This article presents a long-term study of German waste management policies and technologies as they developed during the second half of the twentieth century. The postwar "waste avalanche" called for quick and crude political decisions. Unexpected environmental side effects prompted new governance and leads through six different stages of policies based on scientific models and advanced technologies—all of them controversial. The case exemplifies a typical condition of a knowledge society. Politics demands a reliable knowledge base for rational decision making. Science, however, supplies open-ended research and increases uncertainties. Turning the dilemma into an operational perspective, I suggest speaking of processes of real-world experimentation with waste. The transformation of waste from something to be ignored and disregarded into an epistemic object of concern is bound to experimenting with existing and newly designed waste sites as well as with socio-technical management systems. The study focuses on the development in Germany. Its general features, however, are characteristic for comparable industrial societies.
Jos Spits, Barrie Needham, Toine Smits, and Twan Brinkhof
Many historical cities are built alongside rivers. Floodplains were attractive sites for urban expansion. However, the flood events since the 1990's have shown that many urban settlements are under flood risk. This research investigates how flood management and land use planning policies have changed after high water and (near)floods in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. In particular, it investigates how changing policies affect the development of urban riverfronts. Policy documents have been analyzed from all three countries and case studies illustrate the impact of changing policies on concrete developments.
Werner Krauss, Mike S. Schäfer, and Hans von Storch
This special symposium grew out of a workshop held in Hamburg in 2011 (Krauss and von Storch 2012) and of a long-term interest in climate research as post-normal science. A decade earlier, Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch (1999) stated that the management of uncertainty and its extension into the political and social realm make climate science a case for post-normal science. Interpreting a survey among German and American climate scientists, they suggested that scientific policy advice is the result of both scientific knowledge and normative judgment.
The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis challenged one of the basis principles of modernity: the divide between nature and society. In a case study on the German agricultural sector, I analyze how the societal actors responded in order to cope with the crisis. In their attempt to re-establish the division between nature and society, they employed the ambivalences of this relationship for strategic purposes. The actors sought to relocate or to newly define the boundary in line with their own ideas and interests. It can be seen how "nature" was frequently used as legitimizing ground in the narratives. The analysis of the politics of nature aims to add a process dimension to Latourian diagnosis of the eroding nature-society divide.
Stefan Heiland, Silke Spielmans, and Bernd Demuth
The article examines the relevance of demographic change for the development of rural landscapes, especially in Germany's shrinking regions. To date, no empirical investigations have undertaken the matter. Thus, the article is mainly based on literature analysis and the findings of expert workshops. The research indicates that demographic change does not have as strong impact on landscapes as other factors such as agricultural policy, climate change, and the promotion of renewable energies. Nonetheless, from the perspective of nature conservation, there might be some indirect effects caused by structural and institutional changes of administrations, which could lead to a decline in importance of landscape-related concerns. In addition, changes in environmental consciousness due to rising cultural diversity could lead to a different societal attitude toward landscapes and their values.
This article presents an approach to mapping multivalent metaphors, that is, metaphors that imply competing values. It suggests that a metaphor's interpretative repertoire can usefully be structured in terms of worldviews derived from political philosophies. To illustrate this approach, the article analyzes how Wildnis (wild nature) is used to refer to the Zwischenstadt (hybrid peri-urban landscapes) in German language planning discourse. It thus makes a contribution toward interpreting and structuring this discourse. After outlining the methodological framework, the article presents certain elements of the interpretative repertoire of Wildnis by outlining selected liberal, Romantic, and conservative interpretations of this metaphor. It then interprets actual statements by urban and landscape planners and designers, reconstructing how they refer to various political interpretations of Wildnis. Finally, it is argued that the approach can benefit planning practice by enhancing frame awareness and by allowing for a systematic analysis of the metaphor's blind spots.
Zoe Bray and Christian Thauer
2006 ). Local workers in Bangladesh working in the supply chain of a large German discounter, for example, contacted the German Christian faith-based NGO Südwind and the NGO network of the Clean Clothes Campaign in order to complain about the working
Lessons from Eastern Europe
Ștefan Dorondel, Stelu Şerban, and Marian Tudor
-man's land—a heavily militarized area between the former German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany—developed its own ecological arrangements with meadows, grasslands, and wetlands. This militarized land became the object of disputes
ideology within certain contexts?” (245). Further on, comparisons with other countries, notably Germany, the United States, and Canada, are always insightful. The last pages concentrate on themes such as globalization, social movements, and alternative
Posthuman? Nature and Culture in Renegotiation
Kornelia Engert and Christiane Schürkmann
entanglements. With a special regard to approaches that emphasize material agency, and based on document analysis, Christiane Schürkmann focuses on nuclear waste management policy in Germany as an example of how modern societies are challenged by a toxic