chapter  2
22 Pages

Political theories and environmental conflict

Having analysed the character of the political process and the nature of prevailing political regimes, it is now necessary to consider some examples of the way in which politics has been applied to the question of the environment. Initially it is useful to examine the ways in which some very significant groups and governments have refused to accept that environmental damage ought to be treated seriously and have resisted efforts to put environmental concerns on to the political agenda. The contrast can then be established with those governments that have been willing to incorporate degrees of environmental concern as add-ons to ‘normal’ politics, or have been willing to reform administrative procedures and institutional structures to bring environmental considerations inside the policy process. It is then necessary to explore the whole plethora of ideas and claims that have motivated environmental activism, prompted the development of the complex of environmental movements and fuelled political and policy conflict over environmental questions. This chapter provides the foundation for a subsequent consideration of the internal character and dynamics of the various environmental movements that now operate in most countries around the globe.