policy programme in important ways, they do not provide sufficient insight into the ability of individual nations to meet the rigorous requirements of ecological modernisation. More specifically, this policy programme is dependent upon a firm commitment to science and a preference to address environmental problems in technological terms. However, environmental decision‐making, particularly among members of the lay public, is predicated upon numerous epistemologies and countries exhibit considerable variation in their propensity to align their policies with strict rational reasoning. This study introduces a typology that identifies four archetypal environmental knowledge orientations: rational ecologism, Prometheanism, Arcadianism, and ecocidal mysticism. The concept of national character offers one approach for operationalising this typology for empirical application and a case study of the Netherlands suggests that the Dutch style of interpreting indeterminate environmental data is broadly consistent with the principles of ecological modernisation.
... Paradigms have been constructed and applied in sustainability scholarship to uncover individuals' perspectives on environmental sustainability: their views on 'what ought to be' and how best to achieve it. Multiple paradigms have been developed, with differences a function of context and scope (see for example Boutilier, 2005;Cohen, 2000;De Witt et al., 2016;Gale and Cordray, 1994;Luckett, 2004;Merchant, 1990). Clapp and Dauvergne (2011) for example identify four sustainability paradigms: market liberal; institutionalist; bio-environmentalist and social green. ...
... Existing environmental sustainability paradigms (see for example Boutilier, 2005;Cohen, 2000;De Witt et al., 2016;Gale and Cordray, 1994;Luckett, 2004;Merchant, 1990), were not directly transferrable to the coastal context; reflecting comments by Connelly (2007) regarding the potential variability in framing based on the topic/question of interest. Thus we took insight from Dobson (1996), who created a typology of sustainability framings by asking a series of questions to generate paradigm categories. ...
... Additional questions included, 'How can it be protected', exploring views on solutions, and 'Who is responsible'. Conceptions of coastal sustainability were defined by exploring answers to the questions, with reference to the instruments that contribute to coastal management in Australia (see Section 2.2), along with the sustainability paradigms presented in the literature (Boutilier, 2005;Clapp and Dauvergne, 2011;Cohen, 2000;de Witt and Hedlund, 2017;Dobson, 1996;Luckett, 2004;O'Brien, 2009). ...
Article
How we define our problems determines the solutions; yet problem framing within coastal management is rarely critiqued. Consequently, opportunities for comprehensive policy response, vital in addressing the complex challenges impacting the coast, are missed. To address this gap, we develop and apply coastal sustainability paradigms to critique 48 institutional instruments contributing to coastal management in Australia. In doing so, we uncover similarities and differences in the framing of coastal sustainability within Australian coastal management. An anthropocentric framing dominates, particularly at the local scale, prioritising humans over the environment. However, differences exist between and within jurisdictions based on sector and recency of policy reform. We also find evidence of problem-solution coupling, with some States prioritising hazard management over coastal management, through legislative backing of select instruments and sectors. The findings provide those involved in the complex system of coastal governance with the information needed to consider how the chosen framing supports or impedes public engagement and cross-scale and cross-sector coordination.
... En primera instancia, la metáfora (Torres Alvarez 2020, 89-96) parte del reconocimiento del antropoceno (Crutzen y Stoermer 2000). Busca ser una alternativa o complemento etnográfico frente a algunas corrientes o marcos analíticos socioambientales como el treadmill of production (Schnaiberg 1980;Schnaiberg, Pellow y Weinberg 2002;Weinberg, Pellow y Schnaiberg 2000), la modernización ecológica (Fisher y Freudenburg 2001;Huber 1985;1991;Hajer 1995;Mol 1995;Cohen 2000;Spaargaren y Mol 1992;Oltra 2005), el consumo verde (Lorenzen 2014) y las visiones sobre resiliencia o adaptación (Eakin et al. 2017;Meerow, Newell y Stults 2016). La naturaleza de esos modelos dejaba fuera hallazgos fundamentales del trabajo etnográfico. ...
