Practicing the cultural green economy: Where now for environmental social science?
Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Debates concerning the development of the green economy necessarily focus on "upstream" issues that underpin the re-structuring of national and regional economies through the lenses of financial, institutional and regulatory change. However, the growing interest in the cultural green economy requires a re-scaling of debates surrounding the links that occur in complex socio-technical systems, notably between individual consumers, social units and the architectures of the developing green economy. This necessitates a research and policy agenda that is attentive to both the complexities of such interactions (between structures, processes and practices) and the imperative to foster change in practices within wider society. This article explores the ways in which environmental social scientists have examined and evidenced these issues, arguing that two major barriers still exist for creating adequate understandings and opportunities for change. First, the overt focus on the individual consumer as a unit of measurement and political attention has stifled debate concerning the ways in which environmentally related social practices have developed in association with wider economic contexts. In this way, environmental social scientists have often failed to make the connections between individuals, practices and the economic system. Second, in adopting a largely individualistic perspective, environmental social scientists have tended to focus their attention on incrementalist and narrowly defined views of what ecological citizenship might look like and constitute in the green economy. The article therefore argues that environmental social scientists need to constructively engage in a new inter-disciplinary dialogue about the role, purpose and ethics of citizen participation in developing and sustaining the green economy in an age of climate change and potential resource scarcity.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grant No. RES-061-25-0158
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 96, pp. 231 - 243