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Critical Political Ecology: the politics of environmental science

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Timothy Forsyth
Routledge (6 December 2002)

Critical Political Ecology brings political debate to the science of ecology. As political controversies multiply over the science underlying environmental debates, there is an increasing need to understand the relationship between environmental science and politics. In this timely and wide-ranging volume, Tim Forsyth provides innovative approaches to applying political analysis to ecology, and shows how more politicised approaches to science can be used in environmental decision making.

The book examines:

  • How social and political factors frame environmental science, and how science in turn shapes politics; 
  • How new thinking in philosophy and sociology of science can provide fresh insights into the biophysical causes and impacts of environmental problems
  • How policy and decision makers can acknowledge the political influences on science and achieve more effective public participation and governance.

Tim Forsyth also focuses on a variety of global environmental problems at local and global scales, including climate change, deforestation, GMOs, desertification and pollution. It also probes activities of environmental social movements and international organizations such as the World Bank.

Critical Political Ecology advances existing approaches to political ecology, science and politics by offering means to integrate environmental politics with environmental science. It offers insights into blending social and natural science approaches to environmental problems, and for merging 'political ecology' with 'science studies'.


Press cuttings

Word magazine
P 9 Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park) (29 Feb 05)
'Two books were pretty valuable to me while researching my latest book [which revolves around the subject of global warming]..... Critical Political Ecology: the politics of environmental science by Tim Forsyth is a careful but often critical examination of environmental orthodoxy by a lecturer in environment and development at the LSE. He puts forward many important insights I haven't seen elsewhere, for instance the consequences of the emphasis on computer models as opposed to other forms of data, and the question of how many environmental effects are usefully regarded as 'global'.'