Title page for ETD etd-4924178109653120

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cato, Mary E.
URN etd-4924178109653120
Title The Limits of Law as Technology for Environmental Policy: A Case Study of the Bronx Community Paper Company
Degree Master of Science
Department Science and Technology Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hirsh, Richard F.
Barrow, Mark V. Jr. Committee Co-Chair
De Laet, Marianne K. Committee Co-Chair
  • social technology
  • controversy studies
  • environmental law
  • actornetwork
  • technology transfer
Date of Defense 1996-09-28
Availability unrestricted
This thesis examines environmental law as a social technology,

using approaches from science and technology studies,

including methods for studying controversies as well as

actor-network and technology transfer concepts. Legal

technologies, including statutes, regulations, and lawsuits, have

become significant participants in United States environmental

policy. That policy developed during the twentieth century in

response to contrasting concerns about nature (development

of natural resources vs. protection of native species and

wilderness), along with growing concern about urban

environmental issues (such as air and water quality), and

waste disposal). The environmental movement that began after

World War II gained power with provisions incorporated into

1970s environmental legislation allowing citizens to sue

polluting industries and corporations. Opposition to

environmentalism developed in the 1980s, as wise use and

property rights movements seeking to expand development of

natural resources, and an environmental justice movement

concerned with issues and constituencies not addressed by

mainstream environmental organizations. As a result of that

opposition, the environmental movement in the United States

has strengthened, and broadened both the memberships in

varied organizations and the range of issues addressed. A

case study of the Bronx Community Paper Company provides

an example of the current state of environmental law and

policy in the United States, and the limited ability of legal

technologies to resolve increasingly complex environmental


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