Publications & Reviews

eBook (open access): The Impossibilities of the Circular Economy Separating Aspirations from Reality, by Harry Lehmann et al.

eBook (open access): The Impossibilities of the Circular Economy Separating Aspirations from Reality, by Harry Lehmann et al.

Lehmann, H., Hinske, C., de Margerie, V., & Slaveikova Nikolova, A. (Eds.). (2022). The Impossibilities of the Circular Economy: Separating Aspirations from Reality (1st ed.). Routledge.


The fifth Factor X publication from the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA), The Impossibilities of the Circular Economy provides an overview of the limits to the circular economy, emphasising the relationship between integrated resource use and more systemic leadership-management approaches. On a European level, the book ties into the recent European Green Deal and aims to empower actors across sectors and EU member countries to transition from existing linear models of value capture and expression to more systemic-circular solutions of value capture and expression. The volume provides a hands-on contribution towards building the knowledge and skill sets of current and future decision-makers who face these complex-systemic crises in their day-to-day business. The book further provides access to best practices from cutting-edge research and development findings, which will empower decision-makers to develop a more sustainable and equitable economy. Providing solutions for a more sustainable economy, this book is essential reading for scholars and students of natural resource use, sustainable business, environmental economics and sustainable development, as well as decision-makers and experts from the fields of policy development, industry and civil society.

More details

Book: "The Dialectics of Ecology: Socialism and Nature" by John Bellamy Foster

Book: "The Dialectics of Ecology: Socialism and Nature" by John Bellamy Foster

"The Dialectics of Ecology: Socialism and Nature", John Bellamy Foster - Monthly Review Press, 2024

Today the fate of the earth as a home for humanity is in question—and yet, contends John Bellamy Foster, the reunification of humanity and the earth remains possible if we are prepared to make revolutionary changes. As with his prior books, The Dialectics of Ecology is grounded in the contention that we are now faced with a concrete choice between ecological socialism and capitalist exterminism, and rooted in insights drawn from the classical historical materialist tradition. In this latest work, Foster explores the complex theoretical debates that have arisen historically with respect to the dialectics of nature and society. He then goes on to examine the current contradictions associated with the confrontation between capitalist extractivism and the financialization of nature, on the one hand, and the radical challenges to these represented by emergent visions of ecological civilization and planned degrowth, on the other. The product of contemporary ecosocialist debates, The Dialectics of Ecology builds on earlier works by Foster, including Marx’s Ecology (2000) and The Return of Nature (2020), aimed at the development of a dialectical naturalism and the formation of a path to sustainable human development.

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review and professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Oregon. He has written many books including The Robbery of Nature (with Brett Clark) and The Return of Nature, which won the Deutscher Memorial Prize.

More details

A green extractivist railway? Exploring the political ecology of Europe’s largest infrastructure project

Abstract: 'Environmentalists' tend to enthusiastically embrace new railway projects as desirable alternatives to more carbon-intensive aviation and road infrastructures. Yet, across Europe and beyond, communities and campaigners have resisted the building of high-speed railway projects and the violence they entail. The UK government's High-Speed Two (HS2) trainline, currently under construction, is one such project – Europe's biggest infrastructure project since World War II. While the British government continues to defend HS2 as 'green' and necessary, the project comes at enormous ecological and social costs, cutting through over one hundred ancient woodlands, exceeding its budget, and necessitating the eviction and resettlement of human and nonhuman communities along the line. Drawing on recent work in (anarchist) political ecology, (green) extractivism, and infrastructural colonization, and embedded in the history of colonial railways and extractivism, this article argues that the project should be conceptualized as a green extractivist megaproject. In the face of determined opposition, HS2 serves to profit the British construction industry, political (economic) elites, wealthy commuters, and the City of London, and to uphold 'zero-carbon' imaginaries while expected to exacerbate the North-South divide and degrade environments. Green extractivist megaprojects, this case study shows, can reproduce the same injustices, violences, and social and ecological harms as other types of industrial developments.

Read more

The slow violence of fortress conservation creates conditions for socially unjust ‘voluntary’ relocation

Abstract: The creation of inviolate Protected Areas for the conservation of charismatic carnivores displaces forest-dwelling communities and reduces their access to vital forest-based livelihood resources like timber, wild food, commercial gums-resins, fuel, and fodder for livestock. We illustrate how exclusionary projects to conserve the Asiatic Lion and the African cheetah in Kuno National Park have adversely affected forest-based livelihoods and the indigenous tree tenure system of the Sahariya, a particularly vulnerable indigenous group in central India. This article traces the social justice implications of long-term restrictions on forest access and how these shape people's response to government attempts to relocate them.

