The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses

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The Politics of the Earth provides an excellent and accessible introduction to thinking about the environment by looking at the way people use language on environmental issues. John Dryzek analyses the various approaches which have dominated environmental issues over the last three decades,and which are likely to be influential in the future:Survivalism - based on the contention that the earth has a limited stock of resources and prescribes drastic multidimensional action to prevent global disaster, receiving a reply from Promethans who deny such limits exist.Environmental Problem Solving - recognises the existence of ecological problems but views them as tractable within the basic framework of industrial society.Sustainability - defined by imaginative attempts to dissolve the conflicts between environmental and economic values.Green Radicalism - rejects the basic structure of industrial society and the way the environment is conceptualised and promotes transformation in human consciousness, economics and politics.John Dryzek provides a lively assessment of these various perspectives, their rise and fall, their interaction and impacts, and their strengths and weaknesses. His analysis of these discourses leads up to a concluding argument for a reinvigorated ecological democracy.The Politics of the Earth offers a new way of classifying and comparing the main strands of environmental politics. It is a fascinating and essential reading for all students of environmental politics and policy, and for anyone with an interest in environmental issues.

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A Discourse Approach

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About the author (2005)

John S. Dryzek is Head of the Social and Political Theory Programme at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is a former editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science and Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

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