Sustainability: Approaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power

Julie Sze (Editor)


A critical resource for approaching sustainability across the disciplines

Sustainability and social justice remain elusive even though each is unattainable without the other. Across the industrialized West and the Global South, unsustainable practices and social inequities exacerbate one another. How do social justice and sustainability connect? What does sustainability mean and, most importantly, how can we achieve it with justice?

This volume tackles these questions, placing social justice and interdisciplinary approaches at the center of efforts for a more sustainable world. Contributors present empirical case studies that illustrate how sustainability can take place without contributing to social inequality. From indigenous land rights, climate conflict, militarization and urban drought resilience, the book offers examples of ways in which sustainability and social justice strengthen one another. Through an understanding of history, diverse cultural traditions, and complexity in relation to race, class, and gender, this volume demonstrates ways in which sustainability can help to shape better and more robust solutions to the world's most pressing problems.

Blending methods from the humanities, environmental sciences and the humanistic social sciences, this book offers an essential guide for the next generation of global citizens.

Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
July 03, 2018
6.0 X 0.8 X 8.9 inches | 0.97 pounds

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About the Author

Julie Sze is Professor and the Founding Chair of the American Studies Department at UC Davis. She is also the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis' John Muir Institute of the Environment. She has authored 2 books, including Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice, which won the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, and Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Crisis.


"Social justice requires the long term and holistic perspective offered by sustainability. Effective moves towards sustainability must engage issues of equity and justice. But discussions of sustainability and social justice have long been isolated from each other. This volume brings together diverse and powerful voices to initiate a much needed discourse between sustainability and social justice scholars" -Tom Dietz, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
"Sze's concept of 'situated sustainability' draws on environmental justice and the environmental humanities to offer a new way of thinking about sustainability that is both more flexible and more rigorous than previous conceptions. Specifically, this book both argues for and demonstrates a far more comprehensive and unanticipated way of thinking about sustainability in an era of environmental crisis."-Laura Pulido, author of Environmentalism and Economic Justice and Black, Brown, Yellow and Left