Environmental (in)justice and the post-political

Ekaterina Gladkova*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Food production plays a crucial role for challenging the escalating environmental breakdown. It is also a fertile ground for analysing environmental (in)justice and its components of recognition and participation in environmental decision-making. Scholars of environmental justice have paid limited attention to the post-political and its implications for the ability to challenge the ecologically destructive status quo. This article innovatively combines environmental justice perspective with the literature on the post-political condition, using the case study of pig farming intensification in rural Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has been driving policy to encourage growth and intensify its meat production, resulting in a sharp rise of intensive farms. The resulting pollution have and continue generating environmental justice concerns. Using qualitative data from a 2-month fieldwork in November-December 2018, the article shows that local community’s ideas around how farming should be organised were not recognised. Their participation in environmental decision-making was also reduced to an empty ritual; formal inclusion did not translate into a genuine impact on the decision-making outcome. In the post-political landscape, environmental justice concerns become harder to address; environmental decision-making becomes a means of serving the operations of capitalism, stifling disputes around the neoliberal growth agenda, and precluding possibilities for a meaningful change of the ecologically destructive status quo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Early online date4 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2024

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