Global Socio-Economic Perspectives
Global Socio-Economic Perspectives, specifically conceived and executed as an e-book with an array of online resources and simulations, examines historical forces behind current social, political, economic, and environmental conditions, and seeks solutions for achieving a just and sustainable world. Focus on issues of globalization, economic and social justice, and sustainability contextualizes opportunities and challenges presented by globalization, as well as winners and losers in different regions. Go here for the opening paragraphs.
Michael Maniates and John M. Meyer, editors
MIT Press, 2010
The idea of sacrifice is the unspoken issue of environmental politics. Politicians, the media, and many environmentalists assume that well-off populations won’t make sacrifices now for future environmental benefits and won’t change their patterns and perceptions of consumption to make ecological room for the world’s three billion or so poor eager to improve their standard of living. The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice challenges these assumptions, arguing that they limit our policy options, weaken our ability to imagine bold action for change, and blind us to the ways sacrifice already figures in everyday life.
The concept of sacrifice has been curiously unexamined in both activist and academic conversations about environmental politics, and this book is the first to confront it directly. The chapters bring a variety of disciplinary perspectives to the topic. Contributors offer alternatives to the conventional wisdom on sacrifice; identify connections between sacrifice and human fulfillment in everyday life, finding such concrete examples as parents’ sacrifices in raising children, religious practice, artists’ pursuit of their art, and soldiers and policemen who risk their lives to do their jobs; and examine particular policies and practices that shape our understanding of environmental problems, including the carbon tax, incentives for cyclists, and the perils of green consumption. The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice puts “sacrifice” firmly into the conversation about effective environmental politics and policies, insisting that activists and scholars do more than change the subject when the idea is introduced.
Contributors: Peter Cannavò, Shane Gunster, Cheryl Hall, Karen Litfin, Michael Maniates, John M. Meyer, Simon Nicholson, Anna Peterson, Thomas Princen, Sudhir Chella Rajan, Paul Wapner, Justin Williams
Thomas Princen, Michael Maniates, and Ken Conca, editors
MIT Press, 2002
Comforting terms such as “sustainable development” and “green production” frame environmental debate by stressing technology (not green enough), economic growth (not enough in the right places), and population (too large). Concern about consumption emerges, if at all, in benign ways; as calls for green purchasing or more recycling, or for small changes in production processes. Many academics, policymakers, and journalists, in fact, accept the economists’ view of consumption as nothing less than the purpose of the economy. Yet many people have a troubled, intuitive understanding that tinkering at the margins of production and purchasing will not put society on an ecologically and socially sustainable path.
Confronting Consumption places consumption at the center of debate by conceptualizing “the consumption problem” and documenting diverse efforts to confront it. In Part 1, the book frames consumption as a problem of political and ecological economy, emphasizing core concepts of individualization and commoditization. Part 2 develops the idea of distancing and examines transnational chains of consumption in the context of economic globalization. Part 3 describes citizen action through local currencies, home power, voluntary simplicity, “ad-busting,” and product certification. Together, the chapters propose “cautious consuming” and “better producing” as an activist and policy response to environmental problems. The book concludes that confronting consumption must become a driving focus of contemporary environmental scholarship and activism.
Michael Maniates, editor
Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
Recognizing that many undergraduate courses on global environmental ills, though well intentioned, erode students’ sense of the possible, this collection of essays (all by teacher-scholars in the field) draws students and teachers of global environmental politics into classroom conversation about the overwhelming nature of global environmental threats, the tenuous and sometimes counterproductive links between knowledge and power, and ways of acting powerfully in the world in service of ‘sustainability.’
Foreword by Frances Moore Lappé
Contributors: Matthew Auer, William Ayers, Ken Conca, Geoffrey Dabelko, Barbara Welling Hall, Monty Hempel, Michael Maniates, Richard Matthew, Tom Princen, Nancy Quirk, Karl Steyaert, Peter Taylor, Paul Wapner, and Howard Warshawsky