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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

We Have Never Been Liberal: The Environmentalist Turn To Liberalism And The Possibilities For Social Criticism Apr 2011

We Have Never Been Liberal: The Environmentalist Turn To Liberalism And The Possibilities For Social Criticism

John Meyer

The shifting relationship between environmental political theorists and liberalism is examined, moving from a total critique to an increasingly nuanced engagement. The argument here is neither for nor against the possibility of ‘greening' liberalism per se. Instead, it is argued that the preoccupation with ‘liberalism' in this context is a category mistake based upon the reification of liberalism as not just a political philosophy, but a characterisation of citizen values and practices in contemporary liberal democratic societies. A different way of thinking about the role and task of environmental political theory and social criticism is proposed. The key is to ...


The Concept Of Private Property And The Limits Of The Environmental Imagination Jan 2009

The Concept Of Private Property And The Limits Of The Environmental Imagination

John Meyer

An absolutist concept of property has the power to shape and constrain the public imagination. Libertarian theorists normatively embrace this concept. Yet its influence extends far beyond these proponents, shaping the views of an otherwise diverse array of theorists and activists. This limits the ability of environmentalists, among others, to respond coherently to challenges from property rights advocates in the U.S. I sketch an alternative concept—rooted in practice—that understands private property as necessarily embedded in social and ecological relations, rather than constrained by these relations. I argue that this concept can prefigure a more robust environmentalism.