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Politicization of Ecological Issues. From Environmental Forms to Environmental Motives. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5186486
  • Book
  • August 2019
  • 200 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

The legitimacy of environmental policies is an issue of increasing concern for analysts. Ecological stakes are deemed to be global, but global public decisions are rare and implemented with difficulty. Dissensus prevails on environmental ethics and there is little evidence of any greening of policy tools. The global framing of the environment fails to account for how people relate to the ecological realities which surround them.

Rather than placing the environment at a distance, Politicization of Ecological Issues advocates for building legitimacy from people’s perceptions of singular forms and patterns in their environment. Based on scholarly literature in political ecology and empirical cases of water policy in Europe, the book shows how the qualification of environmental realities has been politicized and translated into motives for public action. Similarly, it argues that theoretical debates addressing the ecological crisis are not only dealing with ideas, but rather advocating for specific environmental forms that are deemed to be motives of hope or worry.

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Introduction vii

Chapter 1. How Can We Study Environmental Policies? 1

1.1. Interests and limits of an approach to the environment through policy instruments 2

1.2. Defining the environment 6

1.3. Perception of environmental forms and motives 8

1.4. Perception of institutions in the environment 15

1.5. Emerging environmental policy issues 20

Chapter 2. Politicization and Institutionalization of the Environment 23

2.1. Environmental motives between singularity and generality 23

2.2. Putting motives into politics by greening 26

2.3. Frames of environmental forms: the contributions of political ecology 31

2.4. Stabilization of patterns by co-production 41

2.5. A framework for analyzing the politics of environmental motives 43

Chapter 3. Stabilized Motives of Freshwater Quality Control in Europe 49

3.1. The environmental motives of freshwater control policy 50

3.1.1. Self-purification and the sacrificed river, motives for authorizing polluting discharges 53

3.1.2. Fish mortality, a conservative motive for banning pollution 59

3.1.3. Trout, an ambiguous motive between liberalism and nationalism 65

3.1.4. Migratory fish as a motive for banning dams 70

3.1.5. Eutrophication, a European motive 75

3.2. Use of environmental motives in political work 79

3.2.1. Adjustment of political work to the consistency of the environmental motives of the water police 81

3.2.2. Plurality of ontologies of environmental motives in water policing 82

3.2.3. Modalities for implementing the environmental motives of the water quality control in politics 85

Chapter 4. Motives Under Discussion in Two Water Agencies 89

4.1. The water agencies model 92

4.2. Two water agencies as reflected by their institutional and environmental motives 99

4.2.1. Policy divisions between Seine-Normandie and Rhône-Méditerranée and Corse 100

4.2.2. Containment or generalization of the motive for cash flow constraint 103

4.2.3. The crystallization of the Rhône River motive 109

4.2.4. The politicization of the Paris conurbation’s motive 113

4.3. Use of motives in political work in both agencies 117

Chapter 5. Motives for Anticipating the Ecological Crisis 123

5.1. The theory of ecological modernization and its motives 124

5.2. The forum for political ideas on the ecological crisis 130

5.2.1. Mapping of the intellectual forum in sociology and political science on the ecological crisis 131

5.2.2. Forum dynamics 134

5.3. The Anthropocene motive 137

Conclusion 143

References 159

Index 185

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Gabrielle Bouleau
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