Sustainable Development as Environmental Harm: Rights, Regulation, and Injustice in the Canadian Oil Sands, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sustainable Development as Environmental Harm

Rights, Regulation, and Injustice in the Canadian Oil Sands, 1st Edition

By James Heydon


224 pages

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Hardback: 9781138390089
pub: 2019-04-01
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In this in-depth analysis of First Nations opposition to the oil sands industry, James Heydon offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. The environmental consequences of the oil sands industry have been thoroughly explored by scholars from a variety of disciplines. However, less well understood is how and why the provincial energy regulator has repeatedly sanctioned such a harmful pattern of production for almost two decades. This research monograph addresses that shortcoming.

Drawing from interviews with government, industry, and First Nation personnel, along with an analysis of almost 20 years of policy, strategy, and regulatory approval documents, Sustainable Development as Environmental Harm offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. Providing a thorough account of the ways in which the regulatory process has prioritised economic interests over the land-based cultural interests of First Nations, it addresses a gap in the literature by explaining how environmental harm has been systematically produced over time by a regulatory process tasked with the pursuit of ‘sustainable development’.

With an approach emphasizing the importance of understanding how and why the regulatory process has been able to circumvent various protections for the entire duration in which the contemporary oil sands industry has existed, this work compliments existing literature and provides a platform from which future investigations into environmental harm may be conducted. It is essential reading for those with an interest in green criminology, environmental harm, indigenous rights and regulatory controls relating to fossil fuel production.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Background and Analytical Lens; 1. The Oil Sands and its Discontents; 2. Regulating ‘Sustainable Development’ of the Oil Sands Resource; Section 2: The Regulatory Process; 3. The Directing Features of Policy and Strategy; 4. Issues with the ‘Planning’ Stage of the Regulatory Process; 5. Issues with the ‘Approval’ Stage of the Regulatory Process; Section 3: The Catalyst for Harm and Inefficacy of Control; 6. The Catalyst for Harm: ‘Weak’ Ecological Modernisation in Policy and Practice; 7. The Inefficacy of Control: Systematic Infringement of Treaty Rights and the Justificatory Function of Compound Denial; 8. ‘Sustainable Development’-as-Environmental Harm: The Lessons of the Canadian Oil Sands

About the Author

James Heydon is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Lincoln. He is also Chair of the British Society of Criminology’s Green Criminology Research Network.

About the Series

Crimes of the Powerful

Crimes of the Powerful encompasses the harmful, injurious, and victimizing behaviors perpetrated by privately or publicly operated businesses, corporations, and organizations as well as the state mediated administrative, legalistic, and political responses to these crimes.

The series draws attention to the commonalities of the theories, practices, and controls of the crimes of the powerful. It focuses on the overlapping spheres and inter-related worlds of a wide array of existing and recently developing areas of social, historical, and behavioral inquiry into the wrongdoings of multinational organizations, nation-states, stateless regimes, illegal networks, financialization, globalization, and securitization.

These examinations of the crimes of the powerful straddle a variety of related disciplines and areas of academic interest, including studies in criminology and criminal justice; law and human rights; conflict, peace, and security; economic change, environmental decay, and global sustainability.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies