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Environmental compensations and the problem of "constitutive incommensurability": a sociological analysis.

Abstract : The aim of the paper is to discuss environmental compensations from the perspective of the pragmatic sociology of valuation. I use valuation to point to the social process of attribution of value, in this case the attribution of value to an environment. Value should not be intended exclusively as economic value but as any form of attribution of worth and importance to the environment. If an environment is valued, this means that it matters to us. And the ways in which an environment can matter to us are radically plural. The existence in our societies of a plurality of modes of valuation of the environment can account for different kinds of problems of incommensurability we are confronted to when deciding on the compensability of an environmental loss. In particular, when the environment is valued as a place of personal attachments -on the basis of a "familiar engagement" with the environment- this gives rise to a form of radical (or "constitutive") incommensurability, which implies the refusal to consider a certain environment as equivalent to others. Through the case-study of the opposition to the expansion of the Malpensa airport in Milan, I will show how, when contesting the legitimacy of compensations, social actors can rely on "environmental goods of proximity" to challenge the legitimacy of the equivalences implied by compensation measures and, more generally, to challenge the higher general interest justifying the sacrifice of environmental goods.
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Contributor : Laura Centemeri Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 11:14:43 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:59:51 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 8:56:00 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01053286, version 1



Laura Centemeri. Environmental compensations and the problem of "constitutive incommensurability": a sociological analysis.. 2013. ⟨hal-01053286⟩



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