336 pages, 6 illustrations
Scholars and activists investigate the emergence of a distinctively Latin American environmental justice movement, offering analysis and case studies that illustrate the connections between popular environmental mobilization and social justice in the region.Issues of environmental justice form an important part of popular environmental movements in many countries. Activists, scholars, and policymakers in the developing world, for example, increasingly use the tools of environmental justice to link concerns over social justice and environmental well-being. "Environmental Justice in Latin America" investigates the emergence of a distinctively Latin American environmental justice movement, offering analysis and case studies that examine both the promise and the limits of environmental justice in Latin America and the Caribbean - both as a rallying point for popular mobilization and as a set of principles for analysis and policymaking.
After considering such conceptual issues as the connection of the environment to race, trade, and social justice, the book presents a series of case studies. These studies focus first on industrial development, examining such topics as social tension over "megadevelopment" projects in Argentina and the concentrated industrial waste hazards of the export assembly plants on the U.S. - Mexico border, and then on the power and politics involved in land and resource use. Chapters explore ecotourism, inequitable land distribution in Brazil, the ongoing struggle for justice and accountability over the former U.S. Navy bombing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and water policy in Chile, Bolivia, and Mexico. Taken together, the analyses and case studies suggest that environmental justice - which highlights both broader issues of global injustice and local concerns - holds tremendous promise as a way to understand and address environmental inequities in Latin America and elsewhere.
Finally, a reader on environmental justice in Latin America! This volume brings together fascinating cases from across the region on a range of environmental issues, written by leading experts in the field. Best of all, the work thoughtfully documents and conceptualizes the long history of struggles and injustices in the region which were never called 'environmental justice.' Where the phrase is being adopted, the authors describe how it is also being adapted, transformed, and reborn. This will be required reading in my courses, and I believe it will be pivotal in advancing international discussion on the issue. --J. Timmons Roberts, Professor of Sociology, and Interim Director, Environmental Science and Policy, The College of William and Mary "This book successfully lays out the opportunities and constraints that exist in the diverse countries and regions of Latin America, bringing a comprehensive and balanced examination to the application of environmental justice movements. A significant contribution to the scholarship on this subject." --Daniel Faber, Department of Sociology, Northeastern University "This collection of essays stands to be a pioneering book for exploring the conceptual and empirical translation of environmental justice in Latin America and the developing world. The authors' original and compelling effort will be useful to policy scholars and environmental activists seeking to understand the root causes of environmental injustice and the most appropriate and equitable ways to remedy them." --Alexandra Puerto, Department of History, Occidental College
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David V. Carruthers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University.