Environmental Justice and Citizenship

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Welcome to Environmental Justice and Citizenship. The project was launched in 2001 as a truly inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research project.

The main aim of the project is to explore the role of ecology and environmental ideas in the context of contemporary society, international politics and global economics, and to begin to assess the implications for our understandings of fairness, justice and citizenship. The project is built around an annual conference which seeks to draw a global audience of people from differing academic disciplines, professions, vocations and organisations to engage in cutting edge dialogue and conversation. The project is supported via an active publication series and discussion group.

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The project will develop a focus on four interlocking areas; each area will rotate as the specific focus of the annual conference series.

Area 1: will examine the changing relationship between nature, culture, and society and will look at the impact of environmental thinking and ethics on issues such as animal/species welfare and rights, conservation and preservation, sustainable resources, food and feeding, space and air space, present and future needs, human ‘rights’, and our obligations to future generations.

Area 2 will examine the ethical and political impact of environmental thinking, looking at its emergence and role in political contexts, the factors which influence the formation of environmental policy, what (if any) is the place of economic methods and considerations, differing perspectives on the interpretation of scientific data, and the ability of national and international communities to successfully implement environmental policies.

Area 3 will examine the international nature of environmental issues and look at the problem solving processes which are or might be employed particularly in light of globalisation. Specific examples and case studies can be used to highlight the rise to international political prominence of ecological and environmental concerns, how environmental negotiation works in the context of international relations, the responsibilities of multinational companies, the feasibility of establishing environmental ‘laws’, and the future of ecological ‘business’.

Area 4 will explicitly examine the themes of justice, community and citizenship, looking at the tensions present in ecological debates, the influence of cultural values, the meaning of ethical business practice, the assessment of what counts as environmental equality, inequality, and justice, and our responsibilities toward the world in which we live. The translation of statistics to individual faces, numbers and the people they represent, questions about what we must do, and the role of protest groups will also be considered.

In building a forum whereby people can meet and encounter perspectives from differing areas and contexts, insights and contributions are sought from

  • people engaged in agriculture and agricultural economics, city and regional planning, conflict resolution and mediation, environmental studies, human development and ecology, industrial relations and design, philosophy and ethics, political science and international affairs, public policy and advising, social sciences, theology, urban studies, western European studies
  • people in the public and private sectors who are involved in planning and project development, policy-making and implementation, and negotiation and mediation at national and international levels
  • people in Governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, voluntary sector bodies, environmental charities and groups, business and professional associations.

This only an indicative list – all persons with an interest in and who wish to offer an insight into the themes of the project are welcome to become involved.