Precautionary Politics

Author: Kerry H. Whiteside
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026226515X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The precautionary principle--which holds that action to address threats of serious or irreversible environmental harm should be taken even in the absence of scientific certainty--has been accepted as a key feature of environmental law throughout the European Union. In the United States, however, it is still widely unknown, and much of what has been written on the topic takes a negative view. Precautionary Politics provides a comprehensive analysis of the precautionary principle--its origins and development, its meaning and rationale, its theoretical context, and its policy implications. Kerry Whiteside looks at the application of the principle (and the controversies it has stirred) and compares European and American attitudes toward it and toward environmental regulation in general.Too often, Whiteside argues, American critics of the precautionary principle pay insufficient attention to how the principle has been debated, refined, and elaborated elsewhere. Precautionary Politics fills this gap. Whiteside demonstrates the different responses of Europe and the United States, first by describing the controversy over genetically modified crops, and then by using this example throughout the book to illustrate application of the precautionary principle in different contexts. He contrasts the European view that new types of risk require specially adapted modes of regulation with the American method of science-based risk assessment, and argues that despite Bush administration opposition, U.S.-European convergence on precaution is possible. Finally, he looks at the ways in which participatory innovation can help produce environmentally positive results. Whiteside's systematic defense of the precautionary principle will be an important resource for students, scholars, activists, and policymakers and is particularly suitable for classroom use.

The Global Cities

Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262338874
Format: PDF, Docs
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Over the past four decades, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and key urban regions of China have emerged as global cities -- in financial, political, cultural, environmental, and demographic terms. In this book, Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng trace the global emergence of these urban areas and compare their responses to a set of six urban environmental issues. These cities have different patterns of development: Los Angeles has been the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl; Hong Kong is dense and vertical; China's new megacities in the Pearl River Delta, created by an explosion in industrial development and a vast migration from rural to urban areas, combine the vertical and the horizontal. All three have experienced major environmental changes in a relatively short period of time. Gottlieb and Ng document how each has dealt with challenges posed by ports and the movement of goods, air pollution (Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and urban China are all notorious for their hazardous air quality), water supply (all three places are dependent on massive transfers of water) and water quality, the food system (from seed to table), transportation, and public and private space. Finally they discuss the possibility of change brought about by policy initiatives and social movements.

The Making of Grand Paris

Author: Theresa Enright
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262034697
Format: PDF
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In 2007 the French government announced the "Grand Paris" initiative. This ambitious project reimagined the Paris region as integrated, balanced, global, sustainable, and prosperous. Metropolitan solidarity would unite divided populations; a new transportation system, the Grand Paris Express, would connect the affluent city proper with the low-income suburbs; streamlined institutions would replace fragmented governance structures. Grand Paris is more than a redevelopment plan; it is a new paradigm for urbanism. In this first English-language examination of Grand Paris, Theresa Enright offers a critical analysis of the early stages of the project, considering whether it can achieve its twin goals of economic competitiveness and equality. Enright argues that by orienting the city around growth and marketization, Grand Paris reproduces the social and spatial hierarchies it sets out to address. For example, large expenditures for the Grand Paris Express are made not for the public good but to increase the attractiveness of the region to private investors, setting off a real estate boom, encouraging gentrification, and leaving many residents still unable to get from here to there. Enright describes Grand Paris as an example of what she calls "grand urbanism," large-scale planning that relies on infrastructural megaprojects to reconfigure urban regions in pursuit of speculative redevelopment. Democracy and equality suffer under processes of grand urbanism. Given the logic of commodification on which Grand Paris is based, these are likely to suffer as the project moves forward.

Transit Life

Author: David Bissell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262345153
Format: PDF, Docs
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We spend much of our lives in transit to and from work. Although we might dismiss our daily commute as a wearying slog, we rarely stop to think about the significance of these daily journeys. In Transit Life, David Bissell explores how everyday life in cities is increasingly defined by commuting. Examining the overlooked events and encounters of the commute, Bissell shows that the material experiences of our daily journeys are transforming life in our cities. The commute is a time where some of the most pressing tensions of contemporary life play out, striking at the heart of such issues as our work-life balance; our relationships with others; our sense of place; and our understanding of who we are. Drawing on in-depth fieldwork with commuters, journalists, transit advocates, policymakers, and others in Sydney, Australia, Transit Life takes a holistic perspective to change how we think about commuting. Rather than arguing that transport infrastructure investment alone can solve our commuting problems, Bissell explores the more subtle but powerful forms of social change that commuting creates. He examines the complex politics of urban mobility through multiple dimensions, including the competencies that commuters develop over time; commuting dispositions and the social life of the commute; the multiple temporalities of commuting; the experience of commuting spaces, from footpath to on-ramp, both physical and digital; the voices of commuting, from private rants to drive-time radio; and the interplay of materialities, ideas, advocates, and organizations in commuting infrastructures.

