Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.55
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 86%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $5.55   
  • New (2) from $35.66   
  • Used (7) from $5.55   


The first edition of Life and Death Matters was a breakthrough text, centralizing the experiences of those on the front lines of environmental crises and forging new paradigms for understanding how crises emerge and how different groups of actors respond to them. This second edition, fully updated with both expanded and new chapters, once again provides a benchmark for the field and opens important pathways for further research. Authors reassess the state of scholarship and grassroots activism in a new century when social and environmental systems are being reconceptualised within post-9/11 security and biosecurity frameworks, when global warming and resource scarcity are not fears but realities, when global power and politics are being realigned, and when ecocide, ethnocide, and genocide are daily tragedies. This bold new edition of Life and Death Matters will be a widely used textbook and essential reading for students, scholars, and policy makers.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Praise for the First Edition: Johnston's aim of moving beyond an examination of how particular human groups become victims to how (and why) such groups successfully and unsuccessfully act in response to environmental crisis is a valuable addition to the theoretical and applied literature. . . . The cases are extremely diverse. . . . By painting with such a broad brush, Johnston makes clear that the relationships between human rights and environmental justice are not bounded locally (e.g., to particular grassroots efforts) or nationally (e.g., to environmental justice movements with particular nations), but must be considered in some broader, international/global context. . . . I look forward to using the book this spring in my upper-division undergraduate course on environmental social movements." —American Anthropologist

“This stunning book is the single most compelling, comprehensive resource on human rights and the environment. It is essential reading for social scientists, policymakers, environmentalists, human rights activists, practitioners, and anybody else concerned with this urgent topic.”

-Gregory Button, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"Life and Death Matters connects seemingly disparate phenomena—economic development, global tourism, climate change, modern warfare and nuclear militarism—to consider how biodegenerative catastrophes displace people, contaminate ecosystems, harm human health, and compromise cultural integrity. This book dissects the controlling processes that impede efforts to create a more habitable planet. Its long-term depth and cross-cultural breadth demonstrate how anthropological perspectives can lead to a more lucid understanding of the perils that threaten us all. Critical anthropology at its finest!"

- Roberto J. Gonza´lez, San Jose State University

"From climate change to China’s rise as a global superpower, the human rights, environment and social justice focus in this second edition is critical and timely, demonstrating how human rights and environmental crises emerge and re-emerge and drawing attention to the many pressing issues resulting from the intersect of warfare and environmental change."

- Benedict Colombi, University of Arizona

"Johnston and her authors systematically navigate through the complex landscape of national and international governance and environmental justice constellations to address the essential questions of our times: how do such crises form and ulcerate? who pays the price? and who is reaps its benefits? With its rigorous writing, substantive data, and analyses tempered by passion, scholars, students, and all others concerned with human environmental rights will find this book to be a prime example of scholar advocacy at its best."

- Irene J. Klaver, University of North Texas

"Life and Death Matters represents socially aware, well informed, relevant and humane anthropology at its best. With deep expertise and a readily accessible style authors use case-specific experience to tell the alarming collective story of how neoliberal development and military conflict contributes to the deterioration of the environment and the increasingly precarious situation of its most vulnerable human inhabitants."

- Hugh Gusterson, George Mason University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598743395
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 487
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Rose Johnston is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Political Ecology and winner of the Lourdes Arizpe Award, presented by the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology & Environment Section, for her outstanding contributions in the application of anthropology to environmental issues and discourse. Among her recent publications are Disappearing Peoples: Indigenous Groups and Ethnic Minorities in South and Central Asia (ed., with Barbara Brower, 2007); Half Lives & Half Truths: Confronting the Radioactive Legacies of the Cold War (ed., 2007), Consequential Damages of Nuclear War: The Rongelap Report (with Holly Barker, 2008), and Waging War, Making Peace: Reparations and Human Rights (ed., with Susan Slyomovics, 2008).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Chapter 1 Human Rights, Environmental Quality, and Social Justice Barbara Rose Johnston 9

Part I Economic Development

Chapter 2 Distant Processes: The Global Economy and Outer Island Development in Indonesia Lorraine V. Aragon 29

Chapter 3 Uncommon Property Rights in Southwest China 55

Section I Lindsey Swope Margaret Byrne Swain Fuquan Yang Jack D. Ives 55

Section II Civil Society and Environment in China Bryan Tilt 62

Snapshot: China Ecocities.doc-Huangbaiyu: Eco-Cities in the Chinese Countryside Shannon May 77

Part II Biodiversity: Preserving What, for Whom?

Chapter 4 African Wildlife: Conservation and Conflict Robert K. Hitchcock 81

Chapter 5 Nature, Development, and Culture in the Zambezi Valley Bill Derman 101

Part III Mineral Wealth versus Biotic Health

Chapter 6 The Master Thief: Gold Mining and Mercury Contamination in the Amazon Leslie E. Sponsel 125

Chapter 7 War on Subsistence: Mining Rights at Crandon/Mole Lake Wisconsin Al Gedicks 151

Part IV Agriculture and Agri-Conflict

Chapter 8 Purity and Danger: Regulating Organic Farming Valerie Wheeler Peter Esainko 181

Chapter 9 Resource Access, Environmental Struggles, and Human Rights in Honduras James Phillips 209

Snapshot: The Human Right to Eat: Agro-Profiteering and Predictable Food Scarcity Joan P. Mencher 233

Part V Development, Degradation, and Conflict

Chapter 10 Mass Tourism on the Mexican Caribbean: Pervasive Changes, Profound Consequences Oriol Pi-Sunyer R. Brooke Thomas 237

Chapter 11 Mexico's Second Institutionalized Revolution: Origins and Impacts of the Chiapas Declarations David Stea Camilo Perez Bustillo Betse Davies Silvia Elguea 263

Part VI Postwar Matters

Chapter 12 Life and Death Matters in Eritrean Repatriation Lucia Ann McSpadden 285

Chapter 13 Environmental Justice, Health, and Safety in Urban South Africa: Alexandra Township Revisited Ben Wisner 311

Chapter 14 Health, Human Rights, and War: Structural Violence, Armed Conflict, and Human Health in the Andes Tom Leatherman 333

Snapshot: Sudan: War and Political Violence Are Destructive to Life and Health Ellen Gruenbaum 349

Snapshot: Considering the Human Health Consequences of War in Iraq Marcia C. Inhorn 351

Part VII Problems That Push the Parameters of Time and Space

Chapter 15 Radiation Communities: Fighting for Justice for the Marshall Islands Holly M. Barker 357

Chapter 16 Complex Problems and No Clear Solutions: Radiation Victimization in Russia Paula Garb 381

Snapshot: Building a Clean, Green Nuclear Machine? Barbara Rose Johnston 407

Chapter 17 Climate Change, Culture Change, and Human Rights in Northeastern Siberia Susan A. Crate 413

Snapshot: Climate Change and the Small Island Experience Holly M. Barker 427

Snapshot: Beset by Offsets: Carbon Offset Chains and Human Rights Abuses Melissa Checker 431

Chapter 18 Water and Human Rights Barbara Rose Johnston 443

Snapshot: From Ecological Disaster to Constitutional Crisis: Dams on Brazil's Xingu River Terence Turner 454

Snapshot: Dam legacies: Guatemala's Chixoy Dam-Affected communities Barbara Rose Johnston 460

Index 467

About the Authors 483

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)