The Environmental Fallout of the Nuclear Era: Weighing the Effects of the Military, Capitalism, and Unequal Exchanges




Lengefeld, Michael

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This research tests multiple theoretical relationships related to the economy, military, nuclear energy, and environment by employing a multivariate linear regression to a data set including 30 nuclear energy producing nations. The theories tested in this model include the treadmill of production, treadmill of destruction, world-systems theory, ecologically unequal exchange, and ecological modernization theory. Results from the cross-national regression model indicate that the treadmill of production increases primary energy consumption, in contradiction with ecological modernization theory. Similarly, the treadmill of destruction demonstrates a positive effect on primary energy consumption. Strong negative correlations among trade liberalization, and both military participation and GDP per capita, support the arguments of world-systems theory and ecologically unequal exchange. Ultimately these results support previous research that argues political economy frameworks and investigations into consumption-driven environmental impacts should account for the effects of both capitalism and state militarism in a stratified global hierarchy, while vigilantly assessing the roles of mutually interacting power elites.



Treadmill of destruction, Treadmill of production, World-systems theory, Ecologically unequal exchange, Ecological modernization theory, Nuclear energy, Environment


Lengefeld, M. (2011). <i>The environmental fallout of the nuclear era: Weighing the effects of the military, capitalism, and unequal exchanges</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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