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As global environmental changes become increasingly evident and efforts to respond to these changes fall short of expectations, questions about the circumstances that generate environmental reforms become more pressing. Defensive Environmentalists and Global Reform answers these questions through a historical analysis of two processes that have contributed to environmental reforms, one in which people become defensive environmentalists concerned about environmental problems close to home and another in which people become altruistic environmentalists intent on alleviating global problems after experiencing catastrophic events such as hurricanes, droughts, and fires. These focusing events make reform more urgent and convince people to become altruistic environmentalists. Bolstered by defensive environmentalists, the altruists gain strength in environmental politics, and reforms occur.Read more
- Uses both social and ecological theory to explain the occurrence of environmental reforms
- Illustrates the argument using detailed examples from both developing and developed countries
- Introduces the idea of a sustainable development state as a political arrangement capable of making societies sustainable
- Winner of the 2014 Gerald L. Young Book Award, Society for Human Ecology
Reviews & endorsements
"A marvelous contribution to environment-society theory. Defensive Environmentalists and the Dynamics of Global Reform is a crowning achievement, drawing on insights garnered from Rudel’s long and distinguished career."
S. R. Brechin, Professor of Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse UniversitySee more reviews
"Countering the pessimism of much environmental scholarship, Rudel offers a compelling macro theory of global sustainability, grounded in locally motivated environmental initiatives. His thoughtful analysis of the conditions under which defensive environmentalism scales up charts a new direction for analyzing the trajectories of coupled human-natural systems."
Simone Pulver, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Rudel’s book is an impressive synthesis of literature and ideas about the human-environment. It is lucidly argued and highly readable throughout and would appeal to senior undergraduates, graduates, and established scholars alike. The book would serve well as a core or companion text in courses on general environmental studies and environmental social science."
Bradley B. Walters, Mount Allison University
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- Date Published: October 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107448568
- length: 268 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus. 2 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Meta-narratives of environmental reform
3. Globalization, tight coupling, and cascading events
4. Partitioning resources, preserving resources
5. Advantaging offspring, limiting offspring
6. Choosing foods, saving soils
7. Removing rubbish, recovering resources, and creating inequalities
8. Saving money, conserving energy
9. Focusing events, altruistic environmentalism, and the environmental movement
10. A sustainable development state
11. Conclusion: defensive environmentalists, sustainable development states, and global reform
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