Joan Martinez-Alier

Joan Martinez-Alier
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies (ICTA)

About

248
Publications
108,988
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
13,915
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (248)
Article
Full-text available
Analysing a sample of 3,033 environmental conflicts around the globe, we compared conflicts reporting no human health impacts to those reporting health impacts linked to toxic pollution. Our study suggests four main findings. First, health impacts are a key concern for working-class communities. Second, the long-term effects of toxic pollution unde...
Article
Full-text available
According to the EJAtlas, of 97 environmental conflicts in Peru, 20 are deemed as successes, generally meaning « stopped projects ». Violence in Peruvian environmental conflicts is much higher than the average in the EJAtlas. However, not all investment projects in the extractive industries or infrastructure are conflictive. We discuss the sources...
Article
This article contributes to the discussion on socio-environmental conflicts and extractive projects in the Arctic region. Fifty-three socio-environmental conflicts are analysed, using data from the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice. Based on descriptive statistics, regression and network analysis, the paper reveals that socio-environmental conf...
Article
Full-text available
After the Vale's tailings dam failure in Brumadinho (Minas Gerais) in early 2019, a group of researchers and activists from around the world produced a thematic map in the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice (EJAtlas) including 30 cases of environmental conflicts in which Vale had a prominent role. In this paper, these cases are analysed in light...
Chapter
Full-text available
Se ofrece una propuesta para la enseñanza de las ciencias sociales ambientales en las universidades de Latinoamérica. El texto se basa en la conferencia que se presentó en la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) en marzo del 2017 y su posterior modificación, publicada en el Observatorio del Desarrollo de la Universidad Autónoma de Zacate...
Article
Full-text available
The planetary boundaries concept has profoundly changed the vocabulary and representation of global environmental issues. We bring a critical social science perspective to this framework through the notion of societal boundaries and aim to provide a more nuanced understanding of the social nature of thresholds. We start by highlighting the strength...
Article
This article describes the origins of the terms “environmental justice” and “environmentalism of the poor and the indigenous” since the 1980s. In 2012 the collection of “ecological distribution conflicts” (EDC) in an Atlas of Environmental Justice (the EJAtlas) started. The EJAtlas reached 3350 entries by January 2021. Such conflicts arise because...
Article
Full-text available
This study illustrates how, despite the diversity of women environmental defenders and their movements around the world, there are near-universal patterns of violence threatening their survival. Violence against women environmental defenders, often perpetrated by government-backed corporations, remains overlooked. Research on this issue importantly...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we undertake a systematic mapping of 649 cases of resistance movements to both fossil fuel (FF) and low carbon energy (LCE) projects, providing the most comprehensive overview of such place-based energy-related mobilizations to date. We find that (1) Place-based resistance movements are succeeding in curbing both fossil-fuel and low...
Article
Full-text available
Through their synergies, trade-offs, and contradictions, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) have the potential to lead to environmental justices and injustices. Yet, environmental justice (EJ), and social justice more broadly, are not currently embedded within the language and spirit of the SDGs. We part from the premise that “many ‘environme...
Article
Full-text available
The industrial economy is not circular, it is entropic, therefore requiring new supplies of energy and materials extracted from the “commodity frontiers”, and producing polluting waste. Therefore, ecological distribution conflicts arise. The Global Atlas of Environmental Justice is an online inventory of such ecological distribution conflicts based...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research and policies recognize the importance of environmental defenders for global sustainability and emphasize their need for protection against violence and repression. However, effective support may benefit from a more systematic understanding of the underlying environmental conflicts, as well as from better knowledge on the factors tha...
Article
Full-text available
Indigenous Peoples worldwide are confronted by the increasing threat of pollution. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature (N = 686 studies), we present the current state of knowledge on i) the exposure and vulnerability of Indigenous Peoples to pollution; ii) the environmental, health and cultural impacts of pollution upon Indigenous Peo...
