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Rethinking deep ecology: from critique to synthesis




Welker, Chelsea L., author
Macdonald, Bradley J., advisor
Stevis, Dimitris, committee member
Trembath, Paul, committee member

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Deep ecology represents a strain of radical ecopolitical theory that has, over the past forty years, engaged in various debates with other strains of radical ecopolitical thought. Though deep ecology has attempted to defend itself against many critiques from this field, my analysis aims to reassess deep ecology's responses (or its silences) related to some of these charges. My goal is to adequately respond to these critiques that have been made against deep ecology, particularly the critiques that have arose from social ecology and from perspectives concerned with the Global South. At the same time, I utilize these critiques and my own responses to them to rethink deep ecology's role in the transformation of contemporary societies toward greater ecological sustainability. I add to this debate amongst radical ecopolitical theories by outlining the most important critiques that have been made at deep ecology from the above fields, in addition to formulating more adequate responses from the perspective of deep ecology. Moreover, I explicitly concern my analysis with how this re-envisioned deep ecology can constitute a viable political theory and play a vital role in the radical transformation of political societies for the benefit of both nature and human beings.


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deep ecology
radical ecopolitical theory
political theory


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