Understanding of the new ecological paradigm

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Understanding of the new ecological paradigm


  • Functions of Environment
  • Contribution of Cotton and Dunlop

As Schneeberg himself acknowledged, the production treadmill has not achieved the paradigmatic status within environmental sociology that he would have liked.

There are several possible reasons for this. First, political economy, especially with a neo-Marxist tinge, has been overshadowed to some extent in recent decades by other theoretical flavours, notably postmodernism and cultural sociology. Second, the treadmill theory has been somewhat static, a neoliberal era for a manufacturing economy in which Western economics seems to have shifted toward new information technology, financial services, and entertainment. Another reason may be that the notion of a treadmill is no longer very new or, despite Schneeberg’s belief, very controversial. To actually turn off the treadmill would be radical enough, of course, but as an analysis of industrial and consumer societies the model seems rather clear.

In accounting for the causes of large-scale environmental destruction, two primary approaches stand out: the ecological explanation as embodied in Catton and Dunlap’s model of ‘competitive environmental actions’, and the political economy as the explanation.

Found in Alan Schneeberg’s concepts of the ‘social-environmental dialectic’ and the ‘treadmill of production’. As noted by Butel (1987: 471), both the approaches focus on social structure and social

Evolution is seen as being reciprocally related to the bio-physical environment but the nature of this relationship is depicted very differently.

  ecological interpretation

The ecological explanation for environmental destruction has its roots in the field of ‘human ecology’ which was dominant within urban sociology from the 1920s to the 1960s.

This urban ecology model was introduced by sociologist Robert Park and his colleagues during the 1920s and 1930s.

university. Park was well acquainted with the work of Darwin and his fellow naturalists, based on their insights into the interconnectedness and interdependence of plant and animal species. In his discussion of human ecology, Parks (1936 [1952]) begins with an explanation of the ‘webs of life’, citing the familiar nursery rhyme, The House That Jack Built, as the logical prototype of long food chains, Each link that is dependent on the other. Within the web of life, the active principle is the ‘struggle for existence’ in which the survivors find their ‘niche’ in the physical environment and in the division of labor between different species.

Had Park been primarily interested in the natural environment for its own sake, he would have realized that human interference in the form of urban development and industrial pollution had artificially broken this chain, upsetting the ‘biological balance’. Indeed, he acknowledged that commerce, ‘increasingly destroying the isolation on which the ancient order of nature rested’, intensified the struggle for existence over an ever-expanding area of the habitable world. But he believed that such changes have the potential to give a new and often better direction to the future course of events, forcing adaptation, change and a new equilibrium.

Biological ecology was the primary source from which Park borrowed a range of principles, which he applied to human populations and communities. However, in doing so, he noted that human ecology differs from plant and animal ecology in several important respects. First, being free from the division of labour, humans are not immediately dependent on the physical environment. Second, technology has allowed humans


To recreate your habitat and your world rather than be constrained by it. Third, the structure of human communities is much more than simply the product of biologically determined factors; It is governed by cultural factors, especially an institutional structure rooted in custom and tradition. Human society, then, unlike the rest of nature, is organized on two levels: biological and cultural.




  new ecological paradigm

This picture of the nature-society relationship clearly violates several tenets of Catton and Dunlap’s new ecological paradigm. It emphasizes the exceptional characteristics (inventiveness, technical ability) of humans rather than their commonality with other species. It prioritizes the influence of social and cultural factors (communication, division of labor) rather than bio-physical, environmental determinants. Finally, it mitigates this by celebrating the human ability to overcome the constraints imposed by nature.

Park, his colleagues and students (notably Mackenzie and Burgess) applied their principles of human ecology to the processes that create and reinforce urban spatial systems. He saw the city as the product of three such processes: (1) concentration and disinflation; (2) ecological specialization; and (3) invasion and succession. The building blocks of the city were called ‘natural areas’ (slums, ghettos, bohemia), “natural group dwellings” that corresponded to these ecological processes. The city was characterized as a regionally based ecological system. in which a constant Darwinian struggle over land use produced a constant flux and redistribution of urban populations. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the ‘transition zone’, an area adjacent to the central business district that became a prestigious residential district. An area characterized by low rent tenants, deviant activities and marginal businesses.

