University of Tasmania
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Characteristics and influence of the Australian conservation movement: An examination of selected conservation controversies

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posted on 2023-05-27, 07:11 authored by Davis, BW
This thesis is a study of selected aspects of Australian environmentalism during the period 1960-1980. By analysing a number of case-studies of environmental conflict, the aim is to discover some characteristics of the Australian conservation movement and to determine what influence, if any, eco-activists have exerted on the reform of resource management practices of public authorities and private corporations. Environmentalism is here defined as a social and political movement involving specific sets of beliefs about the relationship of man and Nature, generally antipathetical to existing modes of technology and natural resources utilisation. The opening three chapters of the thesis are devoted to an examination of various types of environmentalism and their outward manifestation as political action by voluntary conservation groups. It is argued that community environmental organisations face a number of internal stresses arising from variations in values and ideology, the loose affiliation of members, reliance upon voluntary effort, diverse organisational structures and leadership styles, as well as lack of financial resources. Yet high motivation, cadres of dedicated activists and unorthodox tactics, create strong survival capacity. In order to achieve political influence through lobbying, persuasion, bargaining and coercion, such groups must penetrate key decision processes, yet conform to the norms of the socio-political culture, or else achieve a weight of public opinion favourable to their cause.


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