Article
Full-text available
Rural territories and cultures have been increasingly sacrificed through depopulation, invasion by infrastructure, and the presence of industries which are incompatible with agriculture. Meanwhile, the expansion of urban space through demographic agglomeration and the concentration of activities in cities is leading to a progressively urbanised wor...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental destructions, overconsumption and overdevelopment are felt by an increasing number of people. Voices for 'prosperity without growth' have strengthened and environmental conflicts are on the rise worldwide. This introduction to the special issue explores the possibility of an alliance between post-growth and ecological distribution con...
Article
Full-text available
With each passing year, defending land and water, livelihoods and cultures appears to become more violent. Against the alarming number of murders of environmental activists or environmental defenders, which is the easiest way to recognize violence, this article aims to analyse other visible and invisible ways in which violence is manifested. Using...
Article
The extractive sector is increasingly important in the GDP and export basket of the four Andean countries under study (ACs) (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). The analysis of an updated inventory of 296 environmental con icts in the EJAtlas for these four countries reaches the following conclusions: extractivism causes en- vironmental con icts...
Book
Full-text available
Does being an environmentalist mean caring about wild nature? Or is environmentalism synonymous with concern for future human well-being, or about a fair apportionment of access to the earth’s resources and a fair sharing of pollution burdens? Environmental problems are undoubtedly one of the most salient public issues of our time, yet environmenta...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter summarizes a series of discussions at the 23rd Ernst Strüngmann Forum, which aimed at understanding how differences in framing environmental problems in the area of energy and climate change are driven by differences in normative and theoretical positions. Utilizing the diverse expertise of individual group members, twelve framings wer...
Chapter
There is a fundamental clash between economy and the environment due to the growing social metabolism of industrial economies. Energy cannot be recycled. Therefore, the energy from the fossil fuels is used only once, and new supplies of coal, oil, and gas must be obtained from the “commodity extraction frontiers.” Similarly, materials are recycled...
Article
Full-text available
The article Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework, written by Arnim Scheidel, Leah Temper, Federico Demaria and Joan Martínez‑Alier was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 13 December 2017 without open access.
Article
Full-text available
Can ecological distribution conflicts turn into forces for sustainability? This overview paper addresses in a systematic conceptual manner the question of why, through whom, how, and when conflicts over the use of the environment may take an active role in shaping transitions toward sustainability. It presents a conceptual framework that schematica...
Article
Full-text available
The environmental movement may be “the most comprehensive and influential movement of our time” (Castells 1997: 67), representing for the ‘post-industrial’ age what the workers’ movement was for the industrial period. Yet while strike statistics have been collected for many countries since the late nineteenth century (van der Velden 2007),1 until t...
Article
Full-text available
A review of Sunita Narain's recent book and a discussion of the Green Movement in India
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter draws on results of the project entitled EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) focused on the analysis of ecological distribution conflicts across the world. We include comparative data on India and Latin America (and also for some variables on Africa and Europe) exploring the links between increases in the...
Book
Full-text available
The book features 11 chapters that contribute to the debate on the tensions and contradictions between social justice and environmental justice at different levels. The chapters are grounded on a range of political-ecological perspectives and present conceptual debates based on empirical evidence from research on water-related topics from Europe an...
Article
This article analyses the Physical Trade Balances (PTB) of five South American economies since 1990. Both exports and imports (measured in tonnes) increased but exports were consistently much larger than imports. Such large Physical Trade Deficits (PTD) persisted throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Export prices of primary goods increased but by 2013,...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces a Special Section on Ecologically Unequal Exchange (EUE), an underlying source of most of the environmental distribution conflicts in our time. The nine articles discuss theories, methodologies, and empirical case studies pertaining to ecologically unequal exchange, and address its relationship to ecological debt. Key words...
Article
Full-text available
Firstly, we present some environmental conflicts gathered in 2016 in the EJAtlas, selecting a few that have implied deaths of environmental defenders around the world including India and South America. Such conflicts arise from changing trends in the social metabolism. Secondly, we compare India and South America in terms of internal metabolism and...
Article
Full-text available
One of the causes of the increasing number of ecological distribution conflicts around the world is the changing metabolism of the economy in terms of growing flows of energy and materials. There are conflicts on resource extraction, transport and waste disposal. Therefore, there are many local complaints, as shown in the Atlas of Environmental Jus...
