Since June 2011, available by Springer Publishers, is our recent collection of studies all addressing the limits to managing the environment1. We employ five case studies to engage with several dimensions of how environmental management practice and discourse is constrained.
- Lippert2 introduces a case study on participation in ecologically modernising a company. He discusses the limits of a corporate suggestion scheme in mobilising and selecting knowledges with respect to competing frames of conceptualising sustainability and energy saving measures.
- The paper by Krause 3 relocates environmental management practices vis-a-vis the historically and naturally configured powers of a river. He substantiates the claim that control over an entity like a river may easily be rendered impossible.
- Strauss4 sketches the limits of environmental management by outlining the limits of imagining and perceiving nature and environmental effects of landscape planning and industrial development. She shows how the material used to inform affected subjects and enable them to participate rationally in decision-making processes and public deliberation limits the possibility of subjects to understand and sense environmentally relevant transformations.
- Ninan5 reconstructs how the emerging climate change regime is discursively limited by the contours of the ecological modernisation paradigm. In effect, he predicts that a operational manifestation of ecological modernisation like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will be "antithetical to equity and justice".
- Lippert6 shows the analytical limits of both environmental management understandings of its objects supposedly being managed as well as of studies of environmental management with respect to the strategy of naturalising the objects under management. He traces the case of a recycling network for glass bottles and shows how recycling management can easily reproduce the structures which sustain increasing production of waste rather than reducing it or even question consumption and production processes.
These five papers can be deemed useful to understand some of the qualities of limits to environmental management. Empirically, the include a width of objects and institutions of management: corporations, global discourses, planning enterprises, hydraulic engineers; water, energy, landscape, recycling, carbon; documents, individual managers and professions.
Lippert provides a first re-reading of these case studies, providing a generalisation of how to address studies of the limits of environmental management.7
We welcome discussion about this material.
- 1. Limits to Managing the Environment In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, Edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov. Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
- 2. "Knowledge for Corporate Energy Management. Structural Contradictions and Hope for Change?" In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov, 211-228. Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
- 3. "River management. Technological challenge or conceptual illusion? Salmon weirs and hydroelectric dams on the Kemi River in Northern Finland." In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov. Springer, 2011.
- 4. "Visualising Nuclear Landscapes: Visual Simulation in the Licensing for Finnish Nuclear Facilities." In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov. Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
- 5. "Outsourcing Emissions: Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as Ecological Modernisation." In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov. Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
- 6. "Sustaining Waste - Sociological Perspectives on Recycling a Hybrid Object." In Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, edited by M. Schmidt, V. Onyango and D. Palekhov, 283-306. Springer, 2011.
- 7. "Dimensions of Limits to Environmental Management: Reﬂections Drawing on Recent Scholarship in the Field of Science and Technology Studies." In 10th Annual IAS-STS Conference on Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies. Graz: 03/05/2011, 2011.