The environmental justice movement: Equitable allocation of the costs and benefits of environmental management outcomes

David N. Pellow, Adam Weinberg, Allan Schnaiberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a review of theoretical and methodological advances in the social scientific literature on environmental inequality/racism and argue for new directions in research efforts that pay more attention to (1) the historical forces driving environmental justice conflicts; (2) the complex role of stakeholders in these struggles; (3) the role of social inequality, particularly the trade-offs between environmental protection and social equity; and (4) the impact of social movement activity on the state of environmental protection. Drawing on a case study of an environmental justice conflict in the United States, we find that environmental inequality impacts many actors with often contradictory and cross-cutting allegiances. These struggles therefore become a moving drama - a process - rather than a cross-sectional outcome. We conclude with an analysis of environmental inequality on a global scale and argue that the role of transnational capital remains largely untheorized in the literature. We suggest new models for explaining environmental inequality's causes and consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-439
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Justice Research
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Environmental inequality
  • Environmental justice movement
  • Environmental racism
  • Social equity

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