Asia's Environmental Movements: Comparative Perspectives

By Yok-Shiu Lee; Alvin So | Go to book overview

the one hand, global forces have played a positive role in advocating environmentalism in Asia. One notable example is the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, popularly known as the "Earth Summit," which imposed an environmental discourse in Asia, forcing President Kim in South Korea and President Ramos in the Philippines to declare themselves "environmental presidents" of their respective countries.

On the other hand, in our studies of anti-nuclear campaigns, we find that the U.S. nuclear industry played an important role in promoting nuclear energy in South Korea and Taiwan. In Taiwan, all six nuclear reactors were imports manufactured by U.S. vendors such as General Electric and Westinghouse. Moreover, the World Bank was the main funding source of such controversial projects as the Chico Dam in the Philippines and the Pak Mool Dam project in Thailand. Furthermore, pro-free trade provisions recently agreed to by the developing countries with the World Trade Organization (WTO), as argued by many environmental activists, "will not only worsen the real economic and social wellbeing of their peoples, but will also massively and positively pollute and degrade their environment" ( Ezenkele 1998: 3). They have therefore asserted that the WTO will be "the ground upon which a long series of key social-ecological battles will be fought" ( Athanasiou 1996: 47).

Given the complexities of the interplay between global forces and local processes, we need to identify and examine the precise linkages between international factors and national/local environmental movements in Asia. Important research questions include: under what conditions will global forces contribute toward the advent and strengthening of Asia's environmental movements? And under what conditions will global forces turn into regressive factors limiting Asia's environmental activism? What is the best strategy for Asia's environmental activists to adopt to develop global linkages and advance their domestic agendas? We hope that the findings in this volume will stimulate researchers to conduct more studies, singularly and comparatively, on Asia's environmental activism.


References

Athanasiou Tom. 1996. Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor. Boston: Little, Brown.

Chattejee Pratap, and Matthias Finger. 1994. The Earth Brokers: Power, Politics, and World Development. London: Routledge.

Ezenkele Agochukwu. 1998. Earth Times News Service, May 23.

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Asia's Environmental Movements: Comparative Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • References 26
  • Country Case Studies 29
  • 2 - Environmental Movements in Taiwan 31
  • References 52
  • 3 - Environmental Movements in Hong Kong 55
  • References 87
  • 4 - Environmental Movements in South Korea 90
  • References 118
  • 5 - Environmental Movements in Thailand 120
  • References 141
  • 6 - Environmental Movements in the Philippines 143
  • References 173
  • Comparative Analyses 177
  • 7 - Grassroots Environmentalism in the United States: Implications for Asia's Environmental Movements 179
  • References 208
  • 8 - Culture and Asian Styles of Environmental Movements 210
  • References 228
  • 9 - The Impact of Democratization on Environmental Movements 230
  • References 251
  • 10 - The Making of Anti-Nuclear Movements in East Asia: State-Movements Relationships and Policy Outcomes 252
  • References 267
  • 11 - The Contradictions and Synergy of Environmental Movements and Business Interests 269
  • References 285
  • 12 - Conclusion 287
  • References 307
  • Contributors 309
  • Index 311
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