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Abstract

Taking stock of environmental justice (EJ) is daunting. It is at once a scholarly field, an ongoing social movement, and an administrative imperative adopted by government agencies and incorporated into legislation. Moreover, within academia, it is multidisciplinary and multimethodological, comprising scholars who do not always speak to one another. Any review of EJ is thus necessarily restrictive.

This article explores several facets of EJ activism. One is its coalitional and “inside-outside” orientation. EJ activists are constantly forming alliances with other stakeholders, but these coalitions do not flout the importance of engaging with formal institutions. The review next turns to one set of such institutions—the courts and regulatory agencies—to see how well EJ claims have fared there. I then survey scientific findings that have been influenced by EJ. The review concludes with future directions for activists and scholars to consider: the changing nature of EJ coalitions, fragmentation within EJ and with other fields, the historical roots of environmental injustice, and opportunities for stronger infusion of the EJ lens.

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2023-04-03
2024-06-21
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