The Politics of Environmental Discourse: Ecological Modernization and the Policy Process

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This path-breaking study open the way for a better understanding of the environmental conflict, showing how language can be seen to shape our view of what environmental politics is really about and how those perceptions can differ between countries. The book identifies the emergence and increasing political importance of 'ecological modernization' as a new concept in the language of environmental politics. This concept, which has come to replace the antagonistic debates of the 1970s, stresses the opportunities of environmental policy for modernizing the economy and stimulating the technological innovation. Combining abstract social theory with detailed empirical analysis, the author illustrates the social and political dynamics of ecological modernization in a detailed analysis of the acid rain controversies in Great Britain and the Netherlands. The book concludes by reflecting on the institutional challenge of the environmental politics in the years to come.