Social ecology challenges environmental participation: HES opposition cases in Turkey

Eryılmaz, Çağrı
The main research question of this thesis is “How can HES (small scale hydroelectricity plant) opposition be analyzed in terms of social ecology?” A second research question is raised to answer first one as “How can any environmental action be analyzed in terms of social ecology?” About ecological crisis, Murray Bookchin’s social ecology develops strong criticism against liberal environmentalism, deep ecology and Marxism and provides an alternative radical social change as Libertarian Municipalism (LM). Social ecology criticizes environmentalism as legitimizing current status quo destroying nature and offers ecological approach for real solution. LM movement is a political program of social ecology to reach rational, ecological and democratic society that is domination free and so does not dominate nature. I developed a LM movement model from Janet Biehl’s study and integrated this model into George Pepper’s classification of environmentalism to reach a Classification Table (CT) that is based on social ecological principles. CT is an attempt to develop a tool to analyze all sorts of environmental activities according to social ecology. Implementation of CT at field study shows HES opposition has the desire of strict state controls and planning as significant aspects of welfare-liberal environmentalism. On the other hand, the common critique of central, urban, professional and fund dependent environmentalism of national ENGOs fits market-liberal environmentalism critique of LM model. The increasing demand to join decision-making mechanism, the bottom-to-top regional organization of local platforms and “living space” discourse show LM tendency. In fact, HES threat ignites participation demands of local people in Turkey.


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Citation Formats
Ç. Eryılmaz, “Social ecology challenges environmental participation: HES opposition cases in Turkey ,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.