1st Edition

Environment and Citizenship

By Benito Cao Copyright 2015
    308 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The increasing awareness of the human impact on the environment is having a profound effect on the concept and content of citizenship – one of the fundamental institutions that structures human relations. In what is the first introduction of its kind, this book provides an accessible, stimulating and multidimensional overview of the many ways in which concern for the environment – driven primarily by the preoccupation with sustainability – is reshaping our understanding of citizenship.

    Environment and Citizenship is structured into three parts. Part I introduces the reader to the concept and theories of citizenship and explores the impact that environmental concerns is having on contemporary formulations of citizenship, both traditional (e.g. national, liberal and republican) and emerging (e.g. cosmopolitan, ecological and ecofeminist). Part II explores the practical manifestations of environmental citizenship, with each chapter focusing on a particular actor: citizens, governments, and corporations. These chapters include references to examples and case studies from a wide range of countries, broadly categorized as belonging to the Global North and the Global South. Part III explores the making of green citizens and outlines the dominant articulations of environmental citizenship that emerge from formal education, news media and popular culture. The book concludes with a general reflection on the present and future of environmental citizenship.

    The book contains a variety of illustrations, boxed case-studies, links to online resources and suggestions for further reading. This original and engaging text is essential reading for students and scholars of environmental politics, sustainability studies and development studies, as well as for environmental activists, policy practitioners and environmental educators. More broadly, this book will appeal to anyone interested in and concerned with issues of sustainability, social justice and citizenship in the twenty-first century.

    Introduction  1. Environment and Citizenship: The Basics  2. Introducing Citizenship Theories  3. Theorizing Environmental Citizenship  4. Environmental Citizenship in Action  5. Governing Environmental Citizenship  6. Environmental Citizenship Incorporated  7. Learning Environmental Citizenship.  Conclusion


    Benito Cao is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Adelaide, Australia. His main area of research focuses on the intersection of politics and popular culture, in particular, the articulations of this intersection in the formation and formulation of colonial, imperial, and national identities. He has received numerous teaching awards and has published in the fields of pedagogy, cultural studies, identity politics, and environmental activism in Brazil.

    'It is hard to speak too highly of this marvellous book. Environment and Citizenship is at once a readable, entertaining, and fully comprehensive introduction to the topic, and a contribution to original scholarship. Enlivened by examples, and leavened with online resources and student activities, this book will be an indispensable companion to anyone teaching or researching in the field.'

    Professor Andrew Dobson, Keele University, UK, and author of Citizenship and the Environment (2003)

    'Cao’s effort to chart the emergence of the environmental citizen reaches deep into the historical and conceptual roots of both citizenship and the politics of nature. His sustained effort to grapple with theoretical debates in the field is matched by a rich engagement with the realm of practice, shedding light on the ways that individuals, social movements, governments, and corporations contribute to competing conceptions of environmental citizenship. Spanning diverse perspectives across both social and geographical difference, the text provides a thought-provoking read for students and instructors alike.'

    Professor Alex Latta, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, and co-editor (with Hannah Wittman) of Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles (2012)

    'Cao's Environment and Citizenship makes an important contribution in terms of the maturing of the complex debate between green political theory and its concerns and the dynamics and evolution of citizenship. The tripartite focus of the book on theories (Part I), actions (Part II), and representations (Part III) of the relationship/s between environment and citizenship produces some novel, interesting, and provocative ideas.  Environment and Citizenship shows how green values and especially global ecological problems such as climate change challenge citizenship, such as its nation-state focus or indeed the automatic and exclusive association of citizenship with human beings. The book is clearly written and makes good use of practical examples and case studies to illustrate normative arguments. Thus it is a perfect textbook, one that deserves to be widely used.'

    Professor John Barry, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and author of The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability (2012)