Barcelona, July 2nd – July 11th 2012
COURSE – ICTA UAB
Historically, minorities and poor populations have been victims of greater environmental harm and received less environmental protection than white and richer communities. Marginalized urban neighborhoods have also tended to get the poorest environmental services while wealthier and white communities have enjoyed environmental privileges often in a racially exclusive manner. Similarly, in the global South, the lands of poor populations and indigenous tribes have been disproportionally affected by environmental contamination and resource extraction. Environmental inequalities also manifest in regards to climate change, with rising inequalities between Northern and Southern nations vis-à-vis climate vulnerability and impacts.
From its origins in the United States in the 1980s, the study of movements of environmental justice at local, national, and global, and "glocal" scales, continues to make much progress. Environmental justice activists advocate for greater voice in matters of social justice, indigenous peoples' rights, wealth redistribution, and opportunities for engaged participation in land use decisions. Conflicts often arise from the increasing metabolism of the economy (resource extraction conflicts, waste disposal conflicts), unjust planning and policy decisions, ignorance of questions of identity and valuation, and poor attention given to the social context in which unjust distribution occurs.
The field of Political Ecology studies the relations of power in human ecology and pays particular attention to the development of conflicts in regards to the environment. Today, researchers are moving from individual case studies to inventories, mapping, and statistical analysis of environmental conflicts, as is the case in the European-funded EJOLT project. In ICTA, researchers have specialized in studying the broad array of environmental conflicts arising in the Global North and South in the context of intensifying global material and waste flows.
To learn a bit more about our research before the start of the summer school, you can have a look some of the recent articles published by ICTA researchers.
This course, taught in English (20 hours of lectures + workshop, 2.5 ETCS), examines the global movement for environmental justice and analyzes socio-environmental conflicts at different scales. The course is based on lectures and active discussions and will also use videos and other materials prepared by ICTA/UAB researchers on their own research. It is linked to some of the European research projects at ICTA/UAB: EJOLT, ENGOV, CLICO and URBLIV. Course sessions will take place in the classrooms of the UAB in Cerdanyola del Vallès, close to Barcelona.
Geared at the master or doctoral level mainly for students working or intending to work on environmental conflicts, this course will require an exam as well as the write-up of an essay on an environmental conflict at the end of the course. The course is divided into three parts: a first introductory section on theoretical underpinnings of environmental justice and conflicts, a second section discussing mechanisms and processes to address and redress environmental injustice, and a third section presenting and discussing cases and dimensions of environmental conflicts (including climate justice, hydric justice, mining, oil and biomass extraction conflicts, urban conflicts, and waste disposal conflicts).
The course can be taken for credit and is recognized by the European Transfer Credit system. It will be taught by Isabelle Anguelovski, Robert Bullard, Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martínez-Alier, Jesus Ramos Martin, David Szablowski, and associated ICTA researchers.