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Ecuador's Environmental RevolutionsEcoimperialists, Ecodependents, and Ecoresisters$
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Tammy L. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034296

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034296.001.0001

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Hypotheses from Ecuador

Hypotheses from Ecuador

(p.195) 8 Hypotheses from Ecuador
Ecuador's Environmental Revolutions

Tammy L. Lewis

The MIT Press

The concluding chapter summarizes the changes in the Ecuadorian environmental movement from 1978-2015. The movement grew, diversified, struggled and radicalized. The state expanded its conception of development beyond economic goals to include social and environmental goals. The impetus for that shift came from social actors working within Ecuador. Lessons from Ecuador are expanded to a general discussion of how the interplay of transnational funders, civil society and states affect development paths, and specifically what Allan Schnaiberg called the nature-society dialectic. Hypotheses related to environmental sociology, transnational social movements, and the sociology of development are laid out. The book concludes that neoliberalism was not conducive to sustainability. Alternatives to neoliberal development models arose when the state was least constrained by the international political economy. Under both capitalist and socialist leadership, Ecuador struggled with the fundamental contradictions of economic growth–the central driving logic of the treadmill of production. This was evident as the trade-offs among economic growth, social justice, and environmental protection shifted throughout the four periods. Alternatives to traditional development, such as Ecuador’s plan for buen vivir, rewrite the goals for development and offer some hope for an ecological synthesis of the human-nature dynamic.

Keywords:   Ecuador, Environment, Neoliberalism, Alternatives to development, Buen vivir, Environmental sociology, Social movements, Sociology of development, International political economy, Treadmill of production

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