Ecological modernization theory

A Break Down of Walmart s
Oral Presentation

Florence RUDOLF , Insa de Strasbourg, Insa de Strasbourg, France, Strasbourg, France

The evaluation of the ecological modernization, invented in the 80’s to answer to the ecological crisis, exemplifies some questions brought up by different sociological programmes as for example the difficulty to build an ecological policy (Boltanski and Thvenot, 1991). For these authors, the production of social life depends on the ability to rest on justifications, which are embedded in established constitutions. These policies, inherited from political essays, designated as cit, draw a portray of modernity that has a lot in common with the theory of rationalisation of Weber or with the second order programmes in the system’s theory of Luhmann. The increase of ecological claims during the last twenty or thirty years has applied pressure over this typical modern structuration. Therefore, the evaluation of the responses, which were invented to face this challenge, is very relevant for the general theories of society. Following this proposition, we study the ecological modernization as it has been conceived in the 80’s and as it is observed nowadays, on the base of the feedback from the countries that have tried this program. The ecological modernization is built on a new alliance between economy and ecology and on a new conception of public policy. This program shows some limits as for example maintaining the illusion of a consensus on the ecological crisis. This observation, reformulated in sociological vocabulary, highlights the problem of the functional structuration of society. As long as ecology has to be translated into different subsystems, like the economical system, it is constrained to operate through these frames and codifications. Confronted to this frustrating result, we would love to kick off the discussion: “Should ‘we’ work actively for a ecological cit or should ‘we’ push forward the systemic translations of ecology? And how should ‘we’ proceed?”


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