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Does sustainability count? Environmental policy, sustainable development and the governance of grassroots sustainability enterprise in Ireland

Listed author(s):
  • Anna Ray Davies

    (Trinity College, Geography Department, Dublin, Ireland)

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    Environmentally focused social economy activities have been identified as archetypal examples of sustainable development: what might be called grassroots sustainability enterprises. The economic, social and environmental benefits that they can offer have been alluded to, but little empirical evaluation has been conducted examining the governing conditions under which they emerge or the impacts they engender. In response this paper investigates the experiences of one arena of grassroots sustainability enterprise in Ireland, community based recycling organizations (CBROs). The research found that the tripartite focus of CBROs on economic development, environmental enhancement and social capacity building can be problematic rather than bringing enhanced status. Building on an analysis of national planning documents it is proposed that such problems emerge as dominant governing conditions are pursuing ecological modernization and social partnership as distinct rather than integrated pathways of development. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 174-182

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:17:y:2009:i:3:p:174-182
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.374
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    1. Michael Murray, 2006. "Multi-level “Partnership” and Irish Waste Management - The Politics of Municipal Incineration," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(3), pages 447-465.
    2. Joe Larragy, 2006. "Origins and Significance of the Community and Voluntary Pillar in Irish Social Partnership," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398.
    3. Preeti Malhotra, 2006. "Management of community-based energy interventions in rural areas of India: issues and perspectives," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 33-45.
    4. Tomas Hellström, 2007. "Dimensions of environmentally sustainable innovation: the structure of eco-innovation concepts," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 148-159.
    5. William Low & Eileen Davenport, 2005. "Postcards from the edge: maintaining the 'alternative' character of fair trade," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 143-153.
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