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The Social Cost of Environmental Solutions

Citation:

Dauvergne, Peter, and Genevieve LeBaron. 2013. "The Social Cost of Environmental Solutions." New Political Economy 18 (3): 410-430.

 

Authors: Peter Dauvergne, Genevieve LeBaron

Abstract:

This article assesses the social consequences of efforts by multinational corpor- ations to capture business value through recycling, reusing materials and reducing waste. Synthesising evidence from the global environmental justice and feminist and international political economy (IPE) literatures, it analyses the changing social property relations of global recycling chains. The authors argue that, although recycling more would seem to make good ecological sense, corporate programmes can rely on and further ingrain social patterns of harm and exploita- tion, particularly for the burgeoning labour force that depends on recyclables for subsistence living. Turning the waste stream into a profit stream also relies on prison labour in some places, such as in the United States where the federal gov- ernment operates one of the country’s largest electronics recycling programmes. The ongoing corporatisation of recycling, the authors argue further, is devaluing already marginalised populations within the global economy. Highlighting the need to account for the dynamism between social and environmental change within IPE scholarship, the article concludes by underlining the ways in which ‘green commerce’ programmes can shift capital’s contradictions from nature onto labour.

Keywords: multinational corporations, environmental justice, political economy, recycling, labour, e-waste, global recycling chain

Topics: Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Land Tenure, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2019. “Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent.” In Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics, edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King, 153–70. New York: Routledge.

Author: Carol Cohn

Annotation:

Excerpts:

“I have three primary objectives in this project. The first is to describe, analyze, and explore the effects of technostrategic discourse – the language and ways of thinking that defense intellectuals have developed to speak about nuclear weapons, strategy, and warfare” (Cohn 2019, 154).

“My second objective goes beyond describing and understanding this discourse. Stated in the strongest possible terms, I wish to render this discourse 'impotent and obsolete' (to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan). I wish to expose its limits and distortions, its underlying assumptions and values, and the vast gaps between what it claims to do and what it actually does, so as to break its stranglehold on our scholarship, our policy decisions, our national political processes, and our imaginations” (Cohn 2019, 155).

“My third objective is to foster the development of more truly realistic, effective, and humane ways of thinking about international security and cooperation” (Cohn 2019, 155).

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

‘Cocked and Loaded’: Trump and the Gendered Discourse of National Security

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2020. “‘Cocked and Loaded’: Trump and the Gendered Discourse of National Security.” In Language in the Trump Era: Scandals and Emergencies, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 179–90. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Carol Cohn

Keywords: military language, North Korea, nuclear weapons, metaphor, euphemism, gender, masculinity, gender and language, national security, language and thought

Annotation:

Summary:

On Jan 2, 2018, President Trump tweeted a taunt to Kim Jong-un of North Korea: “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” This chapter connects Trump’s nuclear saber-rattling to broader patterns of militaristic language use among nuclear weapons scientists and strategists, as well as among past presidents. Professional and political discourse about nuclear weapons tends to be far removed from the human realities behind the weapons. Such dispassionate language is characterized by stunningly abstract and euphemistic language – and in part by a set of lively and misogynistic sexual metaphors. This linguistic framework seems to shape what can be said, or even thought, within the confines of these male-dominated discussions of war. Those who urge restraint in responding to a provocation or attack, for instance, are quickly impugned as sissies, and expressions of empathy denigrated as feminine. In this respect, Mr. Trump is not an exception. His fear of being perceived as unmanly may be closer to the surface, but gendered language that constrains our understanding of reality has long distorted the ways we think about international politics and national security. (Summary from publisher)

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: North Korea, United States of America

Year: 2020

The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World

Citation:

Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun. 2019. “The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 18 (2): 304–31.

