Beyond the American culture wars

A call for environmental leadership and strengthening networks

in Regions and Cohesion
Kate A. Berry University of Nevada, Reno, USA

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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 identifies characteristics of environmental leadership and discusses how networks can act as environmental leaders.

Contributor Notes

KATE A. BERRY is Professor of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Berry specializes in the cultural politics of water, including research on Indigenous water quality governance; participation and environmental justice; and identity studies as they relate to irrigation policy and access to water. She is the chair of the International Panel Advisory Committee for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) initiatives CoCooN (Conflict and Cooperation in Natural Resource Management in Developing Countries) and CCMCC (Conflict and Cooperation in the Management of Climate Change). E-mail:

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Regions and Cohesion

Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

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