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Environmental management as situated practice

Umweltmanagement als situierte Praxis
[journal article]

Lippert, Ingmar; Krause, Franz; Hartmann, Niklas Klaus

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Abstract We propose an analysis of environmental management (EM) as work and as practical activity. This approach enables empirical studies of the diverse ways in which professionals, scientists, NGO staffers, and activists achieve the partial manageability of specific “environments”. In this introduction, we sketch the debates in Human Geography, Management Studies, Science and Technology Studies to which this special issue contributes. We identify the limits of understanding EM though the framework of ecological modernization, and show how political ecology and work- place studies provide important departures towards a more critical approach. Developing these further, into a cosmopolitical direction, we propose studying EM as sets of socially and materially situated practices. This enables a shift away from established approaches which treat EM either as a toolbox whose efficiency has to be assessed, or as simply the implementation of dominant projects and the materialisation of hegemonic discourse. Such a shift renders EM as always messy practices of engagement, critique and improvisation. We conclude that studying the distributed and situated managing agencies, actors and their practices allows to imagine new forms of critical interventions.
Keywords sociology of science; cultural anthropology; reflexive modernization; occupation in the field of environmental protection; environmental management; professionalization; environmental policy; policy implementation
Classification Ecology, Environment; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology
Free Keywords conservation; political ecology; ecological modernization; workplace studies; post-constructivism; cosmopolitics
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 107-114
Journal Geoforum (2015) 66
Issue topic Environmental management as situated practice
ISSN 0016-7185
Status Preprint; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.