Green Politics in a National Framework
Guest lecture by professor John Barry. Open for all.
Green politics is often framed as (and also reflected in dominant self-understandings of itself), a form of 'acting locally, thinking globally' in which the national level is usually omitted.
Hence much of green thinking is cast in very local terms (community or town/municipal based such as the Transition Towns movement or the sustainability potentials of city-regions), or global terms such as UN Climate diplomacy, global justice or various sorts of 'cosmopolitan' thinking.
However, without rejecting this local-global focus, there are reasons (both practical and normative) that can be advanced for green politics to view the positive potentials of the institutions of the nation-state and associated ideas of national identity to contribute to the transition from unsustainability. One such potential direction is a 'green civic republican' defence (and reform) of the nation-state so that it may be 'fit for purpose' for he challenges and opportunities of this transition.
John Barry is a Professor in Politics, Queens University, Belfast