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Radical Environmentalism and the Role of Nature


Cianchi, J, Radical Environmentalism and the Role of Nature, The Geography of Environmental Crime: Conservation, Wildlife Crime and Environmental Activism, Palgrave Macmillan, GR Potter, A Nurse, M Hall (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 33-57. ISBN 978-1-137-53842-0 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Editors and The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1057/978-1-137-53843-7_3


Radical environmental activists are inextricably entangled with the nature they are defending and this entanglement gives rise to profound moments of connection with nature that fundamentally alter how they look at the world and their place within nature-human relationships. Radical environmentalism is a contest about the meaning of nature and the social construction of activism, deviance, and harm. Activist campaigns are fought in physical and imaginative geographies, where what is deviant and what is criminal are fluid concepts; the activists themselves dwell in a wild nature that gives rise to distinct social explanations for how they and society generally should interact with the rest of nature or the more-than-human world (see Cianchi 2015: 32).

This chapter explores how radical environmental activists explain their encounters with nature and how these encounters influence, shape, and sustain their commitment and cultures. Tasmanian forest activists, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activists, participated in narrative interviews that explored whether nature is experienced as an active, as opposed to passive, participant in the construction and shaping of their identity and activism. What emerges is a perspective that recognises personhood in non-humans and which gives rise to a strong moral obligation to defend nature from harm.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cianchi, J (Dr John Cianchi)
ID Code:110664
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-08-09
Last Modified:2017-06-23

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