Environmental Management: Critical thinking and emerging practices (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Management

Critical thinking and emerging practices

By Peter R. Mulvihill, S. Harris Ali

© 2017 – Routledge

166 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-11-23
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Description

The field of Environmental Management (EM) involves a broad and evolving repertoire of practices. The field originated around 1970 in response to new policy, regulation and public concern about environmental issues. EM has undergone many changes and improvements since then, progressing from a reactive, compliance-based focus toward, in leading cases, practices reflecting strong commitment to sustainability. And yet, EM remains, for the most part, ill-equipped to deal with the complex and highly uncertain implications of the ecological crisis.

Environmental Management offers a rigorous critique of conventional EM and explores alternative ideas, frameworks and approaches that are currently considered "fringe", but which have the potential to transform the practice of EM. This book goes beyond narrow definitions and considers questions regarding the purpose, roles, scope and potential of environmental management. EM is situated and contextualized within the evolving and expanding realm of environment and sustainability literature. The book argues that new approaches to EM need to be more flexible, imaginative and better equipped to address future environmental problems of a scale and severity previously unforeseen.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental management, environmental planning, resource management, and environmental assessment.

Reviews

"This very timely, detailed and provocative book provides a much-needed critical perspective on Environmental Management and alternative approaches to future practice. It opens up the intellectual space for debate and fruitful thinking through the integration of insights ranging from disaster management to black swan thinking – assessing and reorienting these into cogent principles for alternative EM." – John Sinclair, Professor, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Canada

"I have been waiting for a book like this. An up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the field of environmental management; one with the right balance of theory, practice and connections to the real world. Key concepts and ideas are well defined in terms that are clear and intelligent. This book understands the very ephemeral nature of environmental management; a realm responsive and reactive to shifting natural, social and economic conditions shaped by politics, the public, and the realities of our world’s changing environment. An excellent work for senior undergraduate or graduate courses in environmental management, policy and history." – Kevin Hanna, Director, Centre for Environmental Assessment Research, The University of British Columbia, Canada

"In this engaging and informative text, Mulvihill and Ali present a comprehensive overview of emerging debates in environmental management. Their rigorous analysis of the field’s history, nuanced examination of socio-ecological approaches, and timely call for a re-orientation in environmental thinking will appeal to emerging scholars and established practitioners alike." – Roza Tchoukaleyska, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, Canada

"This thoughtful and thought-provoking book can help transform Environmental Management to more effectively anticipate and respond to contemporary and emerging environmental crises and challenges. It provides a systematic overview of current practice, draws upon an array of pertinent theory and research, and refines and integrates a host of alternative frameworks, concepts and models." – David P. Lawrence, Ph.D., Lawrence Environmental, USA

In writing this book, Mulvihill and Ali provide a clear, intelligent and rigourous critique of what has been done to date and explore new ideas, some of which are considered by the mainstream to be markedly fringe or radical. They accomplish this, in part, by returning to fundamental questions, such as: What are the purpose, roles, scope and potential for Environmental Management? In their return to basic principles, Mulvihill and Ali also provide a much-needed definition of Environmental Management. In fact, they devote several pages to a number of compelling definitions, but conclude that “Environmental management is a broad, collective, collaborative endeavor – it is nothing less than governance for sustainability.”

Megan Mueller, manager, research communications, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University

Read the full review: http://ow.ly/i0a130gptA4

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Context: Challenges Facing Environmental Management
  3. Drivers of Change: Key Forces Influencing New Directions in Environmental Management
  4. Conventional Environmental Management: Origins, Evolution, Characteristics and Critique
  5. Current State of Alternative Environmental Management: Theory, Practice, Limitations and Gaps
  6. Critical Social Science and the Ecological Crisis
  7. The Critical Analysis of Climate Change as a Case in Study
  8. Disaster Studies and the Ecological Crisis
  9. A Socio-Ecological Approach to the Ecological Crisis
  10. Towards a Philosophical Reorientation in Environmental Management I: Post-Normal Science Thinking
  11. Towards a Philosophical Reorientation in Environmental Management II: Black Swan Thinking
  12. Experimental Applications of Emerging, Alternative Environmental Management
  13. Conclusion and Prospects for Alternative Environmental Management

About the Authors

Peter R. Mulvihill is Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Canada.

S. Harris Ali is Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and the Graduate Program Director of Sociology, York University, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS072000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy