Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this paper is to explore concepts of violence as they relate to environmental activism. It employs a comparative case study analysis to illustrate that environmental groups are often labelled "violent" regardless of whether or not they engage in any sort of physical violence. First, it works to define "violence" and explores the concept of structural violence as it relates to gender, ethnicity, race, and the environment. It argues that considering the concept of violence under structural terms is useful in understanding the populations affected differently by environmental violence and who has the power to name what constitutes "legitimate" violence.Second, it argues that environmental activists are often labelled "violent" or "terrorists" not necessarily because they are precipitating some form of violence, but because they threaten the status quo and structural foundation of the state. The people and groups who receive these labels are impacted differently by structural violence and thus are less able to legitimate whatever perceived acts of violence they are committing. It concludes with a call for further research into the relationship between violence and environmental activism.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Westfaul, Elane Sayers, "Eco-terror? Exploring Conceptualizations of Violence in Environmental Activism" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2081.