The Enigma of Automobility

Democratic Politics and Pollution Control

To deal with the social disorders created by car dependency requires some common understanding, agreement and collective action. . . . Rajan points out cogently that any form of regulation which targets high-emission vehicles will tend to fall disproportionately on the poor, who are forced to rely on the oldest, most poorly serviced cars. . . . Rajan succeeds in conveying some of the tangled intractability of this overarching problem.
Times Literary Supplement

Rajan investigates air pollution policy as one based on how to make cars less polluting. Putting the onus on auto manufacturers and owners has generated an elaborate scheme of emissions testing and pollution-control devices, and does not look at the technology itself as the heart of the problem. Rajan focuses his study on data collected in Los Angeles, to show how emissions testing burdens the poor, who tend to own older cars that pollute more. Rajan argues for democratic control over technology, steering it away from special interest groups and toward a long-term ethical resolution.

208 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

December, 1996

isbn : 9780822956068

about the author

Sudhir Chella Rajan

Sudhir Chella Rajan is professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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Sudhir Chella Rajan