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This article presents the case study of Cabo Pulmo, a town located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, which went from an economy based on fishing and pearl extraction to one sustained by ecotourism. The objective is to analyze how this process was influenced by people and multiscale institutions. The ethnographic work consisted, first, in informal conversations with local inhabitants, followed by the application of in-depth interviews with three people, to obtain their life stories. To analyze the results, a metaphorical proposal based on the figure of the Ouroboros is used. The investigation focuses on a specific social group inserted in the globalized world, an environmental crisis with an adaptive response and articulated multiscale relationships for the consolidation of an ecotourism project and the defense of the territory against large tourist projects, also promoting socio-cultural changes. This case is considered a concrete example of how multiscale processes can influence local scenarios to promote adaptive responses, a topic associated with the discussions and challenges of climate change.
... Beyond documenting its importance for intergroup relations, research has also highlighted the usefulness of the national identity concept for analysing discourses and policy making in the environmental domain, as well as the links between nationhood and environmentalism (e.g., Cohen, 2000;Postmes, Rabinovich, Morton, & van Zomeren, 2013;Uekötter, 2014). In an early analysis of social identity in the environmental domain, Bonaiuto et al. (1996) argued that, "if current environmental issues are strongly affected by the interplay between local and international processes, we need to consider both national and local identity as critical aspects in social psychological research about the environment" (p. ...
Article
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Both individual and collective actions are needed to address global environmental changes. Contributing to a growing literature on the collective dimension of pro-environmental actions, we examined the role of national identity in mobilizing environmental norms and pro-environmental tendencies. Latent profile analysis with a large national dataset (N = 13,942) revealed five profiles underlying participants' views of attributes necessary for being a ‘true’ New Zealander. Four profiles containing over 89% of participants placed high importance on having a clean-and-green attitude as a core component of national identity, confirming that environmentalism is part of New Zealand's zeitgeist. Importantly, believing that New Zealand has a superordinate environmental identity was associated with both individual pro-environmental tendencies and collective pro-environmental actions (i.e., support for government regulation of carbon emissions and subsidisation of public transport), both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Forging national environmental identities and norms are thus important, yet vastly underutilised, pathways to mobilise pro-environmental collective action.
... Fisher y el sociólogo William R. Freudenburg (Fisher y Freudenburg, 2001), ambos pertenecientes al departamento de Sociología Rural de la Universidad de Wisconsin, aunque originalmente fue un concepto propuesto desde la sociología alemana a manos de Joseph Huber (1985Huber ( , 1991, el termino fue acuñado en inglés a principios de los 90´s (Spaargaren y Mol, 1992) y fue en este idioma donde generó mayor y discusión. A finales de esa misma década y a principios del siglo XXI hubo una serie de trabajaos sistemáticos que contribuyeron a nutrir esta corriente de pensamiento (Hajer, 1995;Mol, 1995;Cohen, 2000;Fisher y Freudenburg, 2001). ...
Thesis
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Es un trabajo que explorar el potencial de la antropología social (con un enfoque posmoderno) en temas relacionados al cambio climático antropogénico. Para ello, se utilizan los conceptos de cultura, identidad y territorio, aplicados a un estudio de caso (Parque nacional Cabo Pulmo, BCS, México) donde los habitantes transitaron, como proceso de adaptación, de una economía local basada en la búsqueda perlera y la pesca, a una de ecoturismo identificada como una alternativa proambiental en la región. En el proceso, la idea y el discurso de conservación de los recursos naturales se volvieron medulares; asimismo una serie de vínculos favorables con actores sociales y organizaciones estatales, regionales e internacionales, donde el estado y sus políticas publican han jugado también un papel importante. Esto, en conjunto, coadyuvó a articular diversos procesos de defensa del territorio de cara a megaproyectos turísticos, mismos que han sido determinantes en la preservación del paisaje actual.
... (Millington & Wilson 2015). In der affirmativen Variante werden Strategien der ökologischen Modernisierung zur Lösung von ökologischen Problemen entwickelt oder empfohlen (Gray 2007, Potts 2010, Cohen 2000, Anh et al. 2011, (Wolsink 2007). ...