Chapter
Full-text available
The industrial economy works in practice by shifting costs to poor people, to future generations, and to other species. Could an industrial economy work otherwise? K. W. Kapp wrote in 1950 that capitalism is an economy of unpaid costs, but the socio-environmental impacts are not due to capitalism as such, they would not be different in another syst...
Chapter
Full-text available
The debate on the socioenvironmental challenges faced by Latin America has a long history. This history is crucial to understanding Latin American perspectives on environmental governance and, above all, to understanding the specific characteristics which determine these perspectives. Traditional debates on environmental governance tend to see the...
Chapter
Der englische Begriff environmentalism bezeichnet eine weltweite kulturelle und soziale Bewegung, die auf den Schutz von Natur und Umwelt abzielt.
Article
Ecological economics was constituted in the late 1980 as a transdisciplinary field of study attracting systems ecologists and dissident economists. Inspiration was drawn from N. Georgescu-Roegen's The EntropyLaw and the Economic Process (1971) together with work from ecologist H.T. Odum and economist K. Boulding. The complexity of living structures...
Article
Full-text available
This article highlights the need for collaborative research on ecological conflicts within a global perspective. As the social metabolism of our industrial economy increases, intensifying extractive activities and the production of waste, the related social and environmental impacts generate conflicts and resistance across the world. This expansion...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Presentation for the European Society of Ecological Economics (Leeds, 2015) on methods for dealing with environmental justice issues -- application to the case study of Madagascar.
Article
Full-text available
p class="p1"> Resumen | Al considerar que a la Ecología Política le interesa dar cuenta de cómo el poder político incide en los conflictos socioambientales, se argumenta que ésta se centra en el estudio paralelo del metabolismo social y los conflictos ecológicos distributivos . Como resultado, la Ecología Política permite develar los términos de in...
Article
This article reviews methodologies, types, and political implications of water conflicts from a political ecology perspective. The political ecology of water studies the conflicts on water use, whether as an input or as a vehicle for waste disposal. Both the quantity and the quality of water are relevant for conflicts on water as a commodity and al...
Chapter
Full-text available
http://biblioteca.clacso.edu.ar/clacso/se/20150318053457/GobernanzaAmbiental.pdf
Chapter
This chapter argues for a cross-fertilization of political ecology with ecological economics. More specifically, it calls for greater efforts to link political ecology with ongoing movements outside academia, such as the global environmental justice movement and the degrowth movement in Europe. First, the authors consider the links between ecologic...
Article
Full-text available
Después de varios años de mejorar los términos del intercambio, algunos países sudamericanos ahora atraviesan una nueva situación, caracterizada por déficits en la balanza comercial (mayores importaciones que exportaciones, en valores monetarios), al tiempo que persisten los déficits en sus balances comerciales en términos físicos (las exportacione...
Article
There are several varieties of environmentalism. Here the focus is on the environmentalism of poor or indigenous populations involved in resource extraction conflicts around the world. In their struggle to preserve their own livelihoods against mining companies, hydroelectric dams, biomass extraction and land grabbing, and oil and gas exploitation,...
Article
Full-text available
In 2002, the year it was published, The Environmentalism of the Poor was one of the first books examining in a multidisciplinary perspective three parallel environmental movements around the world. Eleven years later, we re-examine these movements – the Cult of Wilderness, the Gospel of Eco-Efficiency and the Mantra of Environmental Justice, – focu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The two big global crises that erupted in 2008 – the world food crisis and the broader financial crisis that the food crisis has been part of – are together spawning a new and disturbing trend towards buying up land for outsourced food production. ‘Land grabbing’ as these acquisitions are now called, is often led by the private sector (with support...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explains the methods for counting the energy and material flows in the economy, and gives the main results of the Material Flows for the economy of India between 1961 and 2008 as researched by Simron Singh et al (2012). Drawing on work done in the EJOLT project, some illustrations are given of the links between the changing social metabo...
Data
Full-text available
In their own battles and strategy meetings since the early 1980s, EJOs (environmental justice organizations) and their networks have introduced several concepts to political ecology that have also been taken up by academics and policy makers. In this paper, we explain the contexts in which such notions have arisen, providing definitions of a wide a...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an environmental and institutional history of the highly politicized and contested process of setting a Net Present Value (NPV) for forests in India, in a context of increasing conflicts over land for development, conservation and indigenous rights. Decision-making documents in the Supreme Court and in one specific case of a b...
Article
Full-text available
After 1992 many conservation biologists thought that the use of economic instruments would be more effective to halt biodiversity loss than policies based on setting apart some natural spaces outside the market. At the same time there was a new elaboration of the concept of ecosystem services and, since 1997, there have been attempts at costing in...
Article
The biophysical features of the Argentinean economy are examined using a social metabolism approach. A material flow analysis (MFA) for this economy was conducted for the period 1970–2009. Results show that Argentina follows a resource-intensive and export-oriented development model with a persistent physical trade deficit. Also, Argentina's terms...
Conference Paper
Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot and a country rich in natural resources, is also one of the poorest countries in the world with 77% of the population living below the poverty line (World Bank, 2011). Since 2000, public authorities have decided to open the country to large development projects in order to reduce poverty. Those projects are mainly...
Article
Full-text available
Degrowth is the literal translation of 'décroissance', a French word meaning reduction. Launched by activists in 2001 as a challenge to growth, it became a missile word that sparks a contentious debate on the diagnosis and prognosis of our society. 'Degrowth' became an interpretative frame for a new (and old) social movement where numerous streams...
Article
Economic degrowth is ecologically desirable, and possibly inevitable; but under what conditions can it become socially sustainable? How can we have full employment and economic stability without growth? What will happen to public spending and to public debt? How would production be organised in a degrowing economy? And under what plausible socio-po...
Article
Introduction Causes of Environmental Conflicts The Chipko Movement and the Environmentalism of the Poor Southern Europe and Latin America The GDP of the Poor Two Ecuadorean Women In India In Mexico Conclusion References
Article
This introductory paper to the special section of Global Environmental Change entitled “Global transformations, social metabolism and the dynamics of socio-environmental conflicts” argues that the emergence of new global economic centers is inducing a major expansion in the global social metabolism—the flows of energy and materials into the world e...
Article
Full-text available
India's economic growth in the last decade has raised several concerns in terms of its present and future resource demands for materials and energy. While per capita resource consumption is still extremely modest but on the rise, its sheer population qualifies India as a fast growing giant with material and energy throughput that is growing rapidly...
Article
Joan Martíinez-Alier discusses how environmental justice and economic degrowth are interlinked. Social metabolism refers to the flows of energy and materials in the economy. The study of social metabolism overlaps with industrial ecology. The small movement for degrowth in the North focuses on both physical variables and new social institutions. It...
Article
Highlights ► The purposes of the economy have been too narrowly conceived. ► The role of demand management is vastly underplayed. ► The assumptions about the nature of reality are inconsistent with contemporary science. ► The current economic framework is mired in a complex discourse about measurement that fails to even recognize that all economies...
Chapter
Linking Ecological Economics with Political Ecology, I discuss four main issues which one can learn from K.W. Kapp (1910–76) and other ecological economists. First, the economy is an open system which must be described physically (entry of energy and materials, exit of dissipated energy and material waste). This is why Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (19...
Article
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity reports were born out of an initiative in 2007 to produce an analysis of the economics of biodiversity loss parallel to that of existing analysis of climate change. The reports do not preach to the committed environmentalist who already values nature. They are geared instead to the sceptical public admin...
Article
Full-text available
Este texto fue leído en Barcelona el 14 de diciembre del 2010 al capítulo catalán del Club de Roma. Analiza las tendencias demográficas, la creciente producción de dióxido de carbono y la pérdida de biodiversidad en el mundo. Critica el optimismo tecnológico que lleva a creer en el crecimiento económico y por lo tanto conduce a infravalorar las nec...