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The politics and power effects of garbage recycling in Halifax, Canada.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal article

  • É. Darier
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/1996
<mark>Journal</mark>Local Environment : The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)63-86
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The theoretical concept of 'governmentality', as developed by French political theorist Michel Foucault, presents three aspects: (a) an analysis of knowledge, (b) a study of the power effects of normalisation and resistance and (c) the possibility of a non-essentialist ethic. Governmentality has not yet been applied to environmental issues. First, the concept of governmentality is explained briefly. Then, a detailed case study of the controversy surrounding a proposed municipal incinerator in metropolitan Halifax (Canada) provides an evaluation of the relevance and pertinence of the concept. The case study confirms: (1) the importance of discursive categories in the legitimisation process of local environmental policy; (2) the centrality of the tension between attempts by local authorities to normalise the conduct of the population and resistance presented by environmental groups and individuals; (3) the possibility for groups and individuals to articulate an alternative identity—a Green self—which goes beyond the existing boundaries.