Policing Environmental Injustice

Brock, Andrea and Stephens-Griffin, Nathan (2021) Policing Environmental Injustice. IDS Bulletin. ISSN 0265-5012 (In Press)

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Abstract

Environmental justice (EJ) activists have long worked with abolitionists in their communities, critiquing the ways policing, prisons, and pollution are entangled and racially constituted (Braz and Gilmore 2006). Yet, much EJ scholarship reflects a liberal Western focus on a more equal distribution of harms, rather than challenging the underlying systems of exploitation these harms rest upon (Álvarez and Coolsaet 2020). This article argues that policing facilitates environmentally unjust developments that are inherently harmful to nature and society. Policing helps enforce a social order rooted in the ‘securing’ of property, hierarchy, and human-nature exploitation. Examining the colonial continuities of policing, we argue that EJ must challenge the assumed necessity of policing, overcome the mythology of the state as ‘arbiter of justice’, and work to create social conditions in which policing is unnecessary. This will help open space to question other related harmful hegemonic principles. Policing drives environmental injustice, so EJ must embrace abolition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: state violence, political ecology, environmental justice, policing, abolitionism, animal liberation, ecocide
Subjects: F900 Others in Physical Sciences
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 14:05
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 14:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47728

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