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Beyond the American culture wars: A call for environmental leadership and strengthening networks

Kate A. Berry

Keywords: culture wars; environmental governance; environmental leadership; United States

Abstract

This article focuses on the United States (US), looking at the American culture war specifically as it relates to environmental issues. Looking at the US today is a reminder that the culture wars are as overtly political as they are culturally motivated, and they diminish social cohesion. The term “culture wars” is defined as increases in volatility, expansion of polarization, and obvious conflicts in various parts of the world between, on the one hand, those who are passionate about religiously motivated politics, traditional morality, and anti-intellectualism, and, on the other hand, those who embrace progressive politics, cultural openness, and scientific and modernist orientations. The article examines this ideological war in contemporary environmental management debates. It identif es characteristics of environmental leadership and discusses how networks can act as environmental leaders.

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