Environmental Democracy: A Contextual Approach

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

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)
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853836183
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272

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

Acronyms and Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Conceptualizing Environmental Democracy 21
2 Environmental Decision-Making in Western Europe and North America: Democratic Capacity-Building? 64
3 Administrative Fairness and Forest Land Decision-Making: A Canadian Experiment in Participatory Environmental Planning 100
4 Democratizing Nature? The Political Morality of Wilderness Preservationists 127
5 Trade Unions and Environmental Democracy: A Study of the UK Transport and General Workers' Union (with material contributed by Nigel Morter) 152
6 Agenda 21 and Local Democracy: A British Search for New Participatory Forms 179
Conclusion: Global Environmental Democracy 212
Notes 238
References 244
Index 262
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