Read more

Review of "Decolonize Conservation, Global Voices for Indigenous Self-Determination, Land, and a World in Common"

Decolonize Conservation, Global Voices for Indigenous Self-Determination, Land, and a World in CommonDecolonize Conservation, Global Voices for Indigenous Self-Determination, Land, and a World in CommonDecolonize Conservation: Global Voices for Indigenous Self-Determination, Land, and a World in Common
by Fiore Longo and Ashley Dawson, eds., Survival International

Publisher: Common Notions
ISBN: 978-1-942173-76-2 Published: April 2023, Paperback, Pages: 256

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In fact, this book makes a strong case, bordering on a polemic, that it is rather bad intentions, those of Big Conservation, that paves the road to hell for the Indigenous peoples. It proposes alternative conservation models fully involving the Indigenous, the traditional, wise guardians of nature, and rightful owners of what became "Protected Areas", National and Transboundary Parks. Despite centuries of displacement by colonialism, Conservation rarely takes place in a vacuum with total wilderness remaining, largely, a myth. Conservation nearly always affects indigenous and local people and should no longer take place at their detriment or without their full and informed consent and participation. This is an eye-opening book that every well-meaning supporter and employee of big conservation organizations should read. Edited by Survival International’s Fiore Longo and Ashley Dawson and written in a reader-friendly, non-technical style, it contains first-hand testimonials/horror stories and views of some 40 authors, mostly indigenous activists but also analysis by academics from 18 countries, in Africa, South Asia (predominantly India) South America, Europe and North America. Most chapters are based on presentations at the “Our Land, Our Nature” congress, which was organized by Survival International, Minority Rights Group and Rainforest Foundation UK, and held in Marseille in September 2021, during the pandemic.  

The central argument of the book is more or less: Wilderness is an artificial concept, as on the one hand Humanity is not separate from Nature and on the other around half of the protected areas had been previously inhabited by indigenous people who managed them wisely. Characteristically, the world’s first park, Yosemite, was developed in the land of the Miwok people, 39 years after they had been expelled by miners. California’s empty parks, also thanks to the Climate Change, now catch fire more easily. Big Conservation is an industry, with roots in Colonial times, and like any other industry, in its neocolonial (and neoCO2lonial) form, is out to make money from the Global South. In addition, this industry is hypocritical too as it claims to save nature and communities while actually destroying them both, by displacing communities and allowing extractive activities inside protected areas. It leverages the Climate Crisis to protect vast new chunks of ‘wilderness’ (from the current `17% of the world or roughly the size of Russia, to reach 30% by 2023 under the infamous 30x30 plan ) so as to attract huge additional funding (up to $10 trillion by some estimates, little of which will reach the communities) by greenwashing (via offsets, REDD and nature-based-solutions) corporations so that the latter can go on polluting, extracting and exploiting, sometimes within the said protected area. Other funds are being generated through cooperation with the intelligence community to combat illegal wildlife trade, also a source of funding for extremist groups. In essence, the big 5 (pun intended) conservation organizations of the Anglo world, are the new “East India” and “East Africa” Companies of the colonial era, thus we have a neocolonial conservation model. As their forefathers, they went in first, then came the troops: conservation is becoming increasingly militarized, with lethal effects for indigenous and locals. In Tanzania , Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Botswana and some of India’s states, among others, there is a shoot-on-sight policy, so rangers are allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. Anyones that moves inside the forest is conveniently called a poacher, even if hunting for subsistence. In Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the biggest rainforest reserve in Africa and one of the biggest in the world, there have been several “extra-judicial killings'' (a polite synonym for “murders”) of suspected “poachers”. Pastoralists are also unwanted and occasionally shot at. While agro-pastoralism is accepted in France and within Cévennes National Park (a World Heritage Site) for some reason it is not fit for Tanzania and the Maasai traditional pastures. Could this just be plain racism?

Gameplan, maximising the social impact of events

GameplanGameplanGameplan is a free handbook, aimed at practitioners for maximising the social impact of their events. It is the accumulation of five years research by Doncaster Council's Get Doncaster Moving team and Leeds Beckett University's School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management and Carnegie School of Sport.

Gameplan intends to stimulate consideration for the wider social impact that major sporting events can have and provides a framework for event planning with sustained community engagement at its heart. It contains 25 tactics that provide guidance, or 'helpful hows', and 10 downloadable templates. You can read Gameplan using an online reader or download your own copy.

More details

ASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era

ASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Post-COVID-19 EraASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Post-COVID-19 EraThe ASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era was recently released by the association of southeast Asian nations in January 2023 to guide the work on ASEAN’s sustainable tourism development agenda. As articulated in the AEC Blueprint 2025, the vision for Southeast Asia is to make the region a “quality tourism destination” that offers a unique and diverse ASEAN experience and is committed to sustainable tourism development. As a collective effort towards realising this vision, the ASEAN Tourism Ministers have endorsed the ASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era with the support of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). The framework identifies focus areas and seeks to capitalise on the work that is already being undertaken by the tourism sector and other relevant sectors in the ASEAN Community particularly in the years leading up to 2025 and beyond.

