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Toward a Bioregional State and Ecological Revolution: green constitutional engineering for the world

I am environmental sociologist Mark Whitaker. This is my talk to other environmental sociologists about my two books: Toward a Bioregional State (2005) Ecological Revolution (2009) It was filmed at the International Sociological Association, July 2010, Goteborg, Sweden. More information: abstracts of the books: Whitaker, Mark D. 2005. Toward a Bioregional State: A Series of Letters on Political Theory and Formal Institutional Design in the Era of Sustainability Abstract: "Environmental sociologist Mark D. Whitaker is a comparative historical researcher on the politics of environmental degradation and sustainability. Toward a Bioregional State is his novel approach to development and to sustainability. He proposes that instead of sustainability being an issue of population scale, managerial economics, or technocratic planning, an overhaul of formal democratic institutions is required. This is because environmental degradation has more to do with the biased interactions of formal institutions and informal corruption. Because of corruption, we have environmental degradation. Current formal democratic institutions of states are forms of informal gatekeeping, and as such, intentionally maintain democracy as ecologically "out of sync". He argues that we are unable to reach sustainability without a host of additional ecological checks and balances. These ecological checks and balances would demote corrupt uses of formal institutions by removing capacities for gatekeeping against democratic feedback. Sustainability is a politics that is already here—only waiting to be formally organized." Whitaker, Mark D. 2009. Ecological Revolution: The Political Origins of Environmental Degradation and the Environmental Origins of Axial Religions; China, Japan, Europe. Abstract: "Most argue environmental movements are a novel feature of world politics. I argue that they are a durable feature of a degradative political economy. Past or present, environmental politics became expressed in religious change movements as oppositions to state environmental degradation using discourses available. Ecological Revolution describes characteristics why our historical states collapse and because of these characteristics are opposed predictably by religio-ecological movements. As a result, origins of our large scale humanocentric 'axial religions' are connected to anti-systemic environmental movements. Many major religious movements of the past were 'environmentalist' by being health, ecological, and economic movements, rolled into one. Since ecological revolutions are endemic to a degradation-based political economy, they continue today. China, Japan, and Europe are analyzed over 2,500 years showing how religio-ecological movements get paired against chosen forms of state-led environmental degradation in a predictable fashion. The book describes solutions to this durable problematic as well. It should be useful to all people seeking solutions to environmental problems." More information:
Length: 23:29


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