Ecologism: Towards Ecological Citizenship

Smith, Mark J. (1998). Ecologism: Towards Ecological Citizenship. Concepts in the Social Sciences. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.



How should we understand nature and the environment? What does it mean to be responsible for the environment? Are social and political theories "anthropocentric" and if the answer is yes, how do we change them? Ecological thinking within social and political theory has taken off in the past three decades. Green movements have had a dramatic impact upon political and social life, provoking conflicts of interest over major areas of public policy. This reader-friendly text examines the challenges of ecological thought for the assumptions within the traditions of social and political theory. Ecological concerns are often grafted onto existing approaches, but this book examines how the fundamental questions raised by a green perspective transform the terms of reference of modern thinking.

Mark J. Smith outlines the distinctive features of ecological thought and examines two contentious areas of environmental ethics: the obligations for present generations to future generations and the relationship of human to non-human animals. Through these case studies, the author highlights some of the difficulties and contradictions of applying conventional ideas of rights and justice to environmental issues, pointing the way to a new politics of obligation grounded upon ecological citizenship. Designed as an invaluable student text in environmental studies, politics and sociology, this book is essential reading for those with a wider interest in ecology and the environment.

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