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About this book
About this book
In recent years, environmentalism in the US has increasingly emerged at the community level, focusing on local ecological problems. Correspondingly, the American environmental movement has exhorted its supporters to 'think globally' but 'act locally'. The authors examine this modern environmental mantra by analysing the opportunities and constraints on local environmental action posed by economic and political structures at all levels. The difficulties involved in local activism are explored in three case studies - a wetlands protection project, water pollution of the Great Lakes, and consumer waste recycling. The final chapter then reflects on the challenges facing citizen-worker movements in each case study, and concludes that, despite the inherent difficulties, any successful attempt at mobilisation must have a local component.
Preface; 1. Transnational structures and the limits of local resistance; 2. The terrain of environmental conflicts: local wetland watchers and a national movement organization; 3. Slights of hand: how public participation in remediation of water pollution fails to trickle down; 4. Recycling: organizing local grass roots around a national cash-roots policy; 5. From local to transnational strategies: toward a model of sustainable mobilization; References; Author index; Subject index.
Kenneth A. Gould is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Brooklyn College, and Professor of Sociology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work focuses on the political economy of environment, technology and development, and is best known for its contribution to the development of the Treadmill of Production model of socio-environmental dynamics. He has published numerous articles examining the responses of communities to environmental problems, the role of socioeconomic inequality in environmental conflicts, environmental social movement coalitions, and the impacts of economic globalization on efforts to achieve sustainable development trajectories. He is co-author of Environment and Society: The Enduring Conflict (1994), The Treadmill of Production: Injustice and Unsustainability in the Global Economy (2008) and Twenty Lessons in Environmental Sociology (2009). His recent work examines ecotourism, labor environmentalism, ecodisaster and green gentrification.