Author: Judy Tzu-Chun Wu

Abstract:

This article focuses on the antinuclear and antimilitarism politics of Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927–2002), the first Japanese American female lawyer in Hawai'i, the first woman of color to become a U.S. congressional representative, and the namesake for Title IX. During the late 1960s and 1970s, Mink challenged the use of the Pacific lands, waters, and peoples as sites of military experimentation, subject to nuclear and chemical testing as well as war games. Mink's political worldview, shaped by her experiences and understanding of the interconnectedness between human and nonhuman life as well as water and land, reflected a Pacific World sensibility. She worked with, but also articulated political priorities that differed from, indigenous peoples of the Pacific. Focusing on these connected yet divergent Pacific imaginaries provides an opportunity to explore the significance of these antimilitarism campaigns for the study of transnational feminisms as well as Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. First, the protests of Mink and Native Hawaiian activists against U.S. militarism in the Pacific represented gendered critiques of U.S. empire, although in different ways. Second, Mink's advocacy via political liberalism provided opportunities for coalition formation yet also constrained the range of her gendered arguments and limited possible solutions beyond the U.S. polity. Third, the coalitional possibilities and incommensurabilities reveal the points of convergence and divergence between Asian American demands for full inclusion and Pacific Islander calls for decolonization and sovereignty. (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: Patsy Takemoto Mink, Cold War militarism, Pacific World, liberalism, settler colonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Oceania Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Gender Roles and Nuclear Disarmament Activism, 1954-1965

Citation:

Wittner, Lawrence S. 2000. “Gender Roles and Nuclear Disarmament Activism, 1954-1965.” Gender & History 12 (1): 197–222.

Author: Lawrence S. Wittner

Annotation:

Excerpt:
“Changes in science and technology do not always produce revolutions in consciousness, but they can certainly have an impact, especially when the changes portend mass annihilation. Thus, not surprisingly, the terrifying preparations for nuclear war of the mid twentieth century – including atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons with a thousand times the explosive power of the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima – and the stark nuclear confrontations among the great powers sent new currents of thought swirling off in numerous directions. Gender roles could hardly remain unaffected and, in fact, underwent the beginning of a significant shift. Indeed, scholars looking for the missing link between the conventional gender norms of the immediate postwar decade and the emerging women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s would do well to examine the impact of the Bomb upon popular consciousness in the intervening years. And the first place to look for this transition in thinking about gender is at the worldwide welling up of nuclear disarmament activism” (Wittner 2000, 197).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: Japan, United States of America

Year: 2000

Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s

Citation:

Swerdlow, Amy. 1993. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Women in Culture and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Author: Amy Swerdlow

Annotation:

Summary:

Women Strike for Peace is the only historical account of this ground-breaking women’s movement. Amy Swerdlow, a founding member of WSP, restores to the historical record a significant chapter on American politics and women’s studies. Weaving together narrative and analysis, she traces WSP’s triumphs, problems, and legacy for the women’s movement and American society.

Women Strike for Peace began on November 1, 1961, when thousands of white, middle-class women walked out of their kitchens and off their jobs in a one-day protest against Soviet and American nuclear policies. The protest led to a national organization of women who fought against nuclear arms and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. While maintaining traditional maternal and feminine roles, members of WSP effectively challenged national policies—defeating a proposal for a NATO nuclear fleet, withstanding an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and sending one of its leaders to Congress as a peace candidate.

As a study of a dissident group grounded in prescribed female culture, and the struggle of its members to avoid being trapped within that culture, this book adds a crucial new dimension to women’s studies. In addition, this account of WSP’s success as a grass roots, nonhierarchical movement will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and anyone interested in peace studies or conflict resolution. (Summary from publisher)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 1993

Promise Her Everything: The Nuclear Power Industry’s Agenda for Women

Citation:

Nelson, Lin. 1984. “Promise Her Everything: The Nuclear Power Industry’s Agenda for Women.” Feminist Studies 10 (2): 291–314.

Author: Lin Nelson

Annotation:

Excerpt:
“The purpose of this article is to examine in detail he campaign to cultivate nuclear consciousness among women—particularly through an industry-sponsored group called Nuclear Energy Women. But firs we need to place that campaign in the larger context of the nuclear industry’s efforts to sell its product as essential to the American way of life” (Nelson 1984, 293).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 1984

The United States, India and the Global Nuclear Order: Narrative Identity and Representation

Citation:

Pate, Tanvi. 2020. The United States, India and the Global Nuclear Order: Narrative Identity and Representation. London: Routledge.

