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Publication: Political Dimensions of Environmental Citizenship

Ralph Levinson, Demetra Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, Bjorn Bedsted, Boris Manov, and Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis

Abstract:

Conceptions of Environmental Citizenship are core to models of sustainability. Such contested conceptions raise historically significant questions associated with the rights of the individual and the responsibility of the community to the environment. Attitudes towards sustainability beg questions of models of citizenship ranging from compliance through democratic deliberation to active dissent. Philosophical problems also intersect with Environmental Citizenship. Ecocentrism prioritises a systemic holistic view of Nature in which the human species has no privileged role. Anthropocentrism in its more liberal aspect has an instrumental view of Nature underpinned by beneficence. These divergent ideologies also presuppose metaphysical and ontological questions about the relationship between Mind and Nature, hence fundamental implications for education and citizenship more broadly. There are, of course, intermediate positions. This raises three driving questions:

  1. What are the main philosophical and political positions associated with Environmental Citizenship?
  2. What are the justifications underpinning particular approaches to Environmental Citizenship?
  3. Can we map the main components of Environmental Citizenship to create a coherent European and Global approach to inquiry?

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