The Ecological Modernisation Reader
Environmental Reform in Theory and Practice
Edited by Arthur P.J. Mol, David A Sonnenfeld, Gert Spaargaren
Routledge – 2010 – 560 pages
Environmental reform by governmental, intergovernmental agencies, private firms and industries and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a worldwide phenomenon. This definitive collection showcases an introduction to Ecological Modernisation Theory; state-of-the-art review essays by key international scholars and a selection of the key articles from a quarter-century of social science scholarship. It is aimed at students, researchers and policymakers interested in a deep understanding of contemporary environmental issues
'…this volume offers a comprehensive synthesis of the emergence and evolution of scholarly enquiry into ecological modernization.'
'…if this volume serves as a launching pad rather than culmination, then EM is poised to make substantial gains in the environmental studies and sciences. The break from the tendency to rely solely on ecological theories to explain society’s relationship with ecosystems that has been enabled by EM theorists has broadened the horizons for enquiry in environmental scholarship, and the promise of systematic critical analysis of environmental improvement efforts in a variety of institutional contexts is certainly a worthwhile endeavour.'
-Debra J Davidson, University of Alberta, in International Sociology, vol 26 no 5
'This volume collects well-written scholarly essays on the theory of EM. The editors do a good job selecting chapters to represent the full range of issues and concepts forming the central theses of the EM framework, making this volume a great reader on the subject. Also commendable is that the authors included several studies of environmental reform in economies outside the birthplace of the EM theory. Worthy of note as well is that several studies differentiate between weak and strong ecological modernization. This provides a great framework for empirically examining environmental reform across the globe. Finally, the introduction and other chapters also discuss how the theory of ecological modernization fits with global conventions on environmental reform, thereby helping explain its emergence and rapid development….'
-Lazarus Adua, Ohio State University, in Rural Sociology, Dec 2011
'This is a much needed collection which fills the gap left by theoretical and empirical work. Whatever your opinions about Ecological Modernisation this promises to be a benchmark study.'…..Michael Redclift, Professor of International Environmental Policy, King's College, UK
'Ecological modernization has become the most important theory of practical attempts to deal with environmental problems. Whether it be efforts by the environmentally leading countries of northern Europe, or by the Obama Administration in the United States, or by Japan and China, the endeavors all consist of ecological modernization in one form or another. This informative reader brings together the most significant research on the subject over the three decades since its inception. The success or failure of ecological modernization remains nevertheless an open question, as indicated by global warming caused by human activities. Hence this perspective has its critics, particularly neo-Marxist and neo-Malthusian ones, and the book briefly responds to these as well. It is a must read for anyone interested in the broader aspects of environmental problem solving.'……..Raymond Murphy, President Environment and Society Research Committee of the International Sociological Association
'This book offers the clearest and the most comprehensive introduction to ecological modernisation theory yet. It sets out the criticisms of ecological modernisation as a theory of social change and puts forward a compelling argument for a sociology of environmental reform. It shows how technological, institutional and cultural innovation concretely affect peoples’ lives and the ways they relate to their environment. The Ecological Modernisation Reader will initiate a new and more sophisticated era of debate over the greening of industrial societies'…………..Professor Stewart Lockie, The Australian National University, Australia
'The ideas underpinning ecological modernisation are exerting a growing influence over environmental policy-makers around the world. This valuable and timely collection brings together many of the main contributors to the development of this controversial concept, and provides a comprehensive coverage of the key theories, debates and policy developments in ecological modernisation.'……….Professor Neil Carter, Department of Politics, University of York, UK
'…a long overdue publication. The benefits of bringing together some of the classic EM literature alongside more recent work not only explains the historical theoretical development of this discourse and where it might develop in future, but also engages academics and students alike in understanding EM theory and practice…'…………..Patrick McGee, Queen's University Belfast, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
1. Ecological Modernization: Three Decades of Policy, Practice and Theoretical Reflection, Mol, A.P.J., G. Spaargaren & D.A. Sonnenfeld Part 1: Foundations of Ecological Modernization Theory 2. The Origins and Theoretical Foundations of Ecological Modernization Theory, Mol, A.P.J., and M. Jänicke 3. On Ecological and Political Modernisation, Jänicke, M. 4. Ecological Modernisation: Beyond Scarcity and Bureaucracy, Huber, J. 5. Sociology, Environment and Modernity. Ecological Modernisation as a Theory of Social Change, Spaargaren, G., and A.P.J. Mol 6. Ecological Modernization as Cultural Politics, Hajer, M.A 7. Ecological Modernisation, Ecological Modernities, Christoff, P. 8. Ecological Modernization as Social Theory, Buttel, F.H. Part 2: Transformations in Environmental Governance and Participation 9. Transformations in Environmental Governance and Participation, Fisher, D.R., O. Fritsch, and M.S. Andersen 10. New Approaches to Environmental Governance, Jänicke, M., and H. Jörgens 11. Environment and Participation in a Context of Political Modernisation, Tatenhove, Jan van, & Pieter Leroy 12. Democratic Ethics and Ecological Modernization: The Formulation of California's Automobile Emission Standards, Gonzalez, G.A. 13. Ecological Modernization, Risk Society, and the Green State, Dryzek, J.S., D. Downes, C. Hunold, and D. Schlosberg Part 3: Greening Life-Cycles and Life-Styles 14. Greening Lifecycles and Lifestyles: Sociotechnical Innovations in Consumption and Production as Core Concerns of Ecological Modernisation Theory, Spaargaren, G., and M. Cohen 15. Environmental Policy and Industrial Innovation: Integrating Environment and Economy Through Ecological Modernization, Murphy, J., and A. Gouldson 16. Ecological Modernization of Industrial Systems, Koppen C.S.A. (Kris) van, Arthur P.J. Mol 17. Sustainable Consumption: A Theoretical and Environmental Policy Perspective, Spaargaren, G. 18. Upstreaming Environmental Action, Huber, J. Part 4: Environmental Reform in Asian and Other Emerging Economies 19. Ecological Modernisation in Asian and other Emerging Economies, Sonnenfeld, D.A., and M.T. Rock 20. Contradictions of Ecological Modernisation: Pulp and Paper Manufacturing in Southeast Asia, Sonnenfeld, D.A. 21. Why Ecological Modernisation and Sustainable Development should not be Conflated, Langhelle, O. 22. Integrating Environmental and Economic Policy making in China and Taiwan, Rock, M.T. 23. Environmental Management for Industrial Zones in Vietnam, Tran, M.D.T., P.T. Phung, J.C.L. van Buuren, and V.T. Nguyen 24. Environment and Modernity in Transitional China: Frontiers of Ecological Modernization, Mol, A.P.J. 25. Shifts within Ecological Modernization in South Africa: Deliberation, Innovation and Institutional Opportunities, Oelofse, C., D. Scott, G. Oelofse, and J. Houghton Conclusion 26. Ecological Modernization: Assessment, Critical Debates and Future Directions, Spaargaren, G., A.P.J. Mol, & D.A. Sonnenfeld
Arthur P.J. Mol is chair and professor in environmental policy in the Environmental Policy Group (ENP) of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He edited a number of books, and is the author of Globalization and Environmental Reform (2001) and Environmental reform in the Information Age (2008).
David A. Sonnenfeld is Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies at the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He is co-editor of Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry (2006); and Ecological Modernisation Around the World (2000).
Gert Spaargaren is part-time Professor on ‘Environmental Policy for Sustainable Lifestyles and Consumption’ at the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands. His publications are in the field of (environmental) sociology, sustainable consumption and behavior, and the globalization of environmental reform. He (co)edited Governing Environmental Flows (2006).