Environmental Human Rights: Power, Ethics and Law, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Human Rights

Power, Ethics and Law, 1st Edition

By Jan Hancock


270 pages

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Hardback: 9781138722422
pub: 2019-09-05
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This title was first published in 2003. Environmental Human Rights redefines the political, ethical and legal relationships between the environment and human rights to claim the human rights to an environment free from toxic pollution and to natural resources. Through a focus on the operational dynamics of social power, this compelling book details how global capitalism subjugates concerns of human security and environmental protection to the values of allocative efficiency and economic growth. The capacity of social power to construct ethical norms and to determine the efficacy of law is examined to explain how ethical and legal concepts have been selectively applied to accommodate existing patterns of production, consumption and exchange that cause environmental degradation and human rights violations. By looking at how environmental values have been systematically excluded from the human rights discourse, the book claims that human rights politics and law has been constructed on double standards to accommodate the destructive forces of capitalism.


'This provocative volume will be of interest to all those concerned with environmental rights and the ambivalent relationship between human rights and power. The author argues the case for two human rights: a human right to an environment free from toxic pollution and a human right to natural resources. Derived from an ecological rationality, these human rights could serve as an important focus for those activists and analysts seeking to challenge the legitimacy of prevailing forms of economic rationality and the destructive forces of global capitalism.' Neil Stammers, University of Sussex, UK 'This book undertakes a long overdue analysis of the potential for claiming a clean environment as a human right. It brings together the conceptual literature on human rights with that on the environment to present a coherent argument for understanding environmental claims as human rights. Importantly, it will convince many readers that the disciplinary practices that have separated human rights talk from environmental talk cannot be sustained.' Tony Evans, University of Southampton, UK '…thoroughly researched, articulate and engaging…will be of use to students of environmental politics, academics, "think-tanks" and policy analysts. It is an enjoyable book, with original analysis and well-supported arguments.' Human Rights Law Review 'The analysis in this book is sharp, provocative and engaged…This is a book of interest mainly to all those concerned with environmental rights and the ambivalent relationship between human rights and power.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution

Table of Contents

1. Rationality, Epistemology and Environmental Human Rights. 2. Structural Power and Environmental Human Rights. 3. Social Demands for Environmental Human Rights. 4. The Formal Response to Environmental Human Rights Claims. 5. The Human Right to an Environment Free from Toxic Pollution. 6. The Human Right to Natural Resources.

About the Author

Jan Hancock, Dr, is a Lecturer in International Relations and Global Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London

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