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Reviving natural history, building ecological civilisation: the philosophy and social significance of the Natural History Revival Movement in contemporary China

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The concept of ecological civilisation has become enshrined in the Chinese constitution as a blueprint for sustainable development based on a changed relationship with nature. Achieving the ecological civilisation, however, is no easy task. True to its socialist one-party system and scientific outlook on development, the Chinese government continues to place emphasis on authoritarian governance and science-based innovation. Alternative approaches to ecological civilisation have received less attention. In this paper, we seek to understand the philosophical and social perspectives offered by the Natural History Revival Movement (NHRM) regarding China’s path to an ecological civilisation. Based on sources collected by means of snowball sampling, we perform a hermeneutic analysis of the NHRM and its meanings. As a philosophy, the NHRM draws on inspiration from a variety of sources, most of which are European. The NHRM, functioning as a social movement, encompasses the growing enthusiasm within Chinese society for naturalist studies and environmental monitoring, rooted in distinct Chinese origins. Examining the NHRM provides a glimpse into different sociotechnical imaginaries in China, aligning with the government’s ecological-civilisation vision yet questioning the methods employed to attain the objective.

TidsskriftHumanities & Social Sciences Communications
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2023

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