Daniel Faber (1961-)
Gordana Rabrenovic (1957-), Thomas H. Koenig, Berch Berberoglu
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Social Sciences & Humanities, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
climate justice, European Union, political economy, socio-ecology, unequal ecological exchange
Globalization, Social ecology, European Union countries, Turkey
Demography, Population, and Ecology | Sociology
Analyses of physical trade flows over the last decade reveal that the global South is running ever higher physical trade deficits. These deficits are being magnified by the increased export of both resource-intensive and pollution-intensive commodities onto the world market. A primary aim of this dissertation is to empirically demonstrate support for the theory of unequal ecological exchange in the case of Turkey and the European Union. This research undertakes three levels of analysis: cross-national, national, and local. The dissertation attempts to answer the following questions: To what extent have Turkey's natural resources been appropriated at the global level through the process of unequal ecological exchange? What are the economic and political conditions that give rise to unequal ecological exchange? To what extent is unequal ecological exchange occurring between Turkey and the EU? What are the socio-ecological impacts of unequal ecological exchange in the Köprülü Canyon and its buffer zones?
Answers to these questions are derived from both quantitative (physical accounting and regression analyses) and qualitative methods (20 semi-structured interviews and previous research results from my unpublished MA thesis), relying heavily on long-time data series analysis. In contrast to the Netherlands Fallacy, the findings showed that Turkey increases its impacts on the environment within "her" borders through the exportation of resources and importation of wastes--a process which is conceptualized as the Turkish Fallacy-- the over-consumption of resources in both primary and secondary sectors of the economy. The increase in physical flows of agricultural exports has resulted in deterioration of both "cropland" and "agroforestry" reserves over four decades. As articulated by the theory, resource consumption and ecological degradation paradox, and a decrease in biocapacity, are at least partly a function of cores that utilize their advantageous positions in the global economy to externalize their consumption-based environmental costs to Turkey. These findings showed that not only the materials but also the consumption of fossil fuels embedded in agricultural trade has increased. This finding supports climate change for the Turkish case. Turkey had the largest increases in "energyland deficit"; whereas, the core has been able to outsource energy inefficient sources of income to Turkey, increasing the "entropy" of Turkey.
This study also reveals how environmental surpluses are extracted from Turkey through trade. Turkey has been a net-exporter of "dirty" manufacturing over forty years. As "dirty" physical net-exports created pollution havens--an indication of the second contradiction of capital-- the amount of "energyland" embedded in "dirty" manufacturing production has also increased. The findings run counter to macroeconomic orientations that predict an environmental Kuznets curve. The results show that the energy embedded in Turkish manufacturing production, and the carbon intensity of Turkish trade is the dissipated energy and carbon dioxide produced by trade.
The deeper analysis of unequal ecological exchange showed that through the export of `dirty' products, the EU is creating a `pollution haven' in Turkey, contributing to cropland degradation while protecting the EU's cropland through trade. The expansion of European capital accumulation is predicated on the consumption of growing quantities of natural resource flows from Turkey to the EU-15. This study reveals that the physical exports of Turkey are more pollution-intensive in comparison to the flows of the EU-15. Also, Turkey's embodied crop/grazing land in exports is higher than that of the EU-15. The EU appropriates ecological space through trade without having to deal with its local ecological consequences.
The undervaluation of natural resource exports is a key mechanism of unequal ecological exchange and valuation fails to account for local negative externalities associated with natural resource extraction. Hence, these costs are encountered at local levels, such as in the destruction of the subsistence base and sustainable ecological and social system of the yayla-farmers at Köprülü Canyon who are subsidizing the profits of foreign capital. The yayla-peasants became exporters of various crops and became more dependent on external market conditions. They experienced the degradation of their cultivated land due to the pressure of production on resources rather than due to excessive population pressure on these resources. The forest ecosystem of the Köprülü Canyon shows an unsustainable growth path over several decades. As a result of social class transformation, the exporting corporations become the winners; whereas, the majority, including semi-yayla farmers, become victims of unequal ecological exchange.
Karaoğlu, Lora, "Globalization, unequal ecological exchange, and climate justice: The case of Turkey and the European Union" (2011). Sociology Dissertations. Paper 13. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002047
Available for download on Friday, February 07, 2014
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.