In recent years, Ecological Modernization has been shaped by criticisms about the lack of applicability to developing country contexts; in short, Ecological Modernization has been seen only as a process that occurs in industrialized nations. However, more recent scholarship has looked at how deliberative processes on environmental issues also take place in developing countries, most notably the work of David Sonnenfeld on pulp factories in Southeast Asia. This paper seeks to highlight deliberative democratic practices in environmental debates, but also how these discussions can be spurred from the grassroots level, through the utilization of institutional reforms. The introduction of the Right to Information Act (RTI) in India in 2005, stemming from activism and protests to implement such legislation, has served as a means for social activists to gain entry into discussions about policy issues and government accountability. Among the various issues that activists have utilized the RTI for are environmental issues, playing a role in monitoring government policy formulation and implementation. This process can be called an “opening of democracy” and is characterized by the development of more inclusive processes of deliberation, which have allowed multiple parties to have a stake in environmental issues in India.
|Keywords:||Right to Information, India, Ecological Modernization, Environmental Activism|
PhD Student, Sociology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA