ERIC Number: EJ683448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Postindustrialization and Environmental Quality: An Empirical Analysis of the Environmental State
Fisher, Dana R.; Freudenburg, William R.
Social Forces, v83 n1 p157-188 Sep 2004
Existing sociological analyses express differing expectations about state control over economic actors and the political feasibility of environmental regulation. Recent literature on the environmental state sees environmental protection as becoming a basic responsibility of postindustrial states, with economic actors no longer having the autonomy they once enjoyed. In contrast, much of the work in environmental sociology expects commitments to environmental state responsibilities to be largely symbolic. Scholars working from this perspective tend to see environmental damage as proportionate to economic prosperity. To assess the differing expectations, we analyze actual environmental performance among the most prosperous nation-states focusing on national-level emissions of carbon dioxide. The strongest predictors of emissions are found to be measures of ecological efficiency, which tend to be associated with potentially less symbolic policy decisions. For the future, there is a need to move beyond broad assertions, devoting greater attention to the conditions under which states are more or less likely to impose constraints on economic actors.
Descriptors: Environmental Education, Conservation (Environment), Economic Development, Public Policy, Foreign Countries, Ecology, Fuel Consumption
University of North Carolina Press, 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 919-966-3561; Fax: 919-966-3829.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A