Social Movements and the Environment

August 1, 2018 - Categorised in: -

Over the last 40 years, the growing awareness of the profound impact of human activities on the planet, its ecosystems and its climate has given rise to a wide range of ‘social movements’ calling for the protection, conservation, and/or sustainable use of the environment and its resources. While many consider environmental issues – and their solutions – to be apolitical, championed by actors on both ends of the political spectrum, this course helps students unveil the different (and often conflicting) ethical positions and values underpinning the ‘environmental turn’ in contemporary political claim-making.

Drawing on political ecology, social movement theory and environmental ethics, we will critically explore the most vocal claims surrounding ecological and environmental issues, including ‘deep ecology’, ‘ecomodernism’, ‘environmental justice’, ‘ecofeminism’, and the recent ‘transition movements’.

Some references:

  • Corburn (2005) Street Science. MIT Press
  • Figueroa (2002). “Teaching for Transformation: Lessons from Environmental Justice”. In J. Adamson, R. Stein, & M. M. Evans (Eds.), The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics and Pedagogy (pp. 311–30). Tuscon: University of Arizona Press.
  • Martinez-Allier (2002) The Environmentalism of the Poor. Edward Elgar
  • Sicotte and Brulle (2018) “Social Movements for Environmental Justice Through the Lens of Social Movement Theory”. In Holifield, Chakraborty and Walker (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice. Routledge
  • Wapner and Willoughby (2005) The Irony of Environmentalism: The Ecological Futility but Political Necessity of Lifestyle Change. Ethics and International Affairs 19(3): 77-89