Nature Unbound: Bureaucracy vs. the Environment (Independent Studies in Political Economy)

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9781598132281: Nature Unbound: Bureaucracy vs. the Environment (Independent Studies in Political Economy)

What if what we think we know about ecology and environmental policy is just wrong? What if environmental laws often make things worse? What if the very idea of nature has been hijacked by politics? What if wilderness is something we create in our minds, as opposed to being an actual description of nature? Developing answers to these questions and developing implications of those answers are our purposes in this book. Two themes guide us—political ecology and political entrepreneurship. Combining these two concepts, which we develop in some detail, leads us to recognize that sometimes in their original design and certainly in their implementation, major U.S. environmental laws are more about opportunism and ideology than good management and environmental improvement.

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About the Author:

Kenneth J. Sim is currently employed as an analyst with STRATA, an energy and environment think-tank. Ken specializes in environmental policy and has particular experience working with NEPA and the Clean Water Act. He has worked as a policy specialist at the university level and spent many years working for a private environmental consulting firm. Ken received both a Master’s degree in geography and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Utah State University. Randy T Simmons is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and former Mayor of Providence, Utah. Professor Simmons’s books include the award-winning Beyond Politics: The Roots of Government Failure, Aquanomics: Water Markets and the Environment and The Political Economy of Culture and Norms: Informal Solutions to the Commons Problem. A contributing author to various volumes such as Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy, he is the author of scholarly articles that have appeared in numerous journals, and his popular articles have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oregon, and he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah League of Cities and Towns and a Member of the Utah Governor’s Privatization Commission. Ryan M. Yonk is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Research Director for the Center for Public Lands and Rural Economics in the Department of Economics at Utah State University, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Utah University. Professor Ryan’s articles have appeared in such scholarly journals as Public Choice, The Independent Review, Political Perspectives, Applied Research in Quality of Life, and Journal of Public and Municipal Finance. His books include Petitioners as a Reflection of Society? A Study of Typology and Policy (with S. Reilly), Green Vs. Green: Conflicts in Environmental Priorities (with Randy Simmons and Brian Steed), and Political Ecology (with Randy Simmons and Brian Steed, forthcoming). He is also the author of policy reports for the U.S. Department of Energy, Center for Public Lands and Rural Economics at Utah State University, Utah Taxpayers Foundation, and Public Service Commission. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Georgia State University.

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