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Environmental Realism: Challenging Solutions

  • Offers an accessible cultural history of “solutions-based environmental thinking”
  • Analyzes discourse used in environmental debates and ways in which societies frame these issues over time
  • Takes an interdisciplinary view to question solutions-based approaches to complex, persistent “wicked” environmental problems

Series: Palgrave Pivot

By: Kristan Cockerill(Author), Melanie Armstrong(Author), Jennifer Richter(Author), Jordan G Okie(Author)

147 pages, 1 b/w illustration


Hardback | Apr 2017 | #236153 | ISBN-13: 9783319528236
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $64/€56 approx

About this book

This interdisciplinary book challenges current approaches to "environmental problems" that perpetuate flawed but deeply embedded cultural beliefs about the role of science and technology in society. The authors elucidate and interrogate a cultural history of solutionism that typifies expectations that science can, should, and will reduce risk to people and property by containing and controlling biophysical phenomena. Using historical analysis, eco-evolutionary principles, and case studies on floods, radioactive waste, and epidemics, the authors show that perceived solutions to "environmental problems" generate new problems, leading to problem-solution cycles of increasing scope and complexity. The authors encourage readers to challenge the ideology of solutionism by considering the potential of language, social action and new paradigms of sustainability to shape management systems. Environmental Realism will appeal to scholars in multi- and interdisciplinary fields such as Environment Studies, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, and Science, Technology, and Society Studies.


Chapter 1. Why Challenge Solutions?
Chapter 2. River Management and Restoration: Addressing Yesterday's Solutions
Chapter 3. The Human Nature of Infectious Disease
Chapter 4. The Unpredictable Materiality of Radioactive Waste
Chapter 5. Integrating Science and Society for Environmental Realism

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Kristan Cockerill is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Appalachian State University, USA. Melanie Armstrong is an Assistant Professor in the Master in Environmental Management Program, Department of Environment and Sustainability, Western State Colorado University, USA. Jennifer Richter is an Assistant Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University, USA. Jordan G. Okie is an Assistant Research Professor at the School for Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, USA.

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