Introduction: The Environmental Challenge to Pluralism

David Schlosberg

in Environmental Justice and the New Pluralism

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256419
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600203 | DOI:
Introduction: The Environmental Challenge to Pluralism

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The main issues addressed in the book are introduced, starting with discussion of the great diversity in the environmental movement, and making the point that the major groups of the movement in the United States, in taking on the role of interest groups in the liberal pluralist model, have excluded and marginalized many positions. The study to be made is described as focusing on two key concerns: how to acknowledge and recognize, rather than deny, diversity in environmentalism; and how to organize that diversity politically in a manner more inclusive than the liberal, or mainstream, environmental model. Different sections of the chapter discuss: the problems with conventional (liberal) pluralism; the democratic potential of the recognition by grassroots environmentalism of different experiences of the same event; the notion of justice embodied in the environmental justice movement – distributional equity (which can be achieved through procedural equity), recognition of the diversity of participants and experiences, and political participation (the demand for more public participation in the development, implementation, and oversight of environmental policy); and pluralism in theory and practice. The final section of the chapter provides a preview and plan of the book.

Keywords: distributional equity; diversity; environmental justice; environmental movement; environmental policy; environmentalism; equity; exclusion; grassroots environmentalism; interest groups; justice; liberal pluralism; pluralism; political participation; procedural equity; public participation; United States

Chapter.  6300 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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