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Ecological modernization in practice?: the case of sustainable development in Sweden
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centrum för urbana och regionala studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centrum för urbana och regionala studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7737-5850
2012 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, ISSN 1523-908X, E-ISSN 1522-7200, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 411-427Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden is widely considered a forerunner in environmental policy and one of the most ecologically modernized countries in the world. However, like most other countries, it has not been able to escape from economic recession, high unemployment rates and increasing social segregation. Doubts have also been raised as to whether the rosy picture of successful eco-modernization corresponds to policy in practice. How does Sweden stand the test when bold sustainable development goals confront the challenges of financial and economic crisis and strong pressure on its social welfare system? The analysis finds that Sweden has officially adopted an eco-modernist understanding of society where economic growth, social welfare and environmental values and interests support each other, with economic growth notably considered the crucial driver. However, reconciling these dimensions into one integrated strategy for sustainable development is easier said than done, and it is shown that the gulf between policy rhetoric and practice is deeper than recognized and may even be increasing. The article finally addresses the question of whether this conclusion indicates the dead-end of eco-modernization as a discursive guideline for sustainable development or if it is rather a trigger for a more radical approach to eco-modernization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012. Vol. 14, no 4, p. 411-427
Keywords [en]
Ecological modernization, environmental policy, sustainable development, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sociology; Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26381DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2012.737234ISI: 000311542500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84870565372OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26381DiVA, id: diva2:565523
Available from: 2012-11-07 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Lidskog, RolfElander, Ingemar

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