Much of the early criticism of human ecology was based not on its failure to explore the interdependence between the human environment and the natural environment, but on its failure to adequately account for the role of human values in habitat choice and movement. In the late 1940s, a socio-cultural critique of mainstream human ecology briefly illuminated the landscape of American sociology. Fairey (1947) used the example of land use in central Boston to demonstrate that symbolism and emotion were equally, if not more, important than standard ecological principles.


City size. Similarly, Jonassen (1949) presented the history of settlement and resettlement of Norwegian immigrants in the New York City area as evidence that ethnic groups consciously choose a specific type of residential environment based on the values that they share with them. bring with them as a kind of cultural baggage. (In this case, the ideal included the sea, a port, and mountains). Jonassen’s research is part of a body of research on the origins of environmental perceptions.

(see for example Lynch’s (1993) article on the making of nature in Latin America) but the main thrust of his argument was to denigrate economic deterrence.

The minimalism that characterized the conservative ecology of the time.

While cultural ecology, by itself, has never been dominant, it has forced more traditional human ecologists to take greater account of social, organizational and cultural variables. This O.D. was evident in Duncan’s 1961 POET model (Population-Organization-Environment Technology), which was depicted as an ‘ecological complex’ in which: (1) each element is interconnected with the other three, and (2) One can change. So they influence each other. The POET model was a pioneer in providing insight into the complex nature of ecological constraints, even though it failed to give sufficient importance to environmental constraints. For example, in a causal sequence suggested by Dunlap (1993: 722-3), an increase in population (P) can create pressures for technological change (T) as well as increased urbanization (0), leading to more construction may take place. pollution (e). Although it was still rooted in orthodox human ecology, Duncan’s POET model with its use of the human ecological complex at times ‘came close to an embryonic form of environmental sociology’ (Buttle and Humphrey 2002).

In all this, an important issue is whether the notion of an ‘ecosystem’ should be accepted at face value or merely treated as an analogy. It seems that Park and the Chicago School had the latter in mind, adopting the conceptual language of biological ecology as it was the scientific flavor of the day (see Chapter 3). However, other social scientists took the ecological metaphor more literally. For example, the noted economist Kenneth Boulding (1950: 6) claimed that he was using the concept of ecosystem in its proper sense, and not merely as [an analogy]. Society, he wrote, was ‘something like a great pond’ filled with ‘innumerable species’ of social life, organizations, homes, businesses and objects of all kinds’ (1950: 6).




competitive work environment

The ecological basis of environmental destruction is perhaps best described by Caton and Dunlap in their ‘Three Competing Tasks of the Environment’ (see Figure 1). This scheme is much less widely disseminated than his theory of the ‘dominant social paradigm’, even though it is more conceptually interesting than I think.

Catton and Dunlap’s model specifies three general functions that the environment serves for humans: supply depot, living space, and waste repository. Used as a supply depot, the environment is a source of renewable and non-renewable natural resources (air, water, forests, fossil fuels) that are essential for life. Overuse of these resources results in



lack or lack The living space or habitat provides housing, transportation systems, and other essentials of daily life. Overuse of this function results in overcrowding, overcrowding, and destruction of other species’ habitats. Along with a waste storage function, the environment serves as a ‘sink’ for waste (garbage), sewage, industrial pollution and other products. Toxic wastes and ecosystem disruption lead to health problems by exceeding the capacity of the ecosystem to absorb the wastes.

Furthermore, each of these functions competes for space, often superimposing on the others, for example placing a garbage landfill in a rural location near a city makes both that site unsuitable as a place to live and land. destroys its ability to function. Supply depot for food. Similarly, urban sprawl reduces the amount of arable land that can be put into production while intensive harvesting threatens the habitat of indigenous peoples.



In recent years, the overlap and hence the conflict between these three competing functions of the environment has increased considerably. New problems such as global warming are said to arise from competition between all three functions at once. Furthermore, conflicts between functions at the level of regional ecosystems now have implications for the global environment.

