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June 09 , 2010

Ecological Modernisation Around the World

Perspectives and Critical Debates


The idea of ecological modernisation originated in Western Europe in the 1980s, gaining attention around the world by the late 1990s. At the core of this social scientific and policy-oriented approach is the view that contemporary societies have the capability of dealing with their environmental crises. Experiences in some countries demonstrate that modern institutions can incorporate environmental interests into their daily routines. Elsewhere, economic and political interests dominate development trajectories and environmental deterioration continues, challenging the premises of ecological modernisation. This volume brings together research on ecological modernisation practices around the world. Studies on Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, the USA, and Southeast Asia examine the applicability of this approach to advanced industrial countries, transitional economies and developing countries respectively. Authors critically examine the premises of ecological modernisation theory, assess its value for understanding past and present environmental transformations, and outline paths for designing future sustainable development. Taken together, the studies in collected this volume offer significant refinements, extensions and critiques of ecological modernisation theory and suggest important directions for future research on social and policy dimensions of environmental change.

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