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Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice (Urban and Industrial Environments) [Paperback]

David Naguib Pellow
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 10, 2007 0262662019 978-0262662017 1

Every year, nations and corporations in the "global North" produce millions of tons of toxic waste. Too often this hazardous material--linked to high rates of illness and death and widespread ecosystem damage--is exported to poor communities of color around the world. In Resisting Global Toxics, David Naguib Pellow examines this practice and charts the emergence of transnational environmental justice movements to challenge and reverse it. Pellow argues that waste dumping across national boundaries from rich to poor communities is a form of transnational environmental inequality that reflects North/South divisions in a globalized world, and that it must be theorized in the context of race, class, nation, and environment. Building on environmental justice studies, environmental sociology, social movement theory, and race theory, and drawing on his own research, interviews, and participant observations, Pellow investigates the phenomenon of global environmental inequality and considers the work of activists, organizations, and networks resisting it. He traces the transnational waste trade from its beginnings in the 1980s to the present day, examining global garbage dumping, the toxic pesticides that are the legacy of the Green Revolution in agriculture, and today's scourge of dumping and remanufacturing high tech and electronics products. The rise of the transnational environmental movements described in Resisting Global Toxics charts a pragmatic path toward environmental justice, human rights, and sustainability.David Naguib Pellow is Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department and Director of California Cultures in Comparative Perspective at the University of California, San Diego. Among his books are the award-winning Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago (MIT Press, 2002) and Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement (coedited with Robert Brulle; MIT Press, 2005).

Frequently Bought Together

Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice (Urban and Industrial Environments) + The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment (Cornerstone Books) + A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy (Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation)
Price for all three: $62.46

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Editorial Reviews


"This is the book many of us have been waiting for. While linking the global South and North, and drawing from a deep well of activist, academic, legal, and regulatory literatures, Pellow interrogates the unequal and deeply racialized relations embedded in the trading and dumping of hazardous wastes in poor communities and communities of color. Through critical advocacy research, he also charts the increasing sophistication of the resistance, namely the emerging transnational environmental justice movement networks, who are using a rights-based discourse to mobilize across national borders, and along racial, cultural, and class lines." Julian Agyeman, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University

"David Pellow has written a book that brings together a sophisticated understanding of the global economic system and the evolving transnational environmental justice movement. His study treats race and class seriously and non-reductively. Anyone who wants to understand the forces that are shaping our understanding of environmentalism should turn to this book."Gerald Torres , Co-author, The Miner"s Canary, Bryant Smith Chair, University of Texas Law School

" Resisting Global Toxics provides a path breaking synthesis of the intersection of health, environment, and justice impacts of industrialization in the era of globalization. The book provides a rich blend of theoretical and activist perspectives and highlights the role of NGOs that are working to fill in the gaps in the absence of effective global governance. By drawing on his research and participation with grass roots groups, David Pellow is able to document a compelling and grounded form of global citizenship through the prism of race and class consciousness. He shows how local and transnational groups around the world are strategically addressing the full life-cycle impacts of globalizationfrom hazardous production through hazardous waste disposal. As he says, "Transnational environmental justice offenses require transnational responses." This book provides authentic and compelling examples of such responses that are making real impacts."Ted Smith , founder and Senior Strategist, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition; Coordinator of International Campaign for Responsible Technology

About the Author

David Naguib Pellow is Don A. Martindale Endowed Chair in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Among his books are the award-winning Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago (MIT Press, 2002) and Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement (coedited with Robert Brulle; MIT Press, 2005.)

Product Details

  • Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (August 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262662019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262662017
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Through Race Transnationally in Toxics Trade January 22, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pellow's book is an original attempt to highlight race in the context of the global trade in toxic and hazardous waste material. He traces the connections between social justice movements around the world and the ways in which they put pressure on notorious toxic corporations. He rightfully points out that despite the fact that the urban social justice movement in the US has successfully theorized race, this has not been done for the transnational market in toxic matter. He therefore brings in the racialized politics and ideology at work in transnational institutions that have thus far failed to address the pressing issue of toxic dumping in the developing world, particularly in countries of the global south inhabited by people of color who are poor.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info but too much jargon February 6, 2009
Chapters 4 thru 6 are the most worthwhile parts of this book. These chapters provide good info about the global links and struggles of environmental groups, especially between activists rooted in the more well-off industrialized countries and poorer third world countries, around issues like dumping of toxic wastes, the poisonous effects of the socalled "Green Revolution" (which was basically a market-growing initiative of the petrochemical industry), and the growing problem of dumping of worn out or obsolete electronics gear.

I think it would have been helpful if he'd gone more into the toxics associated with manufacturing of electronics. Most of this manufacturing has been moved to the third world in part to escape tougher environmental laws in "first world" countries (as is pointed out in the book). These chapters also highlight a number of the victories that these cross border movements have been able to achieve.

Unfortunately the book is disfigured by excessive amounts of unclear academic post-modernist jargon and an endless array of acronymns. The author doesn't have an adequate analysis of what capitalism is, and ends up substituting the hopelessly vague concept of "modernity."
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