The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Beyond UNCED: an introduction

Thomas, Caroline (1993) Beyond UNCED: an introduction Environmental Politics, 2, (4), pp. 1-27. (doi:10.1080/09644019308414099).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is doubtful whether the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and its output were appropriate for averting global environmental and developmental catastrophe. At the most fundamental level, the causes of environmental degradation have not been addressed, and without this, efforts to tackle the crisis are bound to fail. The crisis is rooted in the process of globalisation under way. Powerful entrenched interests impede progress in understanding the crisis and in addressing it. They marginalise rival interpretations of its origins and thereby block the discovery of possible ways forward. The intellectual debate inside and outside UNCED has been dominated by these entrenched interests. This monopoly on respectable knowledge determines the allocation of responsibility and consequent remedial action. The result is that the crisis is to be tackled by a continuation of the very policies that have largely caused it in the first place.
The interstate system is incapable of dealing with the crisis. The state itself is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy and a crisis of capacity. In some ways it is too small for dealing with the crisis, which has global aspects; in other ways it is too big, given the local aspects. These crises pose opportunities for, as well as obstacles to, the emergence from the outmoded structure of the interstate system of a global society based on fundamental human rights. The crisis of the state is stimulating discussion about political identity, human rights, democracy and accountability. It opens up space for real discussion of a new world order and the role of democratic participation below and between states, and on which the whole sustainability process ultimately depends.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1993
Additional Information: Special issue. Rio: Unravelling the Consequences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 33985
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/33985
ISSN: 0964-4016
PURE UUID: 13ef2148-ed5d-46bc-9f45-52814c42408d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jun 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:51

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×