Download document

Report: Fair Work for All? A review of employment practices in the Scottish hospitality industry

Fair Work For All?Fair Work For All?Authors: Anastasios Hadjisolomou, Irma Booyens, Dennis Nickson, Tayler Cunningham, Tom Baum

PDF, 31 pages

The Strathclyde Business School report surveyed 300 workers in Scotland's hospitality sector and found that 95% experienced abuse from customers, owners and managers during the pandemic, while a third are working without a contract. The report's recommendations include creating regulations and systems for pay rises, setting up management training programmes around harassment, and encouraging partnership agreements between employers and employee representatives. Co-author Dr Anastasios Hadjisolomou, pointed out that long-standing employment issues and unfair work in hospitality were exacerbated by the pandemic.

Download the Report

Book Review: "Are we there yet? Travelling More Responsibly with Your Children"

Are We There Yet?Are We There Yet?Are We There Yet? Travelling More Responsibly with Your Children - by Rachel Dodds and Richard Butler
ISBN 978-1-66784-419-0, BookBaby, 2022

The wordplay in the title (combining typical children’s impatience along with “have we attained sustainability”) already indicates that this is both useful and enjoyable reading.

Whereas many parents fear that travel with young children is complicated and dangerous and that young children will not even remember travelling, let alone travelling responsibly, the authors make a convincing case that responsible travel with children is both feasible and meaningful, and for all, not just the elites - it can save money, if planned. And this is the whole point of the book, to help with the planning.

This innovative guide sets out to do many things at once, yet it succeeds! It tries to explain what responsible travel is, what it involves, why it matters, how parents can handle travelling with children at various ages and on different holiday types, destinations and continents, and on top of that how they can travel better, in a more responsible manner. The hard-earned success at the end is no accident as the authors are both leading sustainable tourism academics and seasoned travellers with children! Without sacrificing accuracy, the book is written in plain and engaging English, and this way, many older children may also understand it.

Even though the focus is on parents, the book includes exhaustive lists of responsible travel guidelines which are valid for everyone and everywhere. Some guidelines are common sense, others you may never have guessed unless having travelled to a particular destination (e.g. “wait for your welcome” in a Maori marae) and some could be debated in perpetuity (“Do not give pens, candy or other gifts to local children”).

‘Boxes’ containing interesting and sometimes rather personal stories from traveling parents, including the authors, and others who are also well-known travel professionals and academics, judging from the credits, serve as useful intermissions. Some of the more complicated first-hand accounts could have been analysed from a political, sociological and psychological perspective, but the goal of the authors is to provide a concise handbook for travelling parents, not deep, academic-level analysis.

As expected, the guide takes a negative view of all-inclusives, cruises, and attractions that exploit animals, while zoos are given the benefit of the doubt as long as they support conservation efforts.

Other notable advice includes:

“Most children cannot focus as long as adults, so pick one or two key things you want to visit in a museum or attraction, rather than trying to see everything” (p.53)

“... try to involve your children in the decision-making.” (p.56)

“For children old enough to read, encourage them to read about the place they are going to visit” (p.59)

“If you have school-aged children, consider taking children out of school for a week or two.” (p.122)

The guide is structured so that chapters can be read independently, which is a good decision even if it inadvertedly creates a few repetitions. The more inquisitive readers will also appreciate recommended online resources of various types and a useful index of responsible travel phrases as in “Do you have recycling?” - which in Chinese is Nǐ yǒu huíshōu ma? - and also in Hindi, French, German and Spanish.

This guide is perfect for its purpose. A shorter and simplified, children’s version, with photos and illustrations, questions/quizzes, tasks and empty pages for travel notes, could also be produced perhaps, so that children could read directly and quietly these words of wisdom and stay out of mischief during those long, responsible, journeys!

More details and to order (Discounts available to US-based Members, contact us)

Sustainability Leadership in Tourism - Interviews, Insights, and Knowledge from Practice

Sustainability Leadership in TourismSustainability Leadership in Tourism

Kaefer, F. (2022). Sustainability Leadership in Tourism, Interviews, Insights, and Knowledge from Practice, Future of Business and Finance. Springer, Cham

This professional guidebook highlights sustainable tourism development and management for businesses and destinations. It presents a unique collection of expert interviews, combined with latest insights and thoughts on the most relevant topics and trends linked to sustainability in tourism, sustainable business management, and destination development. This is a book which offers inspiring personal stories and reflections, and at the same time serves as essential know-how guide for busy tourism entrepreneurs, managers, and developers who care about business resilience and the well-being of destination communities.

Read more