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The Promise of Green Politics: Environmentalism and the Public Sphere

By: Douglas Torgerson

Duke University Press

Paperback | Oct 1999 | #103310 | ISBN: 0822323702
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $24 / €22 approx
Hardback | Oct 1999 | #103312 | ISBN: 0822323370
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £72.50 $93 / €83 approx

About this book

Our present political system is dominated by business news and the stock market. But those in support of green politics ask whether human profit should continue to be the bottom line of political deliberations or whether it is time for the interests of the natural world to combine with or even displace them. In "The Promise of Green Politics", Douglas Torgerson offers a survey of different strands of ecological schools of thought, discusses their implications for the larger political sphere, and advances a three-dimensional concept of politics that emphasises ethics and discourse, as well as strategy. Arguing that the environmental movement has the potential to contribute to contemporary developments in political theory and social action by changing discursive practices at grassroots gatherings and along the corridors of power, Torgerson draws on the theories of Hannah Arendt and others to advocate a performative type of political debate that values a plurality of opinions and is not always oriented toward the narrowing of debate down to a single conclusion. In a world stuck in administrative, scientific gridlock, Torgerson argues, the theatrical, comic aspects of green politics are as important as other, more goal-oriented, aspects. Gestures of the carnivalesque - such as protestors sleeping in hammocks slung from trees targeted for destruction or funeral processions held for dying rivers - could be the key to the creation of what Torgerson refers to as a "green public sphere," one which promises a reconfiguration of the relationship between human creativity and the natural world. While offering a number of concrete policy suggestions, his focus remains on the complexity and heterogeneity of green thinking, and on the transformative promise implicit in green politics. In creating new ways to speak about the environment, Torgerson argues, the green movement offers a chance to productively rethink many larger issues of political theory and action. "The Promise of Green Politics" will serve as a gateway to new thinking about green politics and the emerging possibilities of a diverse and vital green public sphere. As such, it will be valued by those interested in environmental and public policy, political theory, social activism, and the future of political action.

A detailed and penetrating exploration of the relationship between the means and the ends in green politics. Torgerson offers a fresh synthesis of, and new angle on, many of the ongoing environmental debates, from sustainable development and ecological modernization to questions of political strategy and lifestyle. Robyn Eckersley, author of Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach "The Promise of Green Politics represents a new generation of green political thought, moving beyond earlier texts, which were mostly concerned with staking out the territory. Torgerson tackles many - perhaps most - of the key issues and questions left hanging by others and does so in sophisticated and convincing fashion." John Dryzek, author of The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses


Contents: Preface What is green politics? Strategic perplexities The greening of public discourse Green dissent & policy professionalism Comedy & tragedy in green politics The ethical connection The green public sphere Green politics & public life Notes; References; Index

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