Chemicals Without Harm

Author: Ken Geiser
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262512068
Format: PDF, ePub
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A proposal for a new chemicals strategy: that we work to develop safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals rather than focusing exclusively on controlling them.

Environmental Policy and Politics

Author: MR Michael E Kraft
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 131543704X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Covering global threats such as climate change, population growth, and loss of biodiversity, as well as national, state, and local problems of environmental pollution, energy use, and natural resource use and conservation, Environmental Policy and Politics provides a comprehensive overview of U.S. policymaking processes, the legislative and administrative settings for policy decisions, the role of interest groups and public opinion in environmental politics, and the public policies that result. It helps readers understand modern environmental policy and its implications, including the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to problem-solving. New to the Seventh Edition Each chapter includes the latest information about environmental challenges and governmental responses to them, with extensive citation of sources and websites that allow students to find the most recent studies and reports. Each chapter covers key political and policy decisions through early 2017, including presidential appointments, budgetary decisions, major legislative initiatives, and congressional actions. Each chapter introduction includes new statements about learning objectives to facilitate student understanding of key concepts and their applications, arguments advanced over environmental challenges and policies, and the goals and methods of environmental policy analysis. Chapters compare decisions about major environmental, energy, and natural resource policies among the presidential administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, to the extent possible. Each chapter's case studies have been changed or updated to include the latest developments and examples that should improve their appeal to students. These include controversies over the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, the EPA's Clean Power Plan and new fuel economy standards, new policies on toxic chemicals, the role of environmental and energy policies in the 2016 elections, changes in the nation's reliance on energy resources, standards for evaluating environmental and resource policies, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Summaries of scientific studies, government reports, and policy analyses have been updated throughout the text to reflect the most current research and information in the field. All chapters include revised discussion questions and new suggested readings. The writing and flow of material have been improved throughout to make the chapters more accessible and useful to students.

The Price of Precaution and the Ethics of Risk

Author: Christian Munthe
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400713307
Format: PDF, ePub
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Christian Munthe undertakes an innovative, in-depth philosophical analysis of what the idea of a precautionary principle is and should be about. A novel theory of the ethics of imposing risks is developed and used as a foundation for defending the idea of precaution in environmental and technological policy making against its critics, while at the same time avoiding a number of identified flaws. The theory is shown to have far-reaching practical conclusions for areas such as bio-, information- and nuclear technology, and global environmental policy in areas such as climate change. The author argues that, while the price we pay for precaution must not be too high, we have to be prepared to pay it in order to act ethically defensible. A number of practical suggestions for precautionary regulation and policy making are made on the basis of this, and some challenges to basic ethical theory as well as consumerist societies, the global political order and liberal democracy are identified. Munthe’s book is a well-argued contribution to the PP debate, putting neglected justificatory and methodological questions at the forefront. His many discussions of alternative accounts as well as his drawing out the consequences of his own suggestion in practical cases give the reader a thorough, holistic sense of what justification of PP amounts to. /..../ Munthe’s main case, his argumentation for the requirement of precaution as a moral norm, is convincing and puts a strong pressure on too narrow alternative suggestions on how it should be perceived and justified, and he launches a plausible defence of its practical usability.

Merleau Ponty and the Foundation of Existential Politics

Author: Kerry H. Whiteside
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400859735
Format: PDF
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Drawing on previously unexplored sources, Kerry H. Whiteside presents the political theory of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), one of France's best-known twentieth-century philosophers. Whiteside argues that Merleau-Ponty's objective in his political writings was to make existentialism into the foundation for a philosophically consistent mode of political thinking. This study discusses the inadequacies Merleau-Ponty found in the traditional philosophies of empiricism and idealism, and then examines the subject-object dualism that he believed deprived previous forms of existentialism of political significance. Whiteside shows how Merleau-Ponty overcame these problems by grounding political reasoning in a theory of consciousness that emphasized both its individuality and its need for socially created meaning. After explaining Merleau-Ponty's modifications of the views of Sartre, Aron, and others, the book investigates how he applied his political theory in editorial exchanges with Communists and liberals. Throughout this study, Whiteside traces and criticizes the changes in the philosopher's concept of Marxism and points to his many ideas that bear on current controversies in political theory. Originally published in 1988. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.