Environmental Democracy: A Contextual Approach

Overview

Through a wide range of case studies, Mason reveals just how sensitive we all must be to styles of power, vulnerability and resilience in any democratic transition to sustainability. This is a fine book.' Timothy O'Riordan, Professor of Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, and Associate Director, Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment. Civic self-determination and ecological sustainability are widely accepted as two of the most important public goals. This book explains how...

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Environmental Democracy: A Contextual Approach

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Overview

Through a wide range of case studies, Mason reveals just how sensitive we all must be to styles of power, vulnerability and resilience in any democratic transition to sustainability. This is a fine book.' Timothy O'Riordan, Professor of Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, and Associate Director, Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment. Civic self-determination and ecological sustainability are widely accepted as two of the most important public goals. This book explains how they can be combined. Using vivid and telling case studies from around the world, it shows how liberal rights can include both ecological and social conditions for collective decision-making - environmentalist goals and social justice can be achieved together. Integrating theory and original case studies, the book makes a very significant contribution to the fundamentals of how environmental democracy can be advanced at all levels. Cogently argued and engaged, Environmental Democracy provides a superb teaching text and a source of ideas and persuasive arguments for the politically and environmentally engaged. It will be essential reading for students, teachers and researchers in politics, policy studies, environmental studies, geography and social science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A fine book.'
Timothy O'Riordan, Professor of Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, and Associate Director, Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment.

'This is a sustainability discourse that is more self-aware and prepared to engage with the very real choices about how we ought to live, and to tackle the most enduring obstacles to ecological integrity and social justice on a global scale.'
Urban Policy and Research

Library Journal
Reconciling the demands of industries that seek to use natural resources to provide goods and services with those of environmentalists who attempt to preserve nature's wonders may appear to be impossible. Fortunately, this book provides one possible resolution. The author, a senior lecturer in environmental studies at the University of North London, argues that by engaging in a kind of green communication, all parties involved in the debate over a particular natural resource will find their needs met at a satisfactory level. He defines environmental democracy as "a participatory and ecologically rational form of collective decision-making; it prioritizes judgments based on long-term generalizable interests, facilitated by communicative political procedures and radicalization of existing liberal rights." While parts of the book are as academically dry as that definition, and at times it is a bit utopian in its assumptions, Mason effortlessly blends his theories with a number of very readable examples from around the world where the principles of his environmental democracy have been successfully applied. Though some general readers may find parts of this book tough going, it should still be read by those with a serious interest in seeing environmental policy disputes settled.--Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Integrating theory with case studies from around the world, Mason (geography and environmental studies, U. of North London) describes how to combine the two widely held values of civic self-determination and ecological sustainability. He argues that despite deconstructionist denials of universality, there remains a common normative space for democratic governance and environmental justice that extends across borders to every non-fundamentalist culture and back through history to the victims of past victims of social and environmental injustice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853836176
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Mason is Senior Lecturer in Geography and Environmental Studies at the School of Social Sciences, University of North London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Conceptualising Decision-Making in Western Europe and North America: Democratic Capacity Building?
• Administrative Fairness and Forest Land Decision-Making: A Canadian Experiment in Participatory Environmental Planning
• Democratising Nature? The Political Morality of Wilderness Preservationists
• Trade Unions and Environmental Democracy: A Study of the UK Transport and General Worker's Union (with Material Contributed by Nigel Morter)
• Agenda 21 and Local Democracy: A British Search for New Participatory Forms
• Conclusion: Global Environmental Democracy
• Notes
• References
• Index

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