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New Release: End of an Illusion [30.07.2012]


When sustainability is addressed at the political level, it is often nothing else than a lip service. Concerns about ecology and environment are increasingly shifted to the private sphere. Sustainable consumption, that’s the message, would create the necessary pressure to force industry and commerce to produce and deliver environmentally friendly products. Armin Grunwald contradicts. In his view, what matters is "more civic engagement". Personal responsibility and the duty of citizens to get involved as agents of change, both politically and socially are the indispensable conditions for a credible move towards sustainability. How to proceed is outlined by the author in eight chapters.

At the beginning of the book he argues that the current social debate on ecological consumption goes in the wrong direction. By moralizing, the pressure of "political correctness" and paternalistic considerations, consumers would be overloaded with responsibilities, which they could never live up to. He criticizes the mix of the public and the private sphere in these matters reigned by different principles. While in the public sphere transparency and legitimacy are a fundamental requirement, the private sphere is tellingly exempted from these obligations. The proposed approach focuses on the responsibility of the political system. "In order to achieve a thorough and robust change of the current course, the political framework conditions have to be changed. This includes taxation of goods and services, laws and regulations, and incentive systems that influence our decision." The responsibility of each citizens lies then in the active participation in the democratic system.

Bibliographic data:
Grunwald, A.
Ende einer Illusion. Warum ökologisch korrekter Konsum uns nicht retten wird. München: Oekom, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86581-309-1, 128 S.
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