Environmental argument is ‘about’ far more than meets the eye. How people (mis)understand each other during environmental debates is affected by conflicts between values and ways of life which may not be directly connected with the environment at all. This book offers sociological evidence from three contrasting societies – Ireland, Germany and China – to explore how diversity of cultural context affects deliberation about the physical world. What can we discover by examining environmental debates through the lens of interculturality? When people disagree about flood management, building motorways or extracting gas, what difference does it make if they have diverse experiences of neighbourly relations, how to use time or how to imagine a good life? What is going on at intersections between cultures to influence the trajectories of environmental debates? The book disinters taken-for-granted practices, feelings and social relationships which affect environmental arguments, in scientific and artistic debate as well as in politics and policy-making. Importantly, the book makes visible the effects of cultural difference on people’s approaches to arguing itself. If public arguing is shaped by specific habits of feeling or imagination, how does that impact on theories of democracy? Do we need new kinds of arguing to cope with environmental crises? What elements of arguing are decisive in the ways people come to see environmental decisions as wise choices?
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 390 pp.
Contents: Ricca Edmondson/Henrike Rau: Introduction: Arguing about the Environment - What Difference Does Culture Make? –
Sylvia Kruse: Structuring Multiple Perspectives in Environmental Decision-Making: Flood Protection in the Middle-Elbe Region
– Mark Garavan: Problems in Achieving Dialogue: Cultural Misunderstandings in the Corrib Gas Dispute – Henrike Rau: Environmental
Arguing at a Crossroads? Cultural Diversity in Irish Transport Planning – Lisa Moran: Local Knowledge and Conceptions of Neighbourliness
in Environmental Disputes: Evidence from Connemara – Liu Wei: Environmental Argumentation and Political Sensibility: The Case
of China – Frances Fahy: Dwelling on Waste: Participatory Action Research and Managing Household Waste in Galway – Perry Share/Oliver
Moore: Bringing Outside Environmental Knowledge In: Food and Eating – Walter Wortberg: Environmental Medicine and Health in
Industrialised Nations: Cases from Germany – Ruairí O’Brien: Intercultural Interpretations: Not Wasting Wasteland – Chen Hong:
Species Conflict as Cultural and Moral Conflict: Reflections on Chinese Readers’ Responses to The Wolf Totem – Kevin
Ryan: Environmental Conflict and Democracy: Between Reason and Hegemony – Ricca Edmondson: Intercultural Rhetoric, Environmental
Reasoning and Wise Argument – Renate Künast: Postscript: Ecological Debate and Interculturality.