The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication

1st Edition

Edited by Anders Hansen, Robert Cox


434 pages | 22 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-03-16
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This Handbook provides a comprehensive statement and reference point for theory, research and practice with regard to environment and communication, and it does this from a perspective which is both international and multi-disciplinary in scope. Offering comprehensive critical reviews of the history and state of the art of research into the key dimensions of environmental communication, the chapters of this handbook together demonstrate the strengths of multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to understanding the centrality of communication to how the environment is constructed, and indeed contested, socially, politically and culturally.

Organised in five thematic sections, The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication includes contributions from internationally recognised leaders in the field. The first section looks at the history and development of the discipline from a range of theoretical perspectives. Section two considers the sources, communicators and media professionals involved in producing environmental communication. Section three examines research on news, entertainment media and cultural representations of the environment. The fourth section looks at the social and political implications of environmental communication, with the final section discussing likely future trajectories for the field.

The first reference Handbook to offer a state of the art comprehensive overview of the emerging field of environmental communication research, this authoritative text is a must for scholars of environmental communication across a range of disciplines, including environmental studies, media and communication studies, cultural studies and related disciplines.


‘Bringing together the foremost scholars in the field and examining environmental communication from a wide variety of angles and theoretical perspectives, this Handbook is a crucial addition to existing literature. It looks at all the relevant arenas and actors, and accurately maps recent developments in theory and practice. The greatest value of this volume resides however in the thorough and insightful nature of the reviews offered in its chapters: a must for any course on environmental communication and anyone interested in learning about the area.’

Anabela Carvalho, Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Sciences of the University of Minho, Portugal

‘In this timely and comprehensive handbook, Hansen and Cox expertly organize the growing body of research in the area of environmental communication – growing in volume, importance and impact. The scope of the Handbook is a testament to the maturity of the field; it will serve as an indispensable reference for students and practitioners of communication about the natural world and our role in it.’

Lee Ahern, Associate Professor, College of Communications, Penn State University, USA, and Chair of the International Environmental Communication Association

‘Celebrating achievements whilst acknowledging challenges is a difficult balance to accomplish. Hansen and Cox’s Handbook expertly navigates the past, present and future study of environment and communication to offer a highly engaging account of this multidisciplinary field. With passion and authority, the editors and authors of this volume demonstrate the significance of communication to the multiple practices and politics of the environment. In doing so, they remind us of how far the field has come since the 1970s, whilst providing an ethical and critical basis for future research practice.’Julie Doyle, Reader in Media Studies, University of Brighton, UK

"The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communicationis a collection of works devoted to theenvironment, one of the top critical global concerns today. This book is a multidisciplinary and international assembly of works that explore, theorize, and examine core concepts in environment and communication that "can help, not only to understand the centrality of communication processes and communications media in the public sphere, but political definition, elaboration and contestation of environmental issues and problems"

Diane Martinez, assistant professor of professional and technical communication, Western Carolina University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Environment and CommunicationAnders Hansen and Robert Cox

Part 1 Environment, Communication and Environmental Communication: emergence and development of a field

1. Emergence and growth of the “field” of environmental communication Robert Cox and Stephen DePoe

2. Communication, media and the social construction of the environment Anders Hansen

3. Discourse/rhetorical analysis approaches to environment, media and communication Jennifer Peeples

4. Social science approaches to environment, media and communication James Cantrill

Part 2 Producing environmental communication: sources, communicators, media and media professionals


5. Environmental scientists and public communication Sharon Dunwoody

6. The media/communication strategies of environmental pressure groups and NGOs Robert Cox and Steve Schwarze

7. Resisting meaningful action on climate change: Think tanks, 'merchants of doubt' and the 'corporate capture' of sustainable development David Miller and William Dinan

8. Transnational protests, publics and media participation (in an environmental age) Libby Lester and Simon Cottle

9. Public participation in environmental policy decision-making: insights from twenty years of collaborative learning fieldwork Gregg Walker, Steven Daniels and Jens Emborg

10. To Act in Concert: Environmental Communication from a Social Movement Lens Charlotte Ryan and Kimberly Freeman Brown

Media and media professionals

11. The changing face of environmental journalism in the United States Sharon Friedman

12. Environmental reporters David B. Sachsman and JoAnn Myer Valenti

13. The changing ecology of news and news organisations: implications for environmental news Curtis Brainard

14. News organisation(s) and the production of environmental news Alison Anderson

15. Citizen science/citizen journalism: New forms of environmental reporting Stuart Allan and Jacqui Ewart

16. Environmental news journalism, public relations and news sources Andy Williams

Part 3 Covering the environment: news media, entertainment media and cultural representations of the environment

News media

17. News coverage of the environment: a longitudinal perspective Anders Hansen

18. Communicating in the anthropocene: the cultural politics of climate change news coverage around the world Maxwell T. Boykoff, Marisa M. McNatt and Michael K. Goodman

19. Containment and reach: The changing ecology of environmental communication Libby Lester

Entertainment media and cultural representations

20. Representations of the environment on television, and their effects James Shanahan, Katherine McComas and Mary Beth Deline

21. Cartoons and the environment Anne Marie Todd

22. Cinema, ecology and environment Pat Brereton

23. Nature, environment and commercial advertising Anders Hansen

24. Celebrity culture and environment Mark Meister

25. Cultural representations of the environment beyond mainstream media Andy Opel

Part 4 Social and political implications of environmental communication

26. Mapping media’s role in environmental thought and action Susanna Priest

27. Agenda-setting with environmental issues Craig Trumbo and Se-Jin "Sage" Kim

28. Framing, the media, and environmental communication Matthew C. Nisbet and Todd P. Newman

29. Analysing public perceptions, understanding and images of environmental change Lorraine Whitmarsh

30. Publics, communication campaigns and persuasive communication Todd Norton and Natalie Grecu

31 Engaging diverse audiences with climate change: message strategies for Global Warming's Six Americas Connie Roser-Renouf, Neil Stenhouse, Justin Rolfe-Redding, Edward Maibach and Anthony Leiserowitz

Part 5 Conclusions: future trajectories of environment and communication

32. Beyond the post-political zeitgeist Pieter Maeseele

33. Whither the heart (-to-heart)? Prospects for a humanistic turn in environmental communication as the world changes darkly Susanne Moser

About the Editors

Anders Hansen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication, at the University of Leicester, UK. He has published extensively on media and the environment. He is founder and ex-Chair of the IAMCR Environment, Science and Risk Communication Group, founding member and Secretary to the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), and is an Associate Editor for Environmental Communication.

Robert Cox is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. His principal research areas are environmental communication, climate change communication and strategic studies of social movements. He is author of Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere and serves on the editorial board of the journal Environmental Communication; he also advises US environmental groups on their communication programmes.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
REFERENCE / Handbooks & Manuals
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies