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Environmental Values

Tensions and Dilemmas of Ecotopianism

David Pepper

Environmental Values 16(2007): 289-312. doi: 10.3197/096327107X228364


This paper examines some of many tensions associated with the utopian propensity that underlies much thinking and action in radical environmentalism. They include the tensions inherent within ecotopianism's approach to social change, its desire to embrace ecological universals, its general propensity to face Janus-like in the direction of both modernity and post-modernity, and its tendency towards a polarised stance on scale, and local and global issues. These tensions create dilemmas that are not merely of academic interest: they have practical, tactical and strategic implications, affecting the environmental movement's 'transgressive' potential in the search for ecotopia.

KEYWORDS: Ecotopia, utopianism, social change, postmodernity, scale

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Moral Pluralism and the Environment. Andrew Brennan

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial. Emily Brady

Home Economics: Planting the Seeds of a Research Agenda for the Bioregional Economy Molly Scott Cato

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