Double Standards and Simulation

International Conference at the University of Bath, UK, 1st - 4th September 2005

Organised by Ingolfur Blühdorn (University of Bath), Marcel Wissenburg (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Ian Welsh (Cardiff University) under the auspices of the International Sociological Association (ISA), Research Committee 24: Environment and Society

How do advanced modern societies sustain a model of civilisation that has long been known and acknowledged to be unsustainable? How do they manage to cope with the two certainties that a) in the established model ecological degradation continues, despite all eco-political efforts, in a largely unabated manner, and that b) an attractive and viable alternative model is nowhere in sight?

The suggestion of this conference is that symbolism, simulation, rhetoric and irony are key strategies. To explore how contemporary eco-politics is shaped by symbolic action, rhetoric, simulation and irony is the objective of this conference. It will bring together empirical research on case studies of double standards, symbolic politics, eco-rhetoric, the politics of irony, agenda hijacking, etc. and theoretical work trying to conceptualise and theorise such instances of symbolic politics, simulation, rhetoric or irony in eco-politics.

All relevant suggestions for papers are welcome. Booking forms, other information and contact details are available at: