University Of Tasmania
whole_CrowleyCatherineM1995_thesis.pdf (14.19 MB)

Power & environmental policy : Tasmanian ecopolitics from Pedder to Wesley Vale

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:33 authored by Crowley, Catherine M
It is argued that the realisation of ecopolitical values, interests and demands is inevitably constrained by material interests within advanced industrial societies. The policy environment in the state of Tasmania is examined, and both a traditional affirmation and accommodation of the goals of industrial development, and a resistance to the more recent ecopolitical challenge to established state interests is found. However, a review of four key environmental disputes finds that the politics of ecology ('ecopolitics'), despite routine constraint by material interests, continues to defy predictions of its inevitable demise as a 'single issue', and continues to gain ground as an ideological force in Tasmania. In reviewing the capacity of environmentalists to realise their aims (i) the nature and significance of the ecopolitical challenge is considered; (ii) ideological contention as a constraint in the realisation of ecopolitical interests is examined; (iii) the limits of state response to ecopolitical demands are reviewed; (iv) the political expression of conflicting values over two decades of Tasmanian ecopolitical conflict are examined; and (v) the Tasmanian tradition of underwriting industrial development is found to have acted as a 'policy paradigm' confining state action on environmental issues. A policy based framework of analysis is adopted that acknowledges ideological, political and institutional constraints, and is informed by (i) ecopolitical theory, given the deficiencies of traditional policy analysis in capturing the nature of the ecopolitical challenge, and (ii) power analysis in addressing policy constraint. -This framework recognises ecopolitics as a struggle between value contenders, and ecopolitical demands as potentially limited by the constraining influence of dominant values and industrial interests. This framework is applied to analysis of the Lake Pedder, Franklin River, Electrona silicon smelter and Wesley Vale pulp mill disputes. These disputes are detailed in Chapter Four, then reviewed in Chapter Five in terms of the nature of the environmental values at stake, the accommodation or frustration of these values, and the actions of the state in resolving the disputes. Whilst the ecopolitical challenge is not found to have been contained in Tasmania, environmental demands are nevertheless found to have been constrained by material values, the accommodation of industrial interests, and the institutionalisation of the traditional pursuits of development and resource exploitation.


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Copyright 1994 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 242-268)

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