Book
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This study proposes a dual-path view to explain firms’ green information technology (GIT) practices from the organizational legitimation lens. It explicates essential influence pathways that shape firms’ responses to essential external pressures for environmental sustainability, including the general public’s awareness of environmental protection, industry norms, and competitors’ green practices. This study emphasizes the mediating roles of a firm’s pursuit of a green image and its readiness for green practices, which represent symbolic and substantive legitimacy actions, respectively. Survey data from 152 leading manufacturers and 152 service firms in Taiwan are used to test the hypotheses empirically. The results show that the general public’s environmental awareness, industry norms, and competitors’ green practices influence firms’ GIT practices through their pursuit of a green image and green readiness. A comparative analysis further indicates that green readiness mediates the effects of external pressures for service firms but not for manufacturers, whereas the pursuit of a green image mediates the impacts of external pressures for manufacturing firms but not for service firms.
Thesis
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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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Using original data derived from the thematic analysis of three international agreements and the 2016 Conference of the Parties (COP) and Meeting of the Parties (MOP) Decisions, this article examines the incorporation of technology and technological innovation in the biological diversity regime. It finds that that the biodiversity regime incorporates discourses of ecological modernisation and prioritises technological innovation for biodiversity loss, particularly in the 2016 COP and MOP Decisions. The empirical analysis indicates that themes regarding progress, 'improving' the environment and the role of technology in mediating economic growth and development are embedded in references to technology and technological innovation. Drawing on an ecofeminist perspective, this article examines how these themes highlight the prioritisation of technological innovation to prevent biodiversity loss. The author concludes that this prioritisation inhibits opportunities to fully engage with developing alternative approaches towards resolving environmental problems as these approaches require a re-evaluation of the societal institutions and practices that exploit and destroy the non-human environment.
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The European Union (EU) faces a double crisis: both economic and environmental, which has brought into stark relief the question of whether climate change mitigation and economic growth are mutually exclusive. Is saving the environment a ‘luxury’ reserved for wealthy countries, with less affluent countries being too poor to be green? We seek to address this important and timely question using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to analyse the causal relationship between economic growth and stability, and the expansion of renewable electricity shares among the European Union’s (EU) 28 member states during the recent economic recession (2008-2013). Our paper, analyses the recent economic and financial crisis and its effects on sustainability transitions, and establishes a new indicator for progress in renewable electricity transitions in the context of Europe’s 2020 targets. It therefore extends the ‘sustainability as a luxury’ debate to include renewable energy. The analysis reveals an ambivalent picture of the role of wealth in renewable energy transitions (RET) in Europe. Indeed, driven by the EU’s common renewable energy targets, the findings suggest that RETs are promoted both because, and in spite of the means.
Chapter
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Book
This book is a collection of systematically prepared case studies describing the environmental policy ofthirteen countriesin terms ofcapacity-building. Capacity for environmental policy and management, as the concept is used in this volume, has been defined broadly as a society's "ability (...) to devise and implement solutions to environmental issues as part of a wider effort to achieve sustainable development" (OECD). Since the late 1960s capacity-building in environmental policy and management can be observed across the world. It may have made insufficient progress as yet from an environmentalist point of view, but it has produced some remarkable results, and not only in the industrialised world. In the first chapter we present the conceptual framework that underlies the national case studies. In the course ofour research project the authors ofthe book met together twice to discuss this framework in the light of the national experi­ ences and to harmonise their approaches. In this way we have tried to offer more than a collection of individual and incoherent case studies, focusing only on specific environmental problems, institutions, actors, or instruments. The idea behind this book is to give a systematic, comparative overview ofthe fundamental conditions under which environmental policies is practised in selected countries.
Chapter
… Scientific work is chained to the course of progress; whereas in the realm of art there is no progress in the same sense. It is not true that the work of art of a period that has worked out new technical means, or, for instance, the laws of perspective, stands therefore artistically higher than a work of art devoid of all knowledge of those means and laws — if its form does justice to the material, that is, if its object has been chosen and formed so that it could be artistically mastered without applying those conditions and means. A work of art which is genuine “fulfilment” is never surpassed; it will never be antiquated. Individuals may differ in appreciating the personal significance of works of art, but no one will ever be able to say of such a work that it is ‘outstripped’ by another work which is also “fulfilment.”