Many writers either glorify globalization or vilify it, particularly for its destructive environmental effects. In this book environmental sociologist Arthur Mol provides a more balanced understanding of the relationship between globalization and environmental quality. Mol bases his arguments on his theory of ecological modernization, which holds that although processes of modernization and globalization often result in environmental degradation, they also can encourage policies and programs designed to arrest degradation and improve environmental quality.
Globalization and the changing role of the nation-state call for new approaches to environmental governance and new ways to conceptualize it. Recent developments in sociology—seen in the work of John Urry, Manuel Castells, and others—show how social theory can be made less static, more fluid, and more directed toward flow and networks in order to encompass today's reality. Governing Environmental Flows explores what such a reformulation means for the environmental social sciences.