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Security and Solidarity: An Anti-Reductionist Framework for Thinking about the Relationship between Us and the Rest of Nature

Michael Thompson
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 163, No. 2, Environmental Transformations in Developing Countries (Jul., 1997), pp. 141-149
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/3060177
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3060177
Page Count: 9
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Security and Solidarity: An Anti-Reductionist Framework for Thinking about the Relationship between Us and the Rest of Nature
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Abstract

The primary concern of this paper is the responsiveness of micro-level actors - mountain farmers, for instance - and the argument that responsiveness is shaped by the various forms of social solidarity of which those actors are the components. Since forms of social solidarity are plural - fourfold, it is argued - policy approaches that are based on the idea that people are unresponsive, or on the idea that they are all responsive in the same way, or even on the idea that they are responsive in two ways (the familiar markets and hierarchies) are not going to be effective. Plural responsiveness requires a very different approach: one that seeks to harness this plurality, not reduce it. The contradictory certainties that are generated by the different solidarities then cease to be obstacles to rational decision-making, and become guideposts towards ways of enhancing security (especially environmental security), and the policy focus shifts away from optimization and economic efficiency towards negotiation and the nurturing of trust among solidarities.

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