This path-breaking study open the way for a better understanding of the environmental conflict, showing how language can be seen to shape our view of what environmental politics is really about and how those perceptions can differ between countries. The book identifies the emergence and increasing political importance of 'ecological modernization' as a new concept in the language of environmental politics. This concept, which has come to
replace the antagonistic debates of the 1970s, stresses the opportunities of environmental policy for modernizing the economy and stimulating the technological innovation. Combining
abstract social theory with detailed empirical analysis, the author illustrates the social and political dynamics of ecological modernization in a detailed analysis of the acid rain controversies in Great Britain and the Netherlands. The book concludes by reflecting on the institutional challenge of the environmental politics in the years to come.
`Hajer establishes once and for all the importance of attending to the discourse dimension of public policy, and in this respect his is a truly pathbreaking work.'
`This superb book is one of the few successful attempts to apply contemporary sociological thinking to a detailed empirical case-study in the environmental sphere in a way which is genuinely enlightening for policy-makers as well as for academic social science disciplines ... Such challenging questions are a fitting conclusion to an excellent book.'
Global Environmental Change
`Maarten Hajer has delivered a book that is remarkable for its comprehensiveness and its incisiveness ... this volume establishes a firm foundation for the study of ecological modernisation and serious scholars of environmental policy will derive immense benefit from the author's astute insights.'
`this is an important book which will interest many political scientists apart from those focusing on the environment ... There are excellent summary tables and a model of an index. For environment specialists, there are fresh insights on issues such as risk; the role of scientists and scientific data; and the emergence - with its institutional repercussions - of ecological modernization as the dominent way of conceptualizing environmental problems. The way
he draws from German and Dutch primary and secondary sources is especially valuable.'
Stephen C. Young, University of Manchester, Political Studies