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Overview

An examination of the awareness of environmental and social justice issues in the former Soviet republics—from the Western-style democracies of the Baltic region to the totalitarian regimes of Central Asia—and the resulting activism in those states.

The legacy of environmental catastrophe in the states of the former Soviet Union includes desertification, pollution, and the toxic aftermath of industrial accidents, the most notorious of which was the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. This book examines the development of environmental activism in Russia and the former Soviet republics in response to these problems and its effect on policy and planning. It also shows that because of increasing economic, ethnic, and social inequality in the former Soviet states, debates over environmental justice are beginning to come to the fore.

The book explores the varying environmental, social, political, and economic circumstances of these countries—which range from the Western-style democracies of the Baltic states to the totalitarian regimes of Central Asia—and how they affect the ecological, environmental, and public health. Among the topics covered are environmentalism in Russia (including the progressive nature of its laws on environmental protection, which are undermined by overburdened and underpaid law enforcement); the effect of oil wealth on Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan; the role of nationalism in Latvian environmentalism; the struggle of Russia's indigenous peoples for environmental justice; public participation in Estonia's environmental movement; and lack of access to natural capital in Tajikistan.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union makes clear that although fragile transition economies, varying degrees of democratization, and a focus on national security can stymie progress toward “just sustainability,” the diverse states of the former Soviet Union are making some progress toward “green” and environmental justice issues separately.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262512336
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 05/15/2009
Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Julian Agyeman is Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the coauthor of Sharing Cities and the coeditor of Cultivating Food Justice and Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice , each published by the MIT Press.

Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger is Assistant Professor of International Development, Community and Environment at Clark University.

What People are Saying About This

Michael Edelstein

"In the quest for a middle ground of 'Just Sustainability,' fresh insight is provided by this eclectic portrait of a region where both justice and sustainability are in short supply."—Michael R. Edelstein, Ramapo College of New Jersey, author of Contaminated Communities, and lead editor of Cultures of Contamination

Michael R. Edelstein

In the quest for a middle ground of 'Just Sustainability,' fresh insight is provided by this eclectic portrait of a region where both justice and sustainability are in short supply.

From the Publisher

"With in-depth field surveys, rich historical contextualization, and cultural assessments, this book shines a light on issues that have received little attention in Western publications. Citizens of the former Soviet Union give voice to environmental issues and their interrelation to ethnic conflicts, nationalism,criminality, and other issues. This book convincingly shows how environmental issues and their solutions are critically tied to other factors." Walter Richmond , German, Russian, and Classical Studies, Occidental College

Endorsement

With in-depth field surveys, rich historical contextualization, and cultural assessments this book shines a light on issues that have received little attention in western publications. Citizens of the Former Soviet Union give voice to environmental issues and their interrelation to ethnic conflicts, nationalism, criminality, and other issues. This book convincingly shows how environmental issues and their solutions are critically tied to other factors.

Walter Richmond, German, Russian, and Classical Studies, Occidental College

Walter Richmond

"With in-depth field surveys, rich historical contextualization, and cultural assessments this book shines a light on issues that have received little attention in western publications. Citizens of the Former Soviet Union give voice to environmental issues and their interrelation to ethnic conflicts, nationalism,criminality, and other issues. This book convincingly shows how environmental issues and their solutions are critically tied to other factors." — Walter Richmond,German, Russian, and Classical Studies, Occidental College

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