Resources Under Regimes / Edition 1

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Overview

Democratic or authoritarian, every society needs clean air and water; every state must manage its wildlife and natural resources. In this provocative, comparative study, Paul R. Josephson asks to what extent the form of a government and its economy--centrally planned or market, colonial or post-colonial--determines how politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, engineers, and industrialists address environmental and social problems presented by the transformation of nature into a humanized landscape.

Looking at the experiences of the industrialized and industrializing world, Resources under Regimes explores the relationship between science, technology, and the environment. Josephson considers global responses to deforestation, water pollution, and global warming, showing how different societies bring different values and assumptions to bear on the same problem, and arrive at different conclusions about the ideal outcome and the best way of achieving it. He reveals the important ways in which modern governments facilitate power generation, transportation, water production, and other technologies that improve the quality of life; and the equally critical ways in which they respond to the resulting depredations--the pollution, waste, and depletion that constitute the global environmental crisis at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

A worthy examination of this global phenomenon.
— J. H. Hunter

Environmental History

Common to all modern nations is the tendency to rely on large-scale manipulations of nature to achieve progress: big dams for irrigation and hydroelectricity, industrialized farming and commercial production, nuclear power, and automobiles. According to Josephson, such technologies typically create as many problems as they solve, especially those related to environmental and social inequalities. These problems are evident locally, where citizens often compete with corporations and political elites for control of resources. They appear globally as well, where wealthy industrialized nations are able to enjoy better environmental quality in part by relying on less developed countries to absorb their pollution and resource demands. Ultimately, Josephson's analysis challenges readers to question the wisdom of this kind of progress, upon which nearly every nation in the twenty-first century has come to rely.
— Gregory Summers

Choice - J. H. Hunter
A worthy examination of this global phenomenon.
Environmental History - Gregory Summers
Common to all modern nations is the tendency to rely on large-scale manipulations of nature to achieve progress: big dams for irrigation and hydroelectricity, industrialized farming and commercial production, nuclear power, and automobiles. According to Josephson, such technologies typically create as many problems as they solve, especially those related to environmental and social inequalities. These problems are evident locally, where citizens often compete with corporations and political elites for control of resources. They appear globally as well, where wealthy industrialized nations are able to enjoy better environmental quality in part by relying on less developed countries to absorb their pollution and resource demands. Ultimately, Josephson's analysis challenges readers to question the wisdom of this kind of progress, upon which nearly every nation in the twenty-first century has come to rely.
Choice
A worthy examination of this global phenomenon.
— J. H. Hunter
Environmental History
Common to all modern nations is the tendency to rely on large-scale manipulations of nature to achieve progress: big dams for irrigation and hydroelectricity, industrialized farming and commercial production, nuclear power, and automobiles. According to Josephson, such technologies typically create as many problems as they solve, especially those related to environmental and social inequalities. These problems are evident locally, where citizens often compete with corporations and political elites for control of resources. They appear globally as well, where wealthy industrialized nations are able to enjoy better environmental quality in part by relying on less developed countries to absorb their pollution and resource demands. Ultimately, Josephson's analysis challenges readers to question the wisdom of this kind of progress, upon which nearly every nation in the twenty-first century has come to rely.
— Gregory Summers
KLIATT - Nola Theiss
This environmental policy book looks at the issue of how different types of governments affect the use and misuse of our natural resources. It also looks at the history of governmental policy on nature, from the use of dams for irrigation to deforestation for farming; and how science and technology often seem to mandate governmental policy, looking at issues such as the disposal of radioactive waste by both the US and the USSR and the different impact of "coercive" governments and democratic ones. Beyond individual governments, globalization has increased man's desire to achieve progress, often at the cost of destroying our environment. Josephson says that we must consider "the place of science and engineering both as root causes and as solutions to the world's ongoing environmental crisis," and we must assume a worldview when we try to solve our environmental problems. Science and technology have allowed us to achieve economic wealth, at least in some countries, even while destroying our quality of life through air and water pollution and the depletion of resources. Josephson is the director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society at Colby College and his book is a worthy addition to a senior high school library as it brings together political science, history and environmental policy in an academically sophisticated style.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674022430
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Josephson is Chairman for the International Studies Program at Colby College. His books include Industrialized Nature and Red Atom.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Nature, Technology, and Worldview

1. The Modern State, Industry, and the Transformation of Nature

2. The Coercive Appeal to Order: Authoritarian Approaches to Resource Management

3. Development, Colonialism, and the Environment

4. Biodiversity, Sustainability, and Technology in the Twenty-first Century

Notes

Index

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