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Green States and Social MovementsEnvironmentalism in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway$
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John S. Dryzek, David Downes, Christian Hunold, David Schlosberg, and Hans-Kristian Hernes

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199249024.001.0001

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Ecological Modernization, Risk Society, and the Green State

Ecological Modernization, Risk Society, and the Green State

Chapter:
(p.164) 7 Ecological Modernization, Risk Society, and the Green State
Source:
Green States and Social Movements
Author(s):

John S. Dryzek (Contributor Webpage)

David Downes

Christian Hunold (Contributor Webpage)

David Schlosberg (Contributor Webpage)

Hans‐Kristian Hernes (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199249024.003.0007

Ecological modernization now suggests that environmental values can be attached to the state's core economic imperative, while Ulrich Beck's risk society thesis suggests an environmental attachment to the state's core legitimation imperative. These developments could add up to a conservation imperative of the state—the green state—though no state is yet close to this situation. Norway has entrenched ecological modernization in a moderate weak form. Germany is closest to a strong form of ecological modernization that, in combination with risk‐induced legitimation crisis, points the way to a more reflexive and democratic political economy. The US has the sort of movement that could facilitate such a transformation—but its state has moved in exactly the opposite direction, casting economic and environmental values in old‐fashioned conflictual terms. Even the UK at long last appears to be capable of taking on board some of the key precepts of ecological modernization and democratization.

Keywords:   conservation imperative, democracy, democratization, ecological modernization, economic imperative, environmental values, green state, legitimation crisis, legitimation imperative, risk society

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