Of big hegemonies and little tigers: Ecocentrism and environmental justice

Helen Kopnina
  • The Journal of Environmental Education, March 2016, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1048502

What is it about?

This is an invited response to the article in The Journal of Environmental Education on the subject of environmental justice where I argue that not just social but also ecological justice should be considered when discussing environmental education

Why is it important?

I argue that not just social but also ecological justice should be considered when discussing environmental education in the context of sustainable development. Stefan Bengtsson's commentary about policy hegemony discusses the alternative discourses of socialism, nationalism, and globalism. However, Stefan does not adequately demonstrate how these discourses can overcome the Dominant Western Worldview (DWW), which is imbued with anthropocentrism. It will be argued here that most policy choices promoting sustainability, and education for it, are made within a predetermined system in which the already limiting notion of environmental protection is highly contingent on human welfare. What would really contest the dominant assumptions of Vietnamese policy and, more specifically, education for sustainable development (ESD) is an alternative discourse that challenges the DWW. That alternative discourse embraces philosophical ecocentrism and practices of ecological justice between all species, and deep ecology theory - all perspectives fundamentally committed to environmental protection.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2015.1048502

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina