814.547 (17S) Environmental Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Communalities

Sommersemester 2017

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Erster Termin der LV
02.03.2017 16:00 - 17:30 , IFF Wien, SR 3b
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Überblick

Lehrende/r
LV-Titel englisch
Environmental Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Communalities
LV-Art
Seminar (prüfungsimmanente LV )
Semesterstunde/n
2.0
ECTS-Anrechungspunkte
4.0
Anmeldungen
7 (25 max.)
Organisationseinheit
Unterrichtssprache
Englisch
LV-Beginn
02.03.2017
eLearning
zum Moodle-Kurs

LV-Beschreibung

Lehrmethodik

In this joint seminar with University of Michigan (USA) we analyse and discuss key texts in environmental justice. Students and faculty from the two Universities will meet via teleconferencing (skype, etc.). Students will work in small groups to identify differences and communalities between the U.S. and Europe regarding environmental justice and underlying contextual issues with plenary discussions to synthesise insights.

Inhalt/e

The Environmental Justice movement in the U.S. spans more than three decades. Along with a growing social movement, there has been considerable academic and government interest. Numerous articles and books on the topic have been published crossing many disciplinary fields, including sociology, economics, public health, law, geography, urban planning, political science, social work, and others. In addition to academic interest, government involvement has also grown, including the creation of an Office of Environmental Justice in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, numerous bills introduced in the U.S. Congress, the issuing of a Presidential Executive Order on Environmental Justice, and the declaration of environmental justice policies in every state in the U.S.

In Europe there is no shortage of environmental movements. However, their concerns are rarely framed as environmental justice issues and there is no social movement around environmental justice as a primary mission. As a focus of academic study and research in Europe, environmental justice topics only recently have gained some momentum. Within the scientific community it became apparent that environmental justice and inequalities in the European context are not rare, but need to be conceptualized differently than in the U.S. This debate is in its infancy and still needs further reviews, structuring and case study inputs. Regarding policies of the European Union and its member states, the issues are mostly framed as access to justice in environmental matters or access to environmental justice. That is, citizens and NGOs can and should play an active role in defending the environment (since “the fish cannot go to court” as an advocate phrased it). These initiatives are a direct consequence of the European Aarhus Convention which regulates “information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters”.

This seminar intends to examine communalities and differences in the perspectives on environmental justice in the U.S. and Europe. Since the issue of environmental justice has had a longer history in the U.S. the seminar will begin with a brief history of the movement there. We will focus on key events and how “environmental justice” is defined and how U.S. definitions compare with those in Europe. We will also focus on what empirical evidence has revealed and read detailed case studies that illustrate the issues that have propelled the movement.

In the European context, we will examine case studies as well as empirical studies to understand to what extent the diverse studies identify a general pattern of injustice. Special attention will be paid to how these studies discuss and conceptualize environmental justice. Further, we will reflect on the European political, developmental and demographic context with reference to the environmental movements, the issue of civil rights, European integration, population density and mix, and related topics.

Literatur

A documentary on the Flint Water Crisis

Agyeman, J., D. Schlosberg, L. Craven, and C. Matthews. 2016. “Trends and Directions in Environmental Justice: From Inequity to Everyday Life, Community, and Just Sustainabilities”. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 41 (1): 321–40.

Bullard, R.D., and B. Wright. 2012. “Nightmare on Eno Road: Poisoned Water and Toxic Racism in Dickson, Tennessee,” The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities, pp. 126-149.

Bullard, R.D., P. Mohai, R. Saha, B. Wright. 2007. “A Current Appraisal of Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States – 2007.”  Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, pp. 49-64.

Elvers, H.-D., M., Gross, and H., Heinrichs, 2008. “The Diversity of Environmental Justice: Towards a European Approach”. European Societies 10 (5): 835–56.

Feagin, J.-R. 2014. “Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations”. Routledge.

Hajat, A., C. Hsia, and M.-S. O’Neill. 2015. ‘Socioeconomic Disparities and Air Pollution Exposure: A Global Review’. Current Environmental Health Reports 2 (4): 440–50.

