Review of Luke W. Cole and Sheila R. Foster, From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement

Rootes, C (2001) Review of Luke W. Cole and Sheila R. Foster, From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. Review of: From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement by Cole, L and Foster, S. e-Extreme: newlsletter of the ecpr Standing Group on Extremist Politics, 2 (3). na-na. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

This book is enlivened by case studies and includes a very useful annotated bibliography. It is a useful addition to the literature on the environmental justice movement in the US, drawing heavily on legal literature, but it is by no means of interest only to lawyers. The authors argue that litigation is not always the best strategy for low-income communities fighting wealthy corporations. Grassroots community organisation may serve better both by counterpoising the power of numbers of people to the power of money, and by developing the political skills and confidence of communities and activists. The authors criticise the legal system for its insistence on a narrow conception of racism that requires proof of the racist intent of the actor. Many have declared the existence of 'environmental racism' on the basis of the discriminatory outcomes of decision-making processes that visit a disproportionate share of the burdens of pollution upon people of colour. Cole and Foster go further by drawing attention to the political economy of environmental decision-making and its intersection with historic patterns of racial discrimination and their consequences, especially in the (increasing) social segregation of space. Paradoxically, campaigns for environmental justice have generally relied on the most moderate of constitutional tactics.

Item Type: Review
Uncontrolled keywords: environmental racism, environmental justice
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Gabriel Swain
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2009 08:50
Last Modified: 20 May 2011 23:41
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/15395 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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