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'This book develops a number of themes introduced in Beck's previous best-selling Risk Society as well as initiating a set of new departures. Instead of posing 'good' social movements against 'bad' institutions, he proposes a transformation of the institutions themselves, of science, and of business, so that organized irresponsibility can be changed into a sort of democratic accountability. This book will be of interest not just to sociologists and academics, but to scientist, to business men and women, to those involved with (or affect by) the new reproductive technologies, and to people in the institutions of local, national and supra-national politics and public life.'--Professor Scott Lash, Lancaster University Ecological politics has moved to the centre of the political stage today. But what motivates ecological concerns? How should we understand "nature" when nothing around us seems "natural" anymore? How should we interpret, and react to, the risks we now face in respect of the "environment"?
This book, which created a massive public debate when first published in Germany, analyses these issues in a way that is new and very different from the conventional literature. Drawing upon ideas developed in his celebrated work, Risk Society, Beck establishes the foundations of an original and far-reaching analysis of modern politics. Ecological concerns as ordinarily understood, he shows, are only one part of a renewed engagement with the domain of "sub-politics" generated by the social and technological changes affecting our lives in a much more revolutionary way than anything emanating from the formal political sphere. This pathbreaking work will be of interest to all students and professionals in the areas of political theory, sociology and ecological studies.
Ulrich Beck is Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich.