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Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe$
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Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.001.0001

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The Environment, Socioeconomic Transformation, and Political Change in the New Southern Europe

The Environment, Socioeconomic Transformation, and Political Change in the New Southern Europe

Chapter:
(p.263) 7 The Environment, Socioeconomic Transformation, and Political Change in the New Southern Europe
Source:
Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe
Author(s):

Geoffrey Pridham

José Magone

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.003.0007

In Southern Europe the environment as a policy sector has evolved along four dimensions, namely, regime change, economic development and social change, cultural patterns and public awareness, and international pressures. Compared to Northern European countries, the four countries of Southern Europe have made environmental policy a priority only very recently. Across the four countries, in the long run the priority on economic growth has brought about environmental damage. Democratization has favored environmentalism, through constitutional recognition of environmental issues, new policy structures, and the emergence of environmentalist groups, but environmental concerns have not flourished to a large extent. However, Italy is more advanced than the rest of South European countries in growth of environmental awareness. The chapter analyzes four themes: the responsiveness of the democratic regimes to environmental problems, policy priorities, and the handling of environmental issues; the contribution of public concern regarding the environment to the legitimacy of new regimes; and the relationship between environmental policy and international factors.

Keywords:   diachronic approach, environmental policy, policy priorities, ecological modernization, public awareness, international pressures, environmental damage

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