Concepts are thought categories through which we apprehend the world; they enable, but also constrain, reasoning and debate and serve as building blocks for more elaborate arguments. This book traces the links between conceptual innovation in the environmental sphere and the evolution of environmental policy and discourse. It offers both a broad framework for examining the emergence, evolution, and effects of policy concepts and a detailed analysis of eleven influential environmental concepts. In recent decades, conceptual evolution has been particularly notable in environmental governance, as new problems have emerged and as environmental issues have increasingly intersected with other areas. "Biodiversity," for example, was unheard of until the late 1980s; "negative carbon emissions" only came into being over the last few years. After a review of concepts and their use in environmental argument, chapters chart the trajectories of a range of environmental concepts: environment, sustainable development, biodiversity, environmental assessment, critical loads, adaptive management, green economy, environmental risk, environmental security, environmental justice, and sustainable consumption. The book provides a valuable resource for scholars and policy makers and also offers a novel introduction to the environmental policy field through the evolution of its conceptual categories.

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Meadowcroft, J, & Fiorino, D.J. (Daniel J.). (2017). Conceptual innovation in environmental policy. Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy, 1–370.