Kuehn, R. 2000. “A Taxonomy of Environmental Justice Issues,” Environmental Law Reporter 30: pp. 10681-703.

Laurent, É. 2011. “Issues in environmental justice within the European Union.” Ecological Economics 70: 1846–1853 28. März

Laurian, L., and R. Funderburg. 2014. ‘Environmental Justice in France? A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Incinerator Location’. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57 (3): 424–46.

Lerner, S. 2010. “Introduction.” Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States, pp. 1-15.

Lerner, S. 2010. “Port Arthur, Texas: Public Housing Residents Breathe Contaminated Air from Nearby Refineries and Chemical Plants.” Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States, pp. 73-97.

Mohai, P., D. Pellow, and J. T. Roberts. 2009. “Environmental Justice.” Annual Review of Environment & Resources 34: 405-430.

Mohai, P., P. Lantz, J. Morenoff, J. House, and R. Mero. 2009. “Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Residential Proximity to Polluting Industrial Facilities: Evidence from the Americans' Changing Lives Study.” American Journal of Public Health 99 (S3): S649-S656.

Padilla, C. M., W. Kihal-Talantikite, V. M. Vieira, P. Rossello, G. Le Nir, D. Zmirou-Navier, and S. Deguen. 2014. ‘Air Quality and Social Deprivation in Four French Metropolitan areas—A Localized Spatio-Temporal Environmental Inequality Analysis’. Environmental Research 134 (October): 315–24.

Prüfungsinformationen

Prüfungsmethode/n

Reading assignments and tasks: Students will have weekly reading assignments and should provide about 3 questions/comments based on the reading one day prior to the meeting. Questions/comments should be: question of understanding, comments challenging the text(s), observations on communalities and differences in the perspectives on environmental justice in the U.S. and Europe and/or emerging further interesting questions

Reflection paper: At the end of the course students should provide a reflection paper (about 10 pages). Preferably prepared in groups. Students should select a few observed communalities and differences between EJ in U.S. and Europe they are interested in the most. By use of the course literature they should argue these communalities and differences and what explanations they identify in the texts. Finally, they should draw their own conclusions on the selected issues.

Prüfungsinhalt/e

Content: all content provided and discussed during the course

Beurteilungskriterien/-maßstäbe

Participation, comments and questions, reflection paper

Beurteilungsschema

Note/Grade Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Masterstudium Sozial- und Humanökologie (SKZ: 919, Version: 14W.1)
    • Fach: GWF1 Gesellschaft und Umwelt (Wahlfach)
      • GWF1 Vertiefung ( 0.0h VO, SE, EX, KU, SX / 14.0 ECTS)
        • 814.547 Environmental Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Communalities (2.0h SE / 4.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Sozial- und Humanökologie (SKZ: 919, Version: 14W.1)
    • Fach: GWF2 Nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung (Wahlfach)
      • GWF2 Vertiefung ( 0.0h VO, SE, EX, KU, SX / 14.0 ECTS)
        • 814.547 Environmental Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Communalities (2.0h SE / 4.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Sozial- und Humanökologie (SKZ: 919, Version: 14W.1)
    • Fach: GWF8 Geschlechter- und Verteilungsgerechtigkeit im Kontext nachhaltiger Entwicklung, insbesondere Feministische Wissenschaft und Gender Studies (Wahlfach)
      • GWF8 Vertiefung ( 0.0h VO, SE, EX, KU, SX / 14.0 ECTS)
        • 814.547 Environmental Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Communalities (2.0h SE / 4.0 ECTS)

Gleichwertige Lehrveranstaltungen im Sinne der Prüfungsantrittszählung

Sommersemester 2019
  • 814.547 SE Unjust Climate - the unequal burden sharing of human induced climate change (2.0h / 4.0ECTS)
Sommersemester 2018
  • 814.547 SE Environmental Justice & Climate Justice in the US and Europe: Understanding Differences and Commonalities (2.0h / 4.0ECTS)