The competing works of Caton and Dunlap’s environmental model have several very attractive features. First and foremost, it moves human ecology from a specialized concern with living space—the central focus of urban ecology—to environmentally relevant functions of supply and waste disposal. Furthermore, there is a time dimension involved: the absolute size of these works and the area of overlap are said to have increased since the year 1900.

At the same time, there are problems with the model as well. As is the case with the urban ecology of the park and the Chicago School, there is no evidence of human hands here. It says nothing about the social functions involved in these operations and how they are implicated in the overuse and misuse of environmental resources. Above all, there is no provision for changing values or power relations.

That former is particularly puzzling, as one would have thought that Caton and Dunlap had tried to link their ecological model to the new human ecology.

As emphasized in the HEP/NEP contrast. Finally, the longitudinal characteristics of the Catton–Dunlap model can be compared to Bex’s (1992) depiction of the transition from an industrial to an industrial risk society. Both models recognize some common features: increasing globalization of environmental threats, increasing prominence of output- or waste-related elements as opposed to input- or production-related elements. However, Beck’s model is ultimately more exciting because it centralizes the process of social definition. Beck’s (1992: 24-) criticism of environmental risk assessment, ie ‘it runs the risk of degenerating into a discussion of nature without people, without asking about matters of social and cultural importance’, equally Catton and Dunlap applies for. Competitive work of the environment.




  The ‘social-environmental dialectic’ and the ‘formula of production’

Within environmental sociology, perhaps the most intuitive explanation of the relationship between capitalism, the state, and the environment can be found in Alan Schneeberg’s book, The Environment: From Surplus to Scarcity (1980). drawing on strands


In both Marxist political economy and neo-Weberian sociology, Schnaiberg outlines the nature and origins of the paradoxical relationship between economic expansion and environmental disruption.

Schnaiberg depicts the political economy of environmental problems and policies as being organized within the structure of modern industrial society, which he names the Treadmill of Production. It refers to an economic system’s inherent need to continually generate profit by creating consumer demand for new products, even where this means expanding the ecosystem to the point where it is beyond the physical limits of development or its’ carrying capacity’. , A particularly important tool in meeting this demand is advertising, which persuades people to buy new products for reasons of lifestyle improvement as well as for practical considerations.

Sahniberg characterizes the production treadmill as a complex self-reinforcing mechanism whereby politicians respond to the environmental degradation created by capital-intensive economic growth by pursuing policies that encourage it. For example, resource depletion is not handled by reducing consumption or adopting a more modest lifestyle, but by opening up new areas for exploitation.

Schnaiberg traces a dialectical tension that arises as a result of the relationship between the treadmill of production and the demands of environmental protection in advanced industrial societies. He describes it as a conflict between ‘use values’; For example, the ‘value of preserving existing unique species of plants and animals,’ and the ‘exchange value’ that characterizes the industrial use of natural resources. As environmental protection has emerged as an important item on the policy agenda of governments, the state must increasingly balance its role as a facilitator of capital accumulation and economic growth and its role as an environmental regulator and champion.

From time to time, the state finds it necessary to engage in limited amounts of environmental intervention to prevent it from exploiting natural resources with abandon and to increase its legitimacy with the public. For example, in the Progressive era of American politics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the US government responded to uncontrolled logging, mining, and hunting on wilderness lands by expanding its jurisdiction over the environment. Particularly under the chairmanship of Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt, it created national forests, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries, setting boundaries and rules for them.


Restricting the use of public lands and hunting of endangered species. However, it did so out of a desire to increase industrial efficiency (Hayes 1959), regulate competition, and ensure a stable supply of resources (Modai 1991) as much as out of any sense of moral outrage. Similarly, the sudden emergence of toxic waste as a major media issue in the early 1980s spurred Congressional efforts in the United States to pass a new ‘Superfund’ law, giving the government statutory authority and fiscal control. Will give the mechanism to carry out the clean-up operation, having first to identify the legally responsible parties. It was, Szasz (1994: 65) notes, not only a case of lawmakers addressing a newly recognized social need, but instead ‘one of those quintessential “time to make a new law” moments that characteristic of the American legislative process. Nevertheless, most governments are wary of the risk of slowing the drive towards economic expansion or running down the treadmill of production (Noveck and Kampen 1992). caught in a paradoxical situation

As both promoters of economic growth and environmental regulators, governments often engage in a process of ‘environmental managerialism’ (Radclift 1986), in which they attempt to legislate a limited degree of protection sufficient to deflect criticism But not significant enough to derail the engine. of development. By implementing environmental policies and procedures that are complex,

obscure and open to exploitation by the forces of capital production and accumulation (Modavi 1991: 270) The state reaffirms its commitment to strategies to promote economic development.

Other more hardline left-wing critiques have been even more merciless in linking the dynamics of capitalist development to increased environmental destruction. David Harvey (1974), a Marxist geographer, accuses the capitalist supremo of intentionally creating a scarcity of resources in order to keep prices high. Faber and 0′ Connor (1993) allege that capital restructuring in the 1980s and 1990s, including geographic relocation, plant closures, and downsizing, aimed to increase the exploitation of both workers and nature; For example, by reducing spending on pollution control equipment. Cable and Cable refuse to rule out the possibility of an uprising in the United States if the complaints of grassroots environmental groups continue to be ignored by capitalist economic institutions (1995: 121). Schneeberg himself (2002: 33) complains that the central theories of the treadmill have not made their way into the environmental sociological literature in any significant way because they are too ‘radical’. That is, if the treadmill was indeed working as he describes, it could only be replaced by a major and


Continued political mobilization, something that would be fiercely opposed by politicians, government agencies, and corporate America.

Next, ‘The Treadmill of Production Group’2 addresses the application of the production treadmill in a Third World context. Ignoring the negative environmental effects of treadmills in less developed regions, leaders in the South, along with the governments and corporations of the North, have sought to reproduce industrialization according to the First World experience. The primary mechanism for achieving this is the transfer of modern Western industrial techniques from north to south (Schnaberg and Gould 1994: 167). However, as noted by Radclift (1984) et al., this transplant has been largely unsuccessful economically and environmentally. Dependence on global markets has made economic development a risky undertaking for many Third World countries, particularly where these markets can easily be destroyed by the appearance of new, lower-cost alternatives elsewhere in the world. Is. Furthermore, the development plans require expensive infrastructure of roads, hydroelectric dams, airports, etc., which must be paid for by borrowing heavily from northern financial institutions. Such projects often fail to produce the expected level of economic development, while at the same time causing massive ecological damage in the form of flooding, rainforest destruction, soil erosion and pollution.

The treadmill of production explanation has the advantage of locating current environmental problems in the disparities of human-made political and economic systems, rather than in the abstract conflict of actions favored by human ecologists. This brings it closer to the orbit of mainstream sociological theory than the more idiosyncratic approach propounded by Catton and Dunlap. At the same time, as Buttle (2004: 323) observes, the concept of treadmills is unique because it is based on sociological reasoning, but at the same time, features a significant or final dependent variable – environmental destruction that is bio-physical. . [n Buttle’s judgment, this makes it ‘the single most important sociological concept and theory to emerge within American environmental sociology’.





Ecological modernization theory




As Eckersley (2004: 74) warns, ecological modernization may be able to promote green development through technological innovation, but it ultimately risks being exposed as an ‘ideology free zone’. The more severe ecological problems persist, the more likely this is to happen.


By ecological modernization, there is an ecological switch of the industrialization process in a direction that takes into account the maintenance of the existing subsistence base (1992: 334). Cast in the spirit of the Brundtland Report, ecological modernisation, like sustainable development, ‘points to the possibility of overcoming the environmental crisis without abandoning the path of modernisation’. The model is based on the work of the German author, Huber (1982; 1985), who analyzes ecological modernization as a historical phase of modern society. In Huber’s scheme, an industrial society develops through three stages: (I) industrial success; (2) the construction of an industrial society; and (3) the ecological switchover of the industrial system through the process of ‘over-industrialisation’. What?



What makes this latter stage possible is a new technology: the invention and dissemination of microchip technology.

