Life in America has been transformed over the past thirty-five years. Using a
historical materialist framework, the authors argue that what appear today as
fragmented social, economic, environmental, and political problems are all
manifestations of neoliberalism – a class-based political project to position
capital more favourably in its struggle to preserve the conditions for
accumulation. This project reaches deeply into the weave of biological,
ecological, and social life. It involves both the increasing role of money and
markets in the determination of life chances, and the systematic push of
corporations into previously protected spheres of life. Emphasizing Martha
Nussbaum’s question “What does a life worthy of human dignity require?”, each
chapter of this book (covering work, the environment, health, education, and
politics) analyses a cornerstone of human development that had previously been,
to varying degrees, protected from the logic of the capitalist market. This book
examines how US business successfully increased control over, privatized, or
commodified each of these areas, amounting to a neoliberal transformation of
lived experience. Neoliberalism has far-reaching and troubling consequences for
the potential of people in the US to live a full and flourishing life. The final
chapter provides an evaluation of the claim that the election of Donald Trump to
the US presidency represents a rupture in neoliberal politics.
Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith, and Stephen Hall
, then I cannot walk down the road anyway. When it comes to reliance systems, people are free not only because of an absence of laws or customs or rules or armed guards obstructing them, but because of the presence of a specific reliance system. In order to have the capacity to walk down the road, there needs to be a road.
In this chapter we first expand upon the philosophical foundations of this more material or active understanding of freedom, an understanding that owes the deepest debt to the capabilitiesapproach developed by Amartya Sen, Martha
The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.
years of their existence, they were, perhaps, very much
alike, and neither their parents nor play-fellows could perceive any remarkable
Somewhat similarly, social research on well-being and living conditions
emphasises a range of factors other than material conditions. In Brian Nolan’s
summary of Swedish ‘level of living’ welfare research (which has much in
common with Sen’s capabilitiesapproach) these include ‘knowledge, mental
and physical energy and social relationships, through which an individual can
control and consciously direct his living
This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen
science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth
age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within
environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists
have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging
in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics
has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of
science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living
with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary
contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American
hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental
controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,”
citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding
toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory
environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing,
witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for
seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of
engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of
critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will
also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the
book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues,
as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen
science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors
in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from
emerging scholars and community activists.
Tackling environmental injustice in a post-truth age
Thom Davies and Alice Mah
mean involvement in decision making can also stifle the
significance of environmental justice struggles. As Ambriz and Correia (2017,
54) argue, “representation and participation, however important, are never
The third major form of justice that we highlight here takes inspiration from
American philosopher Martha Nussbaum (2011) and Indian economist Amartya
Sen (2009) and is concentrated on capabilities. The capabilitiesapproach to justice is centered around the ability of individuals to live freely and unhindered
in the world, and, though linked to the
’. See M. Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The
CapabilitiesApproach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
11 Gilligan, In a Different Voice, p. 30.
12 Ibid., pp. 11–12.
13 O. O’Neill, ‘Duties and Virtues’, in M. Warnock (ed.), Women Philosophers
(London: Orion Publishing, 1996), pp. 257–72.
14 Ibid., pp. 265–6.
15 Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, trans. J.A.K. Thompson (London: Penguin,
1976), p. 200 (1137b).
16 See also, J. Mcdowell, ‘Virtue and Reason’, The Monist, 62 (1979), 331–50 for
a similar argument.
17 O’Neill, ‘Duties and Virtues’, pp. 260
(Brooks et al., 2016):
A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers
Trustworthiness of data and analysis
HB and KR are health service
researchers, SW is a Lecturer in Mental
Health, KL is a Professor in Mental Health
and AR is a Professor of Health Systems
Implementation. As such, researchers
had no therapeutic relationship with
participants. The conceptual starting
point of our study is one informed by a
capabilitiesapproach which recognises
that social context and engagement
with valued people, places and activities
known for this
analysis, human capabilities are linked to the idea of the good
life and the possibilities for human flourishing (Sen 1999).
The capabilitiesapproach sets out a path for assessing social,
political and economic systems against their effect on human
flourishing and well-being. Moreover, Nussbaum (2000) has
extended this to a rights-based approach, which constructs
lists of capabilities that should be enshrined in constitutions
(accepting that capabilities can vary cross-culturally). These
arguments can be linked to citizenship, as Lockwood’s work
A Capability Approach based analysis from the UK and Ireland
): Women and Human Development: The CapabilitiesApproach. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Nussbaum, M. (2007): Human rights and human capabilities. Harvard Human Rights Journal
Orr, D. (1992): Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World. Albany:
Pink, S. (2007): Walking with video. Visual Studies 22 (3): 240–252.
Qizilbash, M. (1998): The concept of well-being. Economics and Philosophy 14 (1): 51–73.
Rawls, J. (1971): A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Robeyns, I. (2005): Selecting