Bioregionalism and Civil Society addresses the urgent need
for sustainability in industrialized societies. The book explores the
bioregional movement in the US, Canada, and Mexico, examining its
vision, values, strategies, and tools for building sustainable
societies. Bioregionalism is a philosophy with values and practices
that attempt to meld issues of social and economic justice and
sustainability with cultural, ecological, and spiritual concerns.
Further, bioregional efforts at democratic social and cultural change
take place primarily in the sphere of civil society.
Practically, Carr argues for bioregionalism as a place-specific,
community movement that can stand in diverse opposition to the
homogenizing trends of corporate globalization. Theoretically, the
author seeks lessons for civil society-based social theory and
strategy. Conventional civil society theory from Europe proposes a dual
strategy of developing strong horizontal communicative action among
civic associations and networks as the basis for strategic vertical
campaigns to democratize both state and market sectors. However, this
theory offers no ecological or cultural critique of consumerism. By
contrast, Carr integrates both social and natural ecologies in a civil
society theory that incorporates lessons about consumption and cultural
transformation from bioregional practice.
Carr's argument that bioregional values and community-building
tools support a diverse, democratic, socially just civil society that
respects and cares for the natural world makes a significant
contribution to the field of green political science, social change
theory, and environmental thought.
Mike Carr has been active for decades in the social justice, peace, and ecology movements, in addition to bioregionalism. For the past several years he has taught geography, urban studies, and First Nation studies at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
Acknowledgments Introduction: Corporate Globalism, Civil Society, and Bioregionalism 1. Civil Society against Consumerism 2. Ecocentric Social Capital: The Ecology of Kinship 3. Bioregional Vision and Values 4. Bioregional Strategy and Tools for Community Building 5. Narrative Accounts of Reinhabitation in Rural and Urban Settings 6. Continental Movement: A Narrative Account of the Continental Bioregional Story 7. Conclusion: Civil Society Theory, Bioregionalism, and Global Order References Index