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Environmental Values

Rhetoric as a Means for Sustainable Development Policy

Gael Plumecocq

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 529-549. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181914


This paper examines the hypothesis that all public policies are based, at least in part, on rhetorical strategies. By analysing public policies implemented in the context of sustainable development, this article emphasises the need for and the challenges of providing legitimate foundations for the rhetorical means used to encourage change; it is these foundations that determine a given policy's efficacy. To do so, historical analyses are used, as well as socio-economic perspectives examined through textual analysis. The text concludes by showing the importance of a common framework for action based on shared values at the regional level for legitimising the political use of rhetoric to change behaviours and attitudes.


Public policies, rhetoric, needs, legitimacy, multidisciplinary approaches

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values. Sarah Hards

Sustainability and the 'Struggle for Existence': The Critical Role of Metaphor in Society's Metabolism.Tim Jackson

Sustainable Development: Needs, Values, Rights. Michael Redclift

Can We Talk Ourselves into Sustainability? The Role of Discourse in the Environmental Policy Process. Yvonne Rydin

How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio-diverse Trail. Clive L. Spash

Territorial Equity and Sustainable Development. Bertrand Zuindeau

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Climate Change, Irreversible Change and Changing Perspectives. Claudia Carter

Acceptance of a Payment for Ecosystem Services Scheme: The Decisive Influence of Collective Action. Jean-Pierre Del Corso, Thi Dieu Phuong Geneviève Nguyen, Charilaos Kephaliacos

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