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The Power of the Periphery
How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World

$99.99 (C)

Part of Studies in Environment and History

  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108477567

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • What is the source of Norway's culture of environmental harmony in our troubled world? Exploring the role of Norwegian scholar-activists of the late twentieth century, Peder Anker examines how they portrayed their country as a place of environmental stability in a world filled with tension. In contrast with societies dirtied by the hot and cold wars of the twentieth century, Norway's power, they argued, lay in the pristine, ideal natural environment of the periphery. Globally, a beautiful Norway came to be contrasted with a polluted world and fashioned as an ecological microcosm for the creation of a better global macrocosm. In this innovative, interdisciplinary history, Anker explores the ways in which ecological concerns were imported via Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962, then to be exported from Norway back to the world at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

    • Brings together the Norwegian history of anthropology, philosophy, theology, environmental studies, management, geology and economics
    • Demonstrates the global impact of environmental scholar-activists
    • Shows how collaboration between the sciences and the humanities has advanced the environmental cause
    • This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘In this exhilarating romp through history, Peder Anker delivers us the essential key to understanding our present crisis and a magisterial exploration of the catastrophic consequences of our all-too-human attempts to create paradise on Earth.' Jimena Canales, historian of science and author of The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate that Changed our Understanding of Time and A Tenth of a Second: A History

    ‘With clarity, empathy and yet a sharp criticality, Peder Anker captures the long train of modern Norwegian ecological thought. Engaging activists from Thor Heyerdahl to Arne Naess, Anker shows how nationalism, internationalism, idealism, positivism and holism collided. Here is a rich, clear-eyed history of how the Norwegians reshaped modern ecological thought, successes and failures included. A terrific book.’ Peter Galison, Harvard University

    ‘Peder Anker’s thought-provoking perspective highlights how Norway came to be an exporter of environmental values and of the concept of sustainability - in spite of limited adherence to such values at home.’ Jorgen Randers, BI Norwegian Business School

    ‘Peder Anker has written a fascinating story about how Norwegian scholar-activists exploited the 'power of the periphery' to showcase Norway as an alternative environmentally-sound nation compared with the rest of the world. This book is an original contribution to the history of global environmentalism in general.’ Terje Tvedt, University of Bergen

    ‘… this volume is an important contribution to our knowledge about environmental developments of the past century,demonstrating a small nation’s place in the age of globalization.’ Elena Kochetkova, Technology and Culture

    '… a very readable book, which is highly informative, clear and at the same time very easy to read due to its high source density in combination with extensive contextualization.' Fabian Zimmer, Translated from H-Soz-Kult

    ‘… Anker provides a thorough and engaging history of envi-ronmental thought and action in this formative period …’ Jenna M. Coughlin, Scandinavian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108477567
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The power of the periphery
    2. The ecologists
    3. The ecophilosophers
    4. The deep ecologists
    5. Environmental studies
    6. The call for a new ecoreligion
    7. The sustainable society
    8. The acid rain debate
    9. Our common future
    The alternative nation.

  • Author

    Peder Anker, New York University
    Peder Anker is Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. He is also Professor II in History of Science at the University of Oslo. He is on twitter at @pederanker.

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