Schnaiberg's concept of the treadmill of production is arguably the most visible and enduring theory to emerge in three decades of environmental sociology. Elaborated and tested, it has been found to be an accurate predictor of political-economic changes in the global economy. In the global South, it has figures prominently in the work of structural environmental analysts and has been used by many political-economic movements. Building new extensions and applications of the treadmill theory, this new book shows how and why northern analysts and governments have failed to protect our environment and secure our future. Using an empirically based political-economic perspective, the authors outline the causes of environmental degradation, the limits of environmental protection policies, and the failures of institutional decision-makers to protect human well-being.
“Few works of social science prove enduring, much less prophetic. Allan Schnaiberg’s environmental sociology, first introduced in the 1980s, is here refashioned for the challenges of twenty-first-century globalization. Schnaiberg and his coauthors reach across the generations with profound insight, demonstrated prescience, and a new vision of social justice.”
—John Walton, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California
“The book represents an essential point of departure for understanding and addressing the challenges of controlling global environmental change in the twenty-first-century.”
—Thomas K. Rudel, Rutgers University
“Lays out a promising research agenda on the new politics of the environment for critical social scientists.”
—Maria Kousis, University of Crete
"In The Treadmill of Production Gould, Pellow, and Schnaiberg offer a theoretically driven explanation for our global environmental predicament that makes a great deal of sense. Their book represents an essential point of departure for understanding and addressing the challenges of controlling global environmental change in the twenty-first-century."