2017 Virtual Edition: Environmental Justice

This 2017 Virtual Edition highlights the concerning theme of environmental justice. The eight articles featured in the issue draw attention to topical concerns including, but not limited to, the expansion of global ecotourism and its effects, questions of intercontinental sovereignty and environmental management, environmental rights of Indigenous communities, inequality, and political ecology. Accompanying the articles are corresponding postscripts that reflect on contemporary developments related to the authors’ original analyses. By exploring different cases through the lens of environmental justice, the Virtual Edition illustrates distinct constitutive relations between social and environmental change and political and legal conflict.

Featured Articles

LiDocumenting Accountability: Environmental Impact Assessment in a Peruvian Mining Project
Fabiana Li in Volume 32, Issue 2. November 2009

This article focuses on a key process in the making of social and environmental accountability in mining projects in Peru: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It shows that the form of the documents produced for the EIA (i.e., their required components) and the process of making them public (participatory meetings and public forums)can take precedence over their content. [Read Li’s Postscript

800px-Estuaries,_Northwest_Coast_of_MadagascarPlants and People, Children or Wealth: Shifting Grounds of “Choice” in Madagascar
Gillian Feeley-Harnik in Volume 18, Issue 2. November 1995

This paper investigates the problems in contemporary northwestern Madagascar with a focus on the area’s inequitable distributions of wealth, considering issues of childbirth and legitimacy alongside the ecology of human relations that contribute to inequality in Madagascar.

SheverEngendering the Company: Corporate Personhood and the “Face” of an Oil Company in Metropolitan Buenos Aires
Elana Shever in Volume 33, Issue 1. May 2010

This article analyzes the meanings, practices, and implications of corporate personhood through ethnographic examination of the changing relationship between the Shell oil company and residents of the neighborhood surrounding the company’s refineries in Argentina. [Read Shever’s Postscript

Fig-1-Newly-commissioned-Indian-Antarctic-station-Bharati-in-Larsemann-HillsTectonic History and Gondwanan Geopolitics in the Larsemann Hills, Antarctica
Jessica O’Reilly in Volume 34, Issue 2. November 2011

This article explores how international policy makers reshape the contours of acceptable policy-making procedure and the political possibilities of international governance. It examines an Indian proposal for a new research base located within an environmental protection area. [Read O’Reilly’s Postscript]

globe-895580_1920-e1457625658192Negotiating Sovereignty in the Context of Global Environmental Relations
Kathleen Sullivan in Volume 29, Issue 1. May 2006

Political and legal anthropology and environmental anthropology share many concerns about inequalities and social justice, or the lack thereof, in contemporary cultures of politics, law, regulation, and bureaucracy. This paper considers relationships between the environment, sovereignty, and globalization, illuminating operations of power in politicized environmental arenas. [Read Sullivan’s Postscript]

17498859_1916906138596249_8235967283620504697_nAnthropological Practice as a Legally Mandated Activity: Bringing Native American Knowledge Into Public Decisionmaking
James P. Boggs in Volume 18, Issue 2. November 1995

This paper adopts the term “Public Review Law” to examine applied anthropological practice in relation to policy. Beginning with a reflection on developments in environmental review law, it discusses the integration of Native American knowledges into policy and the potential role of anthropology in those processes.

MedinaWhen Government Targets “The State”: Transnational NGO Government and the State in Belize
Laurie Kroshus Medina in Volume 33, Issue 2. November 2010

A transnational alliance of conservation nongovermental organizations has taken responsibility for governing large swaths of Belizean nature. This article explores how the alliance has used ecotourism, a market-based mechanism, to elicit actions in favor of conservation from state officials. [Read Medina’s Postscript

MonroeExploring Nature, Making the Nation: The Spatial Politics of Ecotourism in Lebanon
Kristin V. Monroe in Volume 39, Issue 1. May 2016

This article examines how Lebanese ecotourism presents a spatial narrative marked by aspirations for a consolidated nation that connects the rural and the urban across a diverse ecological terrain. It argues that ideas about nation-making are rooted in embodied interaction that relies not upon staying “in place” but rather through the very mobility of the citizen-traveler across the national space. [Read Monroe’s Postscript]