Environment and Citizenship (M.J. Smith and P. Pangsapa)


Mark J. Smith and Piya Pangsapa


Environmental and ecological citizenship, environmental justice, risks, environmental movements


This timely book outlines the debates on environmental and ecological citizenship that have emerged out of the concern with environmental justice since the 1990s. The book demonstrates how awareness of environmental hazards, injustices and new forms of risk is only effective when it generates strategies for political change. It examines how environmental movements have become increasingly involved in governance processes at the national, regional and intergovernmental levels, in contexts such as the EU, UN and LA21 initiatives. The authors argue that while ‘rights-discourse’ has highlighted the status of specific identities, taking account of obligation prompts a consideration of social, cultural, political, economic and environmental injustices. Tackling these injustices demands a concern with both entitlements and obligations of all relevant parties and constituencies.

Using new evidence and case studies, this book explores:

– the new vocabulary of citizenship
– how successful environmental policy-making depends on the responsible actions of civil society actors as much as on governments and international treaties
– how stakeholding processes and participatory research in environmental decision-making transform deliberation processes and civic engagement
– the increased importance of transnational networks creating public-private and civil strategic partnerships between organizations

NGO activists, ministers, academics and environmental philosophers all now refer to ‘citizenship’ as a key concept for understanding environmental justice and responsibility. Using contexts as diverse as Southern Spain, the borderlands of Thailand and South Africa, this book demonstrates how ecological citizenship provides the key link between them through processes of civic engagement.


Mark J. Smith and Piya Pangsapa, Environment and Citizenship: Integrating Justice, Responsibility and Civic Engagement (Zed Books, 2008)


Environment and Citizenship: Integrating Justice, Responsibility and Civic Engagement