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Since the 1980s there have been three influential attempts to ground citizenship on the principles of duty, obligation and responsibility: conservative, communitarian and Third Way. Each of these is reviewed in the article. The principal task of this article, however, is to examine the emergence of a fourth attempt, which, by relating duty to equality through the principle of reciprocity, represents a synthesis of traditional social democracy with the new politics of obligation. Our focus will be on The civic minimum by Stuart White, since this is arguably the most cogent expression of dutybased egalitarianism to have emerged in recent years.

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A New Agenda for Developed Nations

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. Climate change is the main challenge facing developed countries in the 21st century. To what extent does this agenda converge with issues of poverty and social exclusion? Climate change and poverty offers a timely new perspective on the ‘ecosocial’ understanding of the causes and symptoms of, and solutions to, poverty and applies this to recent developments across a number of areas, including fuel poverty, food poverty, housing, transport and air pollution. Unlike any other publication, the book therefore establishes a new agenda for both environmental and social policies which has cross-national relevance. It will appeal to students in social policy, public policy, applied social studies and politics and will also be of interest to those studying international development, economics and geography

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An analysis of the capabilities approach which argues it risks a certain indeterminacy and slipperiness. Resources like income and wealth should not be undervalued because they are social relations of power which significantly enable and constrain doings and beings. Poverty is a ‘poverty of capabilities’ in so far as this denotes a deficiency in the meta-capabilities which make capabilities possible. Therefore, we ought to focus upon the socionatural conditions underpinning the multiple dimensions of poverty. A poverty of capabilities implies deprivations in those resources central to both ecological and human-centred systems: socionatural resources. Thus, an ecosocial understanding of poverty defines it as the deprivations resulting from an inadequate distribution of, and participative access to, those resources which are essential to both natural and social environments.

Open access

This chapter argues that natural assets have not been given sufficient attention in a range of literatures dealing with assets, poverty and justice, and social policy. It critiques a principled justification for ecological modernisation by proposing that intrinsic value should be at the heart of social thinking and reforms. This then inspires the first elements of an ecosocial account via a discussion of de/commodification, alienation and exclusion. This account argues that we lack sufficient control over socioeconomic resources and adequate synergies between socioeconomic and natural resources; it proposes both the socialisation of natural resources but also the ‘re-naturing’ of economic and social relations. The chapter closes by offering a preliminary definition of ecosocial poverty.

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If socionatural resources are at the heart of any understanding of ecosocial poverty then we need to understand two dimensions: space and time. Since those resources occupy space and since space is itself a resource this chapter looks at the spatial dimensions of poverty by exploring two subjects – social policy, environmental sociology. Given the interdependencies of society and nature, therefore, we need to devise resilient shock-absorbers. Ecospatial deprivation is defined in terms of various categories and indicators: quantity, mobility, value, control, sharing and caring. The chapter ends with another iteration of what ecosocial poverty can be taken to mean.

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The second dimension pertaining to resources is that of time. At its best, the classic welfare state enabled social groups to socialise and ‘pool’ their time in contrast to capitalism's tendency to immobilise and freeze time. To this must be added the problems created by the short-term anthropocentrism which has dominated social and economic systems. The chapter analyses the problems associated with high discount rates and negative externalities Ecotemporal deprivation is defined in terms of the categories introduced in an earlier chapter: quantity, mobility, value, control, sharing and caring. The chapter concludes with another iteration of ecosocial poverty.

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A summary of the preceding chapters of this book to provide a bridge to Chapters Six to Ten.

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This chapter asks two questions: how can we protect the incomes of the poorest and how do we ensure that all people are sufficiently warm while also achieving reductions in carbon emissions? Without knowing exactly how much warmer winters and summers are likely to be, we need flexibility built into our reforms and reflexivity built into the policymaking process. The ecologically excessive, careless and destructive use of key socionatural resources is connected to the social deprivations that characterize that usage for millions of those on low incomes. In terms of energy our fossil fuel dependency has been misplaced, locking our social and economic infrastructures into a reliance on non-renewables that we have only begun to reconfigure and which will take several decades more to alter. Combined with profligate and profit-driven energy markets, the poorest are bearing the brunt of this. If we are to make a successful and fair transition to an economy of renewables, then mitigation and adaptation policies must make their interests front and centre.

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This chapter begins by arguing that food has been de-socialised by economic liberalism and by the domination of food corporations within the food chain. It reviews the extent to which an individualistic politics locates the causes of food poverty in poor people themselves. The gluttony of developed countries has had obvious consequences for developing ones. Yet within affluent nations, too, the poorest have suffered. Economic liberalism has created both the corporatization of the food chain and a culture in which ill-health (especially when related to obesity) is blamed on consumption habits rather than on what happens before food reaches the shelves. The chapter outlines the Ecological Public Health approach developed by Tim Lang and others, and concludes by raising two issues – concerning democracy and paternalism – that will be central to the ecosocial politics of the twenty-first century.

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This chapter discusses land, focusing upon housing markets and urban densities. It argues that housing-related poverty has risen due to a property boom, the decline in social housing and a shift in state subsidies towards income support. It observes that recent housing can also affect the natural environment adversely through the urban sprawl which creates densities lower than are ecologically sustainable. Poverty and sprawl therefore have a common denominator: the rent-seeking behaviour which typically favours owners above non-owners. This behaviour involves the manufacture of scarcities so that those enjoying a positional advantage can maintain their advantages, despite the social and environmental harms such behaviour often creates. The solution is to rebalance priorities so that non-positional goods come to the fore. One way of assisting this is through a Land Value Taxation,

Open access