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Deconstructing risk society.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2002
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Journal number4
Volume11
Number of pages21
Pages42-62
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Ulrich Beck's writings about risk and ecopolitics have been heralded as one of the most perceptive responses to the 'chaos' and 'uncertainty' of the contemporary world, resulting in various collections of essays concerned with clarifying and extending his Risk Society thesis. On the basis of all this intellectual noise one would assume that Beck's work would provide a useful starting point from which to understand the myriad complexities of ecopolitics. However, it is the contention of this article that while Beck's work may provide an eloquent description of contemporary society, it often risks to limit our understanding of ecopolitics, restricting the manner in which we can explore issues in this increasingly important intellectual space. In particular, the article explores Beck's proposal for new formations of ecological democracy and his dismissal of writings from the Marxist tradition.