Ecological modernisation theory in debate: A review

Arthur P.J. Mol*, Gert Spaargaren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ecological Modernisation Theory has been faced with various challenges from different theoretical perspectives throughout the years. This contribution reviews the various debates ecological modernisation ideas have been engaged in. The article starts with a historical perspective on some of the earlier debates that paralleled Ecological Modernisation from its birth in the early 1980s to its maturation. These initial debates with earlier neo-Marxists and deindustrialisation/counterproductivity theorists were formative for Ecological Modernisation Theory, but are no longer all of similar relevance today. Subsequently we concentrate on more contemporary discussions, which only to some extent reflect similar topics. We will respectively enter into discussions with constructivists and postmodernists on the material foundation of social theory, review and refine the controversies with eco-centrists on radical versus reformist environmental reforms and contribute to neo-Marxist understanding of social inequalities in environmental problems and reform.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological Modernisation Around the World
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives and Critical Debates
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781315877808
ISBN (Print)9780714650647
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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