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Towards an ontological politics of comparative environmental analysis: the Green Economy and local diversity

Forsyth, Tim ORCID: 0000-0001-7227-9475 and Levidow, Les (2015) Towards an ontological politics of comparative environmental analysis: the Green Economy and local diversity. Global Environmental Politics, 15 (3). pp. 140-151. ISSN 1526-3800

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Identification Number: 10.1162/GLEP_a_00315


This paper contributes to comparative environmental politics by integrating comparative analysis with debates about ontological politics and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Comparative environmental analysis makes two tacit assumptions: that the subject of comparison (e.g. an environmental policy framework) is mobile and can be detached from its contexts; and that studying this subject in more than one location can identify its diffusion and implementation anywhere. These assumptions are sites of ontological politics by predetermining (or restricting) environmental outcomes. Environmental analysis needs to consider how far its own comparative acts might reify supposedly global frameworks rather than acknowledge how different localities appropriate and give meaning to them in diverse ways. The concept of civic epistemologies illustrates how domestic politics are organized around supposedly global concepts, rather than how global concepts diffuse around the world, as illustrated here by a comparative analysis of the United Nations’ Green Economy Initiative.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 09:07
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:33

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