Globalisation, Environmental Degradation and Ulrich Beck's Risk Society

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Abstract:

This paper is organised in three interconnected parts. First, contemporary political economic approaches to understanding the structure of the global economic system are outlined and synthesised. Specifically, it is suggested that the current structural configuration of the globe is a transitional phase between the spatially-bounded configuration hypothesised by world-system theory and the configuration hypothesised by globalisation theorists. Second, the contemporary problem of environmental degradation is situated in a global structural context. Third, an outline and critique of Ulrich Beck's theory of the 'Risk Society' is presented to illustrate the increasing inadequacy of nation-state-centric theories in explaining the dynamic linkage between global capitalism and local environmental degradation.

Keywords: environmental degradation; globalisation; nation-state; world system

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327199129341824

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2013) of 1.739.
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