Ecología política de la modernidad-colonialidad : los discursos de los Estados de Japón, China y Corea del Sur en las negociaciones climáticas (2007-2012)


Mera, Carolina

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326 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)






This thesis studies the climate negotiations with the main objective to discuss Modernity, from two main questions, which correspond to the correlation of the Colonization processes of the Planet and of the World. First, we address environmental issues (Planet Colonization) considering it as a civilizational crisis, typical of modern architecture through the entanglement of science and technology with the capitalist economic system. Second, we study the geopolitical dispute (World Colonization), investigating especially the rise of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) as a region that provides competitive relationship with the Western civilization, through the same ways proposed by the West.

Thus, we seek to answer a central question: How do the governments of China, Korea and Japan articulate his discourses on climate change? This means: What are the main discursive conditions? What different transnational discourse coalitions are built in the climate negotiations? How is it considered the environmental problem: is it a modern crisis? In another way: What do they understand by ’development’? And at this point: How can they rework the dimension of Tradition in their discourse on climate change?

We assume that the differential positioning of the governments of Japan, China and South Korea in the climate negotiations varies fundamentally due to their unequal incorporation into the “world-system” (made by each country), particularly during the 19th century. In this way, the coincidences are major explained because each country underwent a similar process of modernization- westernization in which discussion was put into their traditional culture. On this basis, we believe that the discourses of the governments of China, Korea and Japan take place mainly within the ideological principles of Modernity, in particular the third phase of the world-system, in which the hegemonic discourse is ‘the development’, as proposed by the United States during the post-war reconstruction. Hence, within the discursive field of modernization and development, these countries have incorporated traditional cultural elements as a way to make a difference in the world- system itself.

The thesis is presented in two parts whose order is given for easy reading, but during the research were supplemented. In the First Part, we elaborate a theoretical analysis, which is based on a critical view over existing literature. In the Second Part, we perform an empirical analysis, which draws on the first one, while also completes it, since it presents the study of a corpus consisting on diplomatic documents, mainly.

The first chapter argues that the discursive dimension is fundamental in the construction of the modern environmental crisis, in the sense that we conclude on the relevance of political-diplomatic discourse of the planetary crisis. In the second chapter, meanwhile, we explicit the assumption by which the modernization of East Asian countries is understood by the type of incorporation in the world-system, which correspond to a process of increasing Westernization. The third chapter argues that the development discourse structured the global hegemony of the United States, while the environmental movement criticism led to its actualization into the sustainable development’ concept, predominant in the climate negotiations.

This is the context of debates that the First Part of the thesis offers and it can be synthesized in the intermediate category of geopolitics of sustainable development, a mediation between the general structure of the position in the world-system with the particular position in the field of the climate change negotiations. From this point of view, we started discursive corpus analysis in the Second Part.

The fourth chapter discusses how Japan is positioned as the most developed country in Asia, adopts a culturalist rhetoric and proposes a particular development model, in this case using ideologically (making ideological use of) the cultural traditions of harmony with nature. The fifth chapter examines China's position as a major developing country, that is expressed by a scientistic rhetoric as a responsible country, defending their ’right to development’ and proposing common sustainable development. The sixth chapter discusses how South Korea considers its strategic position in the international community, which through active diplomatic rhetoric uses climate negotiations as global platform for green growth concept.

Finally, we stress that the unequal incorporation of the countries in the world-system, especially since the second half of the 19th century, explains the position taken in the climate negotiations, using the criteria provided by the geopolitics of sustainable development. From this perspective, the two dimensions we have considered (the environmental crisis and geopolitical dispute) remain from the analytical point of view, but also it can be confirmed that they are strongly interrelated, just because the development itself is a political category where both converge.

Table Of Contents



Un “objeto de estudio”, dos unidades analíticas
Hipótesis de trabajo y Estructura de la tesis

Introducción a la Primera Parte
Las tres dimensiones
El concepto Estado- Nación – Territorio

CAPÍTULO 1: Formación discursiva de la crisis ambiental moderna
1.1 Las ciencias sociales y la problemática ambiental
La “crisis ambiental” como concepto moderno
Discusiones sobre el discurso Post-Moderno
Ambiente y Cultura
1.2 Realidad e ideología del cambio climático
La realidad del cambio climático
Construcción discursiva de la realidad
Análisis discursivo, análisis ideológico
El concepto de formaciones ideológicas
Formaciones ideológicas ambientales
1.3 . Diplomacia y Ambiente
Aproximación a las negociaciones climáticas
Género discursivo diplomático
A modo de conclusión

CAPÍTULO 2: Modernización - Occidentalización en el Este Asiático
2.1 De la Modernización a la Modernidad- Colonialidad
Teoría de la “Modernización” como destino teleológico
Teoría de la Modernidad-Colonialidad
2.2. Revisión historiográfica desde el Sistema-Mundo
Antes del S-M: Historia Tradicional
Primera fase: inicio de la mundialización
Segunda fase: colonización y modernización
Tercera fase: desarrollo y globalización
2.3 Colonización de la Naturaleza y de la Cultura
Crecimiento económico y problemática ambiental
Tradición subordinada a la occidentalización
A modo de conclusión

CAPÍTULO 3: Negociaciones climáticas en la geopolítica del Desarrollo
3.1. Del desarrollo (a secas) al desarrollo sostenible
La crisis ambiental, el lado oscuro del capitalismo
La tercera fase del sistema-mundo: La era del Desarrollo
Los límites del desarrollo sustentable
3.2 Ecología Política del Cambio Climático
Cambio Climático: Perspectiva General
El predominio del cambio climático dentro de la agenda
La geopolítica del cambio climático: estatus diplomático – jurídico
Las negociaciones climáticas: Norte- Sur y más allá
Grupos de negociación: coaliciones trasnacionales
3- 3. El Este de Asia en las negociaciones climáticas
El diálogo regional
Las posiciones naciones
A modo de conclusión
Conclusiones de la Primera Parte
Formaciones ideológicas ambientales sobre el cambio climático
Geopolítica del Desarrollo Sustentable (categoría intermedia

Introducción a la Segunda Parte
Dimensiones de análisis discursivo
Corpus de trabajo

CAPÍTULO 4. Japón. “Restauración de la armonía”
4.1 Marco general de la política climática de Japón
4.2. Análisis del discurso del Estado de Japón
Dimensión Retórica
Dimensión Temático
Dimensión Enunciativa
4.3. Síntesis y Conclusiones

CAPÍTULO 5. China. “El Derecho al Desarrollo”
5.1 Marco general de la política climática de China
5.2. Análisis del discurso del Estado de China
Dimensión Retórica
Dimensión Temática
Dimensión Enunciativa
5.3. Síntesis Conclusiones

CAPÍTULO 6. Corea “Un puente para el diálogo”
6.1 Marco general de la política climática de Corea
6.2. Análisis del discurso del Estado de Corea
Dimensión Retórica
Dimensión Temática
Dimensión Enunciativa
6.3. Síntesis y Conclusiones

Conclusiones de la Segunda Parte
Análisis de los discursos en competencia
… Geopolítica del desarrollo sustentable y modernidad alternativa
El debate de la des-occidentalización

Los límites de la Modernidad
Instrumentalización del cambio climático
Colonialidad Ambiental

Bibliografía general
Documentos y Corpus Citado

Título obtenido

Doctor de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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