Below is the introduction to a 15,000 essay I just completed, summing up the theoretical and historical basis for my critique of UN environmental discourse, particularly the UNCED documents. This was completed for a graduate social theory course, and will be used in different sections of my thesis. I have only provided the first 3 of 61 pages here. People who wish to discuss these points more specifically may email me, and will send the entire document for further discussion.


2 Responses to “Characterizing a paradigm shift: The UN discourse on sustainable development as the greening of globalism”

  1. Amanda Mill

    Hey Ben,

    Being that the majority of your writing I have been exposed to thus far has been limited to brief postings on Facebook, I am thoroughly impressed. Please do send me the final product, as both globalism and environmentalism are of interest to me.

    As far as specifics go, I absolutely love this line:

    This corporatist structure has a distinctively pluralist flair, whereby crises of human rights or environmental degradation are not managed by regulations but through discourse and juridical declarations.

    Your succinct statement gives heed to the pressing need for regulatory measures to address global industrial expansion and its environmental impacts. Because I am not familiar with the UNCED, I would like to see more discussion in regard to the UNCED’s discourse or lack of discourse surrounding regulation and any proposed consequences for violations. Also, I would be interested in how much discourse is proactive versus reactionary.

    I found the final section to be the most compelling. I agree it is a foolish, yet common, assumption that we will develop the technology to solve the impending environmental crisis before it’s too late. Your point about how much power would accompany the proprietor of such a technology (whether it be a nation, corporation, etc) could have major implications, especially in respect to how dire the situation is at the time of its development. Has this issue been addressed at all?

    Hope my comments have been somewhat helpful. Sorry it has taken me so long to read/respond- been doing a lot of overtime at work!

  2. Michael Barker

    Today I have just published a related article that critiques the United Nations role in promoting corporate environmentalism, see

    Taking Strong Action for Capitalist-Led Environmental Destruction, Swans Commentary, January 11, 2010. (Critique of the United Nations, the Stockholm Conference, and the Earth Summit.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *