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Participation and Sustainable Development: The Post-Ecologist Transformation of Citizen Involvement in Denmark

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  • Department of Curriculum Research
  • Miljø- og sundhedspædagogik
Since the 1970s, citizen participation has always been regarded as a crucial condition of successful eco-political change. However, the relationship between democracy and environmentalism is not unproblematic. How has this relationship transformed since the early days of modern environmentalism? This contribution investigates this question focusing on one particular country: Denmark. Based on empirical research on the mediating agents, i.e. those who have tried to involve citizens in environmental issues and sustainable development, a number of stages are identified through which a post-ecologist approach has taken shape. It is marked by an orientation towards consensus and laissezfaire and has marginalised any conflicts around the values implied in sustainable development. This transformation, it is argued, has not been strategically promoted by particular actors, but has come about in an inclusive process in which environmentalists themselves have played an active part.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Pages (from-to)231-250
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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