Race, Class and the Global Politics of Environmental Inequality

Abstract

The author argues for three key claims in the course of this paper. First, that we can understand important aspects of global structures in global environmental politics through their localized effects which render them visible. From here, it is easier to discern the coalitions of power that produce and benefit from prevailing distributions of risk and profit. Such an approach helps us to comprehend more fully the connections between macro decision-making and local level consequences. Second, race and class are key mediating structures in global environmental politics. They are relevant to understanding causation (the distribution of benefit from environmental destruction), process (which social groups make these key decisions and through what decision-making structures) and distribution (of hazard and harm). Third, a key implication of such an approach is that we have to take a more critical look at the role of the state and, relatedly, the role of law in global environmental politics, in the production and reproduction of environmental injustice.

Citation

Newell, P. Race, Class and the Global Politics of Environmental Inequality. Global Environmental Politics (2005) 5 (3) 70-94. [DOI: 10.1162/1526380054794835]

Race, Class and the Global Politics of Environmental Inequality

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