Peter F. Cannavò

Peter Cannavò is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Hamilton College and the author of The Working Landscape (MIT Press).

  • Engaging Nature

    Engaging Nature

    Environmentalism and the Political Theory Canon

    Peter F. Cannavò and Joseph H. Lane, Jr.

    Essays that put noted political thinkers of the past—including Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Wollstonecraft, Marx, and Confucius—in dialogue with current environmental political theory.

    Contemporary environmental political theory considers the implications of the environmental crisis for such political concepts as rights, citizenship, justice, democracy, the state, race, class, and gender. As the field has matured, scholars have begun to explore connections between Green Theory and such canonical political thinkers as Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, and Marx. The essays in this volume put important figures from the political theory canon in dialogue with current environmental political theory. It is the first comprehensive volume to bring the insights of Green Theory to bear in reinterpreting these canonical theorists.

    Individual essays cover such classical figures in Western thought as Aristotle, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, and Burke, but they also depart from the traditional canon to consider Mary Wollstonecraft, W. E. B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, and Confucius. Engaging and accessible, the essays also offer original and innovative interpretations that often challenge standard readings of these thinkers. In examining and explicating how these great thinkers of the past viewed the natural world and our relationship with nature, the essays also illuminate our current environmental predicament.

    Essays on Plato • Aristotle • Niccolò Machiavelli • Thomas Hobbes • John Locke • David Hume • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Edmund Burke • Mary Wollstonecraft • John Stuart Mill • Karl Marx • W. E. B. Du Bois • Martin Heidegger • Hannah Arendt • Confucius

    Contributors Sheryl D. Breen, W. Scott Cameron, Peter F. Cannavò, Joel Jay Kassiola, Joseph H. Lane Jr. Timothy W. Luke, John M. Meyer, Özgüç Orhan, Barbara K. Seeber, Francisco Seijo, Kimberly K. Smith, Piers H. G. Stephens, Zev Trachtenberg, Andrew Valls, Harlan Wilson

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • The Working Landscape

    The Working Landscape

    Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place

    Peter F. Cannavò

    In America today we see rampant development, unsustainable resource exploitation, and commodification ruin both natural and built landscapes, disconnecting us from our surroundings and threatening our fundamental sense of place. Meanwhile, preservationists often respond with a counterproductive stance that rejects virtually any change in the landscape. In The Working Landscape, Peter Cannavò identifies this zero-sum conflict between development and preservation as a major factor behind our contemporary crisis of place. Cannavò offers practical and theoretical alternatives to this deadlocked, polarized politics of place by proposing an approach that embraces both change and stability and unifies democratic and ecological values, creating a "working landscape."

    Place, Cannavò argues, is not just an object but an essential human practice that involves the physical and conceptual organization of our surroundings into a coherent, enduring landscape. This practice must balance development (which he calls "founding") and preservation. Three case studies illustrate the polarizing development-preservation conflict: the debate over the logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest; the problem of urban sprawl; and the redevelopment of the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Cannavò suggests that regional, democratic governance is the best framework for integrating development and preservation, and he presents specific policy recommendations that aim to create a "working landscape" in rural, suburban, and urban areas. A postscript on the mass exile, displacement, and homelessness caused by Hurricane Katrina considers the implications of future climate change for the practice of place.

    • Hardcover $15.75 £12.99
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99

Contributor

  • The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice

    The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice

    Michael Maniates and John M. Meyer

    An argument that the idea of sacrifice, with all its political baggage, opens new paths to environmental sustainability.

    The idea of sacrifice is the unspoken issue of environmental politics. Politicians, the media, and many environmentalists assume that well-off populations won't make sacrifices now for future environmental benefits and won't change their patterns and perceptions of consumption to make ecological room for the world's three billion or so poor eager to improve their standard of living. The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice challenges these assumptions, arguing that they limit our policy options, weaken our ability to imagine bold action for change, and blind us to the ways sacrifice already figures in everyday life. The concept of sacrifice has been curiously unexamined in both activist and academic conversations about environmental politics, and this book is the first to confront it directly. The chapters bring a variety of disciplinary perspectives to the topic. Contributors offer alternatives to the conventional wisdom on sacrifice; identify connections between sacrifice and human fulfillment in everyday life, finding such concrete examples as parents' sacrifices in raising children, religious practice, artists' pursuit of their art, and soldiers and policemen who risk their lives to do their jobs; and examine particular policies and practices that shape our understanding of environmental problems, including the carbon tax, incentives for cyclists, and the perils of green consumption. The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice puts “sacrifice” firmly into the conversation about effective environmental politics and policies, insisting that activists and scholars do more than change the subject when the idea is introduced.

    Contributors Peter Cannavò, Shane Gunster, Cheryl Hall, Karen Litfin, Michael Maniates, John M. Meyer, Simon Nicholson, Anna Peterson, Thomas Princen, Sudhir Chella Rajan, Paul Wapner, Justin Williams

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Political Theory and Global Climate Change

    Political Theory and Global Climate Change

    Steve Vanderheiden

    Political theorists consider the challenge of global climate change from a range of perspectives, including conceptual analysis, critical theory, critical legal studies, and neo-Marxism.

    Climate change will shape the political, economic, and cultural landscape as surely as it shapes the natural landscape. It challenges our existing political institutions, ethical theories, and ways of conceptualizing the human relationship to the environment, it defies current principles of distributive justice, transcends current discourses on rights, and disrupts our sense of place. Political Theory and Global Climate Change argues that the conceptual tools of political theory can help us understand the obstacles to fair and effective global climate change policies, and this volume offers a selection of innovative and integrative scholarly efforts to do so. Illuminating the variety of political, economic, and social problems caused by global warming, the book applies a range of theoretical approaches and methodologies—from analytic philosophy and constitutional and legal theory to neo-Marxism and critical theory—using climate change as a case to test standard normative and empirical premises.

    The book first looks at distributive justice concerns raised by climate change, including allocation of the global atmospheric commons and how to establish the basis for a fair and effective global climate policy regime, then examines the complex relationships between climate change and society, including the way that social institutions and practices construct, reinforce, aim to address, and are disrupted by climatic instability. Showing how political theory challenges and is challenged by global climate change, the book both demonstrates and evaluates innovative approaches in the developing field of environmental political theory.

    Contributors Martin J. Adamian, John Barry, Peter F. Cannavò, Stephen Gardiner, George Gonzalez, Amy Lovecraft, Timothy W. Luke, Leigh Raymond, Steve Vanderheiden

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99