Engaging the Everyday: Environmental Social Criticism and the Resonance Dilemma

Walter F. Baber, California State University, Long Beach
Robert V. Bartlett, University of Vermont

For how long now have environmentalists been exhorted to think globally and act locally?
Variously attributed to David Brower, Rene Dubos, Harlan Cleveland, and Jacques Ellul, this catch phrase has rung in the ears of several generations of friends of the earth. But has the time come for it to be flipped on its head? Might there be something to be gained from thinking locally and (perhaps later) acting globally? John Meyer suggests unmistakably that the answer is “yes.” By casting effective environmentalism as an act of social criticism that is concrete in character and pragmatic in its orientation, Meyer sustains an argument that “theoretical insight can best be generated by attending to material practice and lived experience and that theories and ideologies formulated apart from these are more likely to lead us astray than to illuminate contemporary challenges.”

[Read More]

Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14 / Issue 01 / March 2016, pp 168 – 170
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016