Legacy of waste or wasted legacy? The end of industrial ecology in post-socialist Hungary

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In recent decades in the most developed countries, new approaches to environmental problems, including industrial ecology and ecological modernisation, have become prevalent. Based on interviews and archival research, this analysis argues that during state socialism Hungary had already instituted a production-centred, preventative approach to industrial wastes akin to industrial ecology. Ironically, after the collapse of state socialism, instead of keeping catching up with the West in this respect, the waste institutions and policies were disassembled with the slogan of privatisation and marketisation. As a result, the present dominant environmental discourse in Hungary argues that the environmental goals of the transition from state socialism can and should be achieved without state assistance, simply following market considerations. The resulting environmental policies represent a return to the domination of remedial, end-of-pipe technologies handed down from the West.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-231
Number of pages29
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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