Kerry H Whiteside

Kerry H. Whiteside is Clair R. McCollough Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College. He is the author of Divided Natures: French Contributions to Political Ecology (MIT Press, 2002).

  • Precautionary Politics

    Precautionary Politics

    Principle and Practice in Confronting Environmental Risk

    Kerry H Whiteside

    The precautionary principle—which holds that action to address threats of serious or irreversible environmental harm should be taken even in the absence of scientific certainty—has been accepted as a key feature of environmental law throughout the European Union. In the United States, however, it is still widely unknown, and much of what has been written on the topic takes a negative view. Precautionary Politics provides a comprehensive analysis of the precautionary principle—its origins and development, its meaning and rationale, its theoretical context, and its policy implications. Kerry Whiteside looks at the application of the principle (and the controversies it has stirred) and compares European and American attitudes toward it and toward environmental regulation in general.

    Too often, Whiteside argues, American critics of the precautionary principle pay insufficient attention to how the principle has been debated, refined, and elaborated elsewhere. Precautionary Politics fills this gap. Whiteside demonstrates the different responses of Europe and the United States, first by describing the controversy over genetically modified crops, and then by using this example throughout the book to illustrate application of the precautionary principle in different contexts. He contrasts the European view that new types of risk require specially adapted modes of regulation with the American method of science-based risk assessment, and argues that despite Bush administration opposition, U.S.-European convergence on precaution is possible. Finally, he looks at the ways in which participatory innovation can help produce environmentally positive results. Whiteside's systematic defense of the precautionary principle will be an important resource for students, scholars, activists, and policymakers and is particularly suitable for classroom use.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £7.99
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Divided Natures

    Divided Natures

    French Contributions to Political Ecology

    Kerry H Whiteside

    In this book Kerry Whiteside introduces the work of a range of French ecological theorists to an English-speaking audience. He shows how thinkers in France and in English-speaking countries have produced different strains of ecological thought and suggests that the work of French ecological theorists could lessen pervasive tensions in Anglophone ecology.

    Much of the theory written in English is shaped by the debate between anthropocentric ecologists, who contend that the value of our nonhuman surroundings derives from their role in fulfilling human interests, and ecocentric ecologists, who contend that the nonhuman world holds ultimate value in and of itself. This debate is almost nonexistent among French theorists, who tend to focus on the processes linking nature and human identity. Whiteside suggests that the insights of French theorists could help English-language theorists to extricate themselves from endless debates over the real center of nature's value.

    Among the French theorists discussed are Denis de Rougemont, Denis Duclos, René Dumont, Luc Ferry, André Gorz, Félix Guattari, Bruno Latour, Alain Lipietz, Edgar Morin, Serge Moscovici, and Michel Serres. The English-language theorists discussed include John Barry, Robyn Eckersley, Robert Goodin, Tim Hayward, Holmes Rolston III, and Paul Taylor.

    • Hardcover $67.50
    • Paperback $28.00