Violent Environments

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Cornell University Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 453 pages
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Do environmental problems and processes produce violence? Current U.S. policy about environmental conflict and scholarly work on environmental security assume direct causal links between population growth, resource scarcity, and violence. This belief, a staple of governmental decision-making during both Clinton administrations and widely held in the environmental security field, depends on particular assumptions about the nature of the state, the role of population growth, and the causes of environmental degradation.The conventional understanding of environmental security, and its assumptions about the relation between violence and the environment, are challenged and refuted in Violent Environments. Chapters by geographers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists include accounts of ethnic war in Indonesia, petro-violence in Nigeria and Ecuador, wildlife conservation in Tanzania, and "friendly fire" at Russia's nuclear weapons sites. Violent Environments portrays violence as a site-specific phenomenon rooted in local histories and societies, yet connected to larger processes of material transformation and power relations. The authors argue that specific resource environments, including tropical forests and oil reserves, and environmental processes (such as deforestation, conservation, or resource abundance) are constituted by and in part constitute the political economy of access to and control over resources. Violent Environments demands new approaches to an international set of complex problems, powerfully arguing for deeper, more ethnographically informed analyses of the circumstances and processes that cause violence.
 

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Contents

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? A Critique of the Project on Environment
39
Are Forest Wars in Africa Resource Conflicts? The Case
65
Territory Custom and the Cultural Politics of Ethnic War
83
States of Nature and Environmental Enclosures in the American West
117
Sabotage Social Memory and the
146
Community Extraction and Political Ecology of
189
International Dimensions of Conflict over Natural and Environmental
213
Cold War Nuclear and Militarized
237
Victims of Friendly Fire at Russias Nuclear Weapons Sites
287
From State Violence
305
Beyond the Bounds? Violence at the Margins of New Legal
328
Violence and Environmental
354
The Case of
380
References
399
About the Authors
443
Copyright

Violence Environment and Industrial Shrimp Farming
261

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About the author (2001)

Michael Watts is Class of 1963 Professor of Geography and Development Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is coeditor of Violent Environments , also from Cornell, author most recently of Curse of the Black Gold , and coauthor of Afflicted Powers .