Laboratory seminar. Authoritarian Environmentalism: Propaganda or Reality
A regular seminar of Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History of the Center for Historical Research was held on 13 of March, 5 pm, at the address Griboyedov Canal 123, room 213.
A presentation of the new volume book entitled “Environmental Policy and the Authority Regimes: Myth and Reality” (co-edited by Stephen Brain and Viktor Pál, New York: Routledge, 2018) was presented by the researcher - International Postdoc of the Laboratory Victor Pal.
Authoritarian Environmentalism: Propaganda or Reality
Since the early 2000s, authoritarianism has risen as an increasingly powerful global phenomenon. This shift has environmental implications: authoritarian leaders seek to recast the relationship between society and the government in various aspects of public life, including environmental policy. When historians of technology or the environment have investigated the environmental consequences of authoritarian regimes, they have frequently argued that authoritarian regimes have been unable to produce positive environmental results or adjust successfully to global structural change, if they have shown any concern for the environment at all. Put another way, the scholarly consensus holds that authoritarian regimes on both the left and the right generally have demonstrated an anti-environmentalist bias, and when opposed by environmentalist social movements, have succeeded in silencing those voices.
The edited volume “Environmental Politics and Policy under Authoritarian Regimes: Myth and Reality” (co-edited by Stephen Brain and Viktor Pál, New York: Routledge, 2018) explores the theme of environmental politics and authoritarian regimes on both the right and the left. The authors argue that in instances when environmentalist policies offer the possibility of bolstering a country’s domestic (nationalist) appeal or its international prestige, authoritarian regimes can endorse and have endorsed environmental protective measures. The collection of essays analyzes environmentalist initiatives pursued by authoritarian regimes, and provides explanations for both the successes and failures of such regimes, looking at a range of case studies from a number of countries, including Brazil, China, Poland, and Zimbabwe. The volume contributes to the scholarly debate about the social and political preconditions necessary for effective environmental protection.
Date: March 13, 2019
Place; Building of the Higher School of Economics at 123 Griboyedov Canal, room 213