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Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 227; doi:10.3390/su8030227

Environment, Development, and Ecologically Unequal Exchange

Sociology Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3807, USA
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 26 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
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Abstract

I begin this paper with summaries of environment and development perspectives foundational to contemporary environmental sociology: ecological modernization theory and treadmill of production theory. Descriptions of the perspectives are provided as well as an overview of recent quantitative cross-national analyses that evaluate the propositions of both theories. Next, I provide a summary of ecologically unequal exchange theory. I argue that ecologically unequal exchange theory helps to address key limitations of both the treadmill of production and ecological modernization approaches, most notably their lack of attention paid to how structural and unequal relationships between nations influence environment and development associations. Next, I summarize bodies of empirical work within sociology that employ quantitative measurements and statistical modelling techniques to test the propositions of ecologically unequal exchange theory. I conclude by emphasizing the need for greater integration between ecologically unequal exchange theory, the two environment and development perspectives, and other political economy traditions. I also briefly discuss fruitful avenues for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment; development; ecologically unequal exchange; treadmill of production; ecological modernization; sustainability; environmental sociology environment; development; ecologically unequal exchange; treadmill of production; ecological modernization; sustainability; environmental sociology
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Jorgenson, A.K. Environment, Development, and Ecologically Unequal Exchange. Sustainability 2016, 8, 227.

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