Ecological modernization rejects the ‘small is beautiful’ ideology inspired by Schumacher (1974), in favor of a large-scale restructuring of production-consumption cycles, which has to be facilitated by new, sophisticated, cleaner technologies (Spargren and Moll 1992a: 340). To be accomplished through use. In contrast to sustainable development, no effort has been made to address the problems of the less developed third world countries. Rather, the theory focuses on the economies of Western European countries, which are known to be developing microelectronics, gene processing, and technology.

chemical and manufacturing industries for older, ‘end-of-pipe’ technologies through replacement of technology and other ‘cleaner’ production processes.

In contrast to Schnaiberg’s ‘treadmill of production’ perspective, capitalist relations of production, acting as a treadmill in the ongoing process of economic development, are considered largely irrelevant (Spargren and Moll 1992: 340 1). .

According to Udo Simonis (1989), a German environmental policy analyst, the ecological modernization of industrial society consists of three main strategic elements: a far-reaching transformation of the economy in harmony with ecological principles, environmental policy towards a ‘prevention principle’ Reconfiguration of. (seeking a better balance between preventing pollution before it occurs and cleaning it up afterwards) and an ecological reorientation of environmental policy, particularly the statistical likelihood of ‘proving-beyond-doubt’ in legal suits against polluters by substituting Unfortunately, little is said about the social and political obstacles they are likely to face in trying to implement these strategies, especially in countries other than Germany and the Netherlands where the environment is a major priority.



  Ecological modernization


The ideologues of ecological modernization are to be commended for attempting to stake a reasoned position between ‘catastrophic’ environmentalists who preach that there is something to save the earth from an ecological Armageddon and capital apologists. No less will those who prefer a business-as-usual approach. (Sutton 2004: 146). Alas, the approach to ecological modernization is imbued with an unmistakable sense of technological optimism. 3 All that is needed, they suggest, is to move rapidly from the polluting industrial society of the past to the new super-I.

future industrial age. Still, the silicon chip


The revolution, which is the basis of this super-industrialization, is by no means as environmentally neutral as the theory of ecological modernization suggests (see Mahon 1985). Furthermore, it is worth remembering that nuclear power was also promoted as a ‘clean’ technology until its more undesirable characteristics were discovered.

As a sociological explanation, ecological modernization theory is as prescriptive as it is analytical. For example, Spargren and Moll initially had little to say about the power relations that characterize environmental processes, believing that somehow good feeling should automatically win out. Nevertheless, as Gold Al Al. (1993: 231) have argued, sustainability, the guiding concept behind ecological modernisation, has a political economic dimension as an ecological one: that which can be maintained is only acceptable to political and social forces in a particular historical alignment. defines as Its recognition is far more evident in Beck’s concept of a risk-distributive society than in ecological modernization, which Moll and Spargren see as imminent.

More recently, Moll and Spargren have offered a revisionist version of ecological modernization theory. The debate of the early 1980s, he warns, ‘should be understood as an overreaction directed at the dominant schools of thought and environmental debates in environmental sociology in the late 1970s and early 1980s’ (2000: 18-19). In particular, ecological modernization theory, they assert, was originally intended to challenge the notion put forward by both neo-Marxists and counter-productivity thinkers such as Rudolf Bahro and Barry Commoner that the modernization project was on the brink of its death. ; The widespread environmental and ecological degradation of the time was the first evidence of this; and that things can only be saved by recognizing the basic institutions of modern society at their core.

Today, Mol and Spargaren claim, these early debates have become less relevant. Significantly, capitalism itself has developed in a green direction. For example, market-based instruments such as tradable pollution credits have displaced previous strategies that emphasized heavy-handed state regulation and enforcement. In addition, ecological modernization theorists themselves have incorporated critical observations from earlier debates, improving and refining their analysis of social change. For example, they now claim to present a more nuanced position about capitalism, describing it ‘neither as a necessary precondition for a harsh and radical environment, nor as a major obstacle’.



reform’ (2000: 23).

While early debates were often waged alongside neo-Marxists, Mol and Spargren now believe they are forming with them a ‘new theoretical alliance’ (2000: 25) against their common enemies – postmodernists and social constructionists. Political economists and ecological modernists, they argue, converge and agree in their criticism against strong social constructionism and their view that environmental problems have a ‘real’ existence. Both can be considered branches of the modernist project, postmodern answers to environmental problems and solutions.

taking a firm stand against C analyzes (Moll and Spargren 2002: 35).

Mol and Spargren say they are irritated that old positions and criticisms from the 1970s and 1980s keep resurfacing with some regularity. For example, proponents of the new environmental paradigm constantly threaten to go overboard to replace sociology’s earlier disregard for nature with ‘current biology or some form of ecotourism’ (2002: 27). Even more problematic are those postmodern writers, notably Bluhdorn (2000), who portray the ecological crisis as just another ‘grand narrative’ to be dismantled; and ecological rationality as ‘nothing more than power, politics and big money’. The same fierce tension is evident in the views of ‘hard’ or ‘hard’ social constructionists. Even Maarten Heger (1995), in whose case The history of ecological modernization as it unfolds in the politics of acid rain has been widely praised, is clearly regarded as suspect to the extent that it seems is that ‘it seems that he is taking a position that is not too far-fetched. far from where postmodernism would feel comfortable’ (2002: 30). Finally, radical eco-centrists are dismissed because they criticize ecological modernism for advocating a weak form of environmentalism that believes the Earth’s crisis must be solved through behavior, laws, government policies, corporate behavior and May be solved rather than modified by personal lifestyle. fundamental structural changes. Being in the camp of radical ecologists, he warns, ‘about being pessimistic by nature’ (2002: 33).

Despite their apparent reconciliation with the Schneeberg school of political economy, Moll and Spargren still hold their belief

‘Responsible Capitalism’ and the primacy of the market. For example, in his empirical research into the ecological modernization of production in the Dutch chemical industry, Mol was clearly a notorious polluter in the past.



(1997) gets nothing but good news. Responding to consumer pressure, Dutch chemical companies have introduced green measures, from the introduction of new technologies (low organic solvent paint) to new corporate tools such as annual environmental reports, environmental audits and environmental certification systems. Together, he says, this represents ‘a process of radical modernisation’ that led in the 1970s and 1980s to eliminate chemical production or even to shift to ‘soft chemistry’ (such as ‘natural paint’). Any misguided style demands have been reduced to those that have failed. capture more than one percent of the market in European countries). Moll concludes that the institutions of modernity are by no means disappearing; No major movement away from a ‘chemical’ lifestyle can be identified and it can be inferred from Beck’s risk society thesis that faith in the scientific foundations of the chemical industry is more or less absent.


Contributors to the treadmill of production perspective, however, are far less enamored of the ecological modernization theory in contrast. In a 2002 collection of articles entitled The Environmental Slate Under Pressure, Schneeberg and his colleagues deny that the best hope for solving environmental problems is the adoption of new technologies. In the US at least, environmental policy-making continues to be written within an economic framework and the green movement has failed to become a major political force. This is evident, they argue, in industry pilferage and the weakening of recycling controls, and in the failure of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development during the Clinton Administration (1993 to 1999). Such cases fundamentally challenge the core tenets of ecological modernization theory.

Why do treadmill analysts differ so widely from ecological modernists? Schnaiberg suggests, rather diplomatically, that it has to do with differences in sampling approaches. Namely, ecological modernization (EM) theorists examine ‘cutting edge’ corporate innovations or ‘best practice’ industries and believe that these changes will eventually become widespread. Treadmill theorists are skeptical, noting that the EM breakthroughs announced by Moll and his colleagues may represent the ‘creaming’ of a program of ecological incorporation into production practices (Schnaberg et al. 2002: 29). In short, EM theorists are called naive to claim that green production practices are a powerful ‘third force’ and part of a trajectory in a sector such as the Dutch chemical industry.



Toward a future characterized by sustainability. Rather, firms undertaking ecological improvements do so either under direct pressure from state regulation or social movement action. Alternatively, these corrections are not genuine, having been achieved only through ‘creative accounting’ or misreporting (p. 29).

To be fair, ecological modernization theory has become ‘an important lens through which to view the changing economy-ecology relations of industrial societies’ (Desfour and Keel 2004: 55). this policy-making area

Especially true for where it has been widely adopted. Nevertheless, as Davidson and Frickel point out:

For every empirical study supporting the potential of ecological modernization, there are now many empirical analyzes that sound a number of warnings about the tendency for industry actors to undergo their own ‘greening’ process, especially as we move away from advanced countries. Let’s go ahead. of Western Europe.

(2004: 477)



Continuous development


  The term development refers to social and economic development within countries and at the international level. Since the late 60s it has been increasingly recognized that global growth is uneven and thus threatens the livelihoods and lives of a large proportion of the world’s population. Many development issues are in the news, from the effects of globalisation, world trade agreements, food and malnutrition to people becoming refugees, health and disease, and the need for fair trade. In different ways, these issues also affect our community now and will continue to do so in the future.


Development is about improving the well-being of the people. Raising the standard of living and improving education, health and equality of opportunity are all essential components of economic development. Prior to the late twentieth century, imperial and colonial power structures dominated the world and made little provision for economic and social advancement in what we now call the developing world.

Colonial territories primarily supplied imperial powers with raw materials and cheap labor, including slave labor, until the mid-nineteenth century. Within the wealthy countries of Europe, North America, and Japan, economic growth was undoubtedly central to the generally accepted goals of progress and modernization, but there was relatively little concern for issues of equality and social justice. By the end of World War II, perceptions and policy had changed drastically and for the majority economic and social reform had become a major preoccupation of governments, and with the breakdown of colonial power relations this goal spread to the world’s poorer countries Was. , Economic development, with its social and institutional linkages, came to occupy an essential place in theory and policy, as well as in the Cold War contest between capitalism and communism.



  environment and development

During the 1970s, as the environmental movement began to take hold, various ideological differences emerged over how people analyzed the nature of the problem, its causes, its likely consequences, and the actions needed to solve it. Two examples of different environmental ideologies are “anthropocentrism” and “ecocentrism”. An anthropocentrism sees people as separate from nature and nature


resources used for human benefit. They are of the view that all human activities should be in the primary interests of humans to achieve the desired objectives and goals of society, whether or not certain characteristics of the environment are left intact or disturbed. Ecocentrism is an environmental psychology that views human activities in terms of ecological components, their relative effects, and their implications for balance. Thus they are reformist in their aims, believing that environmental problems can be solved without deep change through a combination of new technology, legislation and public awareness. An ecological worldview is nature-centered and argues that humans are one of the elements in the web of life and that protection of the biosphere is more important than individual human needs, especially if they harm the environment.

People’s perception of development issues is deeply influenced by the western political ideology of neo-liberalism (Harvey, 2005). In it, the world views the rights of the individual and the attainment of human happiness as the supreme goal, based on the assumption that the individual is essentially rational and knows his or her own best interests. Although reinterpreted over time, peace, freedom, development and the environment remained the major issues and aspirations.

The main objective of development is the satisfaction of human needs and aspirations. It is about improving the well-being of the people. The basic needs of a large number of people in developing countries – food, clothing, shelter, jobs – are not being met, and beyond their basic needs, these people have legitimate aspirations for a better quality of life. A world in which poverty and inequality are endemic will always be prone to ecological and other crises. The world may be more prosperous in terms of income and production in the times to come, but we have some questions to ponder, will the environment be worse? Will future generations be worse off as a result of environmental degradation?

In the 1970s and 1980s, world commissions were created to study such international concerns. The World Commission on Environment and Development was initiated by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1982, and its report, Our Common Future, was published in 1987, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, then Prime Minister of Norway, thus the name Earned the “Bruntland Commission.” It has its roots in 1972

Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment-where the conflict between environment and Evolution was accepted for the first time—and the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Also the World Conservation Strategy of the 1980s, which argued for conservation as a means to aid development, and in particular for the sustainable development and use of species, ecosystems and resources. Later in 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro (the so-called “Earth Summit”) issued a Declaration of Principles, a detailed Agenda 21 of desired actions, international agreements on climate change and biodiversity, and Statement of Principles on Forests. Ten years later, in 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, the commitment to sustainable development was reaffirmed.


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