David Naguib Pellow, What is Critical Environmental Justice?

Cambridge UK and Medford MA, Polity Press, 2018, 206 pp.
  • Ryan HolifieldEmail author
Book Review

Environmental justice (EJ) studies is sometimes portrayed by critical and radical social scientists as an inspiring but undertheorized field of primarily empirical research, with a largely reformist, policy-focused approach to change. In this concise, remarkable book, David Naguib Pellow moves EJ studies far beyond this depiction, taking up his own earlier challenge to develop a more critical, transformative approach to the field (Pellow & Brulle 2005). However, instead of following the influential program of Marxist political ecology and focusing on the dynamics of class and capital accumulation, Pellow forges a distinctive and compelling new path. Drawing on concepts from anarchism, posthumanism, and intersectional feminism, the author shows through provocative readings of unlikely case studies how the concept of environmental justice can be transformed into a lens for seeing and critiquing familiar struggles in unfamiliar ways.

This is a book that readers should certainly not judge...


  1. Pellow, D. N., & Brulle, R. J. (2005). Power, justice, and the environment: toward critical environmental justice studies. In D. N. Pellow & R. J. Brulle (Eds.), Power, justice, and the environment: a critical appraisal of the environmental justice movement (pp. 1–19). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© L’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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