From the Political to the Objective: The Dialectics of Zionism and the Environment

Avner De-Shalit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Is the argument that we can only conceiveof the ‘environment’ in political terms far-fetched? Is an objective understanding of the concept of the ‘environment’ possible? By an analysis of three phases in the relationship between Zionism and the environment, it can be argued, first, that not only the developmental but also the romantic attitudes to the environment regard the latter instrumentally and both constitute political definitions of the environment; and second, that a direct transition from a romantic-ruralist attitude to the environment to a modern, scientifically-based environmentalism is - at least in Israel - impossible, and that the anti-thesis of the ethos of development has been necessary for the instrumental and political approach to the environment to be abandoned and the environment related to as it is. Further, the shift from the objective to the political conception of the environment raises certain general theoretical questions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-87
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1995


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