Author: Tanvi Pate

Abstract:

In the Post-Cold War era, US nuclear foreign policies towards India witnessed a major turnaround as a demand for ‘cap, reduce, eliminate’ under the Clinton administration was replaced by the implementation of the historic ‘civil nuclear deal’ in 2008 by Bush, a policy which continued under Obama’s administration.

This book addresses the change in US nuclear foreign policy by focusing on three core categories of identity, inequality, and great power narratives. Building upon the theoretical paradigm of critical constructivism, the concept of the ‘state’ is problematised by focusing on identity-related questions arguing that the ‘state’ becomes a constructed entity standing as valid only within relations of identity and difference. Focusing on postcolonial principles, Pate argues that imperialism as an organising principle of identity/difference enables us to understand how difference was maintained in unequal terms through US nuclear foreign policy. This manifested in five great power narratives constructed around peace and justice; India-Pakistan deterrence; democracy; economic progress; and scientific development. Identities of ‘race’, ‘political economy’, and ‘gender’, in terms of ‘radical otherness’ and ‘otherness’ were recurrently utilised through these narratives to maintain a difference enabling the respective administrations to maintain ‘US’ identity as a progressive and developed western nation, intrinsically justifying the US role as an arbiter of the global nuclear order.

A useful work for scholars researching identity construction and US foreign and security policies, US-India bilateral nuclear relations, South Asian nuclear politics, critical security, and postcolonial studies. (Abstract from publisher)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 2020

Preemptive Strikes: Women Strike for Peace, Antinuclear Pacifism, and the Movement for a Biological Democracy, 1961–1963.

Citation:

Ross, Andrew J. 2021. “Preemptive Strikes: Women Strike for Peace, Antinuclear Pacifism, and the Movement for a Biological Democracy, 1961–1963.” Peace & Change 46 (2): 164–82.

 

Author: Andrew Ross

Abstract:

This article examines the social, political, and environmental features of the Women Strike for Peace (WSP) movement from its inception in 1961 to the passage of the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963. I offer the analytical framework of “biological democracy” as a conceptual bridge between environmental and sociopolitical approaches to WSP. The movement’s gendered critiques of US foreign policymaking, its organizational structure, and its participation in the production and distribution of scientific knowledge demonstrate how progressive women used maternalist discourse to oppose US Cold War policies in the early-1960s. WSP participants leveraged their social proximity to the biological condition of the family as “givers and guardians” of life to dissent against the nuclear arms race, heighten female voices within Cold War geopolitics, and increase public awareness of the hazards of radioactive fallout caused by ongoing atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. By coopting conventions of maternalism and domesticity as justification for their cause, WSP women effectively mollified patriarchal and anti-communist attacks as they organized against Cold War militarism and nuclear irradiation. In so doing, they offered a vision of US democracy that responded to individualized, feminine activism and prioritized public health over nuclear armament.

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 2021

‘Basically Feminist’: Women Strike for Peace, Maternal Peace Activism, and Memory of the Women’s Peace Movement

Citation:

Coburn, Jon. 2021. “‘Basically Feminist’: Women Strike for Peace, Maternal Peace Activism, and Memory of the Women’s Peace Movement.” Journal of Women’s History 33 (2): 136–62.

Author: Jon Coburn

Abstract:

This article examines the varying historical expressions of activists in Women Strike for Peace (WSP) to assess how changing gender ideology and feminist beliefs influenced the memory of the women's peace movement. A transformation in collective identity occurred among WSPers in the late 1960s, causing the group to engage with the women's movement in a way that had not previously occurred. Exploring how activists understood their past, this article reveals that leaders revised their group's historical narrative to craft a collective memory that gave WSP a history of feminist activism. This is shown most prominently in the reappraisal of Bella Abzug and the histories produced by activist Amy Swerdlow. The article argues that interpretations of the history and memory of the women's peace movement must acknowledge how gender politics change over time. It asserts the significance of this transformation for historicizing feminist beliefs among women's peace activists.

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Roles, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 2021

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