From "the silent spring" to the globalization of the environmental movement

Source of Publication

Journal of International and Global Studies


This paper traces the history of environmental movement and the growing awareness of sustainable living in the past half a century. Taking The Silent Spring of Rachel Spring (published in 1962) as a point of departure, this paper navigates through the interplay of awareness and consciousness raising, knowledge production, institution building, environmental movement and its globalization. The paper examines the lack of development of a holistic understating of environmental challenges of the world in the face of issue-based social movements. The paper presents the transformation of the conceptualization of development from a narrow "economic development" as measured in income growth to a more inclusive sustainable development where the focus is on quality of life, wellbeing and happiness. The paper provides a brief history of the environmental activism prompted by the growing awareness about environmental and ecological sustainability to the globalization of the environmental movement. In this process environmental activism launched by the civil society, the state and inter-state institutions played an important role. Movements for political rights and economic entitlements need to include environmental rights as an integral part of social movements. In many parts of the Global South such an integrated, thus holistic, movement is still wanting or remains at a rudimentary stage.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Habibul Haque Khondker, Zayed University

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