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Environmental inequalities in the Americas

Inégalités environnementales dans les Amériques

Desigualdades medioambientales en las Américas

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Published on Friday, June 23, 2017 by João Fernandes


La revue L'ordinaire des Amériques (ORDA) - lance un appel à articles sur le thème : « Les inégalités environnementales dans les Amériques ». Les contributions porteront sur les différentes facettes des inégalités environnementales dans les Amériques, notamment : approches théoriques et méthodologiques ; études de cas portant sur les inégalités liées à l’environnement dans les Amériques.



On October 2013 : an american study in Texas and in Pennsylvania shows that the extraction of shale gas contributes to the pollution of water resources in Pennsylvania and in Texas. In Canada, on October 17th, 2013 a walking is organized in solidarity to the demonstrators of the New Brunswick who whish to prevent the tests of a gas company in their region. On August 7th, 2016: because of landslides caused by the tropical storm Earl, at least 45 people died in the Mexican States of Puebla (center) and Veracruz (east). On April 22nd, 2015 : one "Marcha nacional por la recuperación del Agua y la Vida" was in the streets of Valparaiso in Chile. They demand a change of the Code of the Water and the improvement of the access to the water in the country. On February 26th, 2017: a million four hundred thousand homes are deprived of water in the metropolitan Region of Santiago of Chile because of the turbidity of the water of the Maipo river due to important thunderstorms on the Andes.

By themselves, these events are revealing social stakes both in terms of vulnerabilities as conflicts related to the socio-ecological dynamics in the Americas. These difficulties join a global context of climate change, loss of biodiversity and increase of pollution which threatens to increase still the inequalities and the tensions around the resource management and the risks in the coming years.

In the institutional domain and in that of the research, the various methods to approach these questions emerge and propose keys for reading, concepts to underline at the same time social and environmental stakes. It is the case of new notions as those of "environmental justice" or still of "environmental inequalities". This last notion is even already suited by the political language (Besse et al., 2014). It is thus important to question the relevance of the notion of environmental inequality as category of analysis. Indeed, the question of the inequalities in front of environmental risks is regularly advanced (Lauryan, 2008; Poupeau, 2009; Roussary, 2010) and the notion of environmental inequality gives an important scientific production (Charles et al., 2014; Chaumel and La Branche, 2008; Deldrève, 2015; Emelianoff, 2008; Faburel, 2008; Forsyth, 2003; Laigle, Tual, 2007; Villalba, Zaccaï, 2007). Nevertheless, various sociological works (Bihr, Pfefferkorn, 2008; Pfefferkorn, 2007) attempted to deconstruct the notion of inequality generally to show that these inequalities harmonized and interacted with economic, social, educational, territorial inequalities. The fact, to give the qualifier of environmental to the notion of inequality would not contribute to minimize the social and political components of the inequalities by contributing to the naturalization of issues either it would allow to underline the hybridity of our socio-natural relationships (Swyngedouw, 2007). That is why the notion of “environmental inequalities" questions us particularly.

First of all, we can wonder about the theoretical approaches of this question. Beyond the classic approach of the Environmental justice, are there other approaches refering to the environmental inequalities? Are these currents issued in the Latin American social sciences? When it is mobilized, does the notion of environmental inequality allow to report social stakes as environmental? Into what theoretical systems is it integrated? The question can be approached on two directions. On one hand, what trends of thought take up the inequalities connected to the environment in the Americas? On the other hand, these inequalities are treated as such or by other entrances?

The question of the specificities of the environmental inequalities in the Americas also arises. What are the factors of these inequalities? How do they build themselves, in the long time

 as in their recent developments? To what extent the perspective of the climate change but also more widely the coming tensions on the resources leads to rethink these inequalities? Do they create a particular interest on behalf of public authorities, do they appear as a political stake or only as a unfortunate but impassable reality?

From then on, the inequalities related to the environment, understood as asymmetry, are they approached in a systematic way, about for example notions as those of "social relationship" (Pfefferkorn, 2007) or "relations" (Raffestin, 1980; Peluso, 2012) or in a more sectorial way? On the other hand, what learn us the studies on the environmental inequalities in the Americas on the theoretical plan? To what extent the empirical works lead to discuss the notion or to enrich it?

Main themes

The expected contributions can thus approach the various angles of the environmental inequalities on the Americas:

Theoretical and methodological approaches

  • Bibliography studies of the theoretical approaches of the environmental inequalities
  • Methodologies
  • Critical Approaches

Case studies concerning the inequalities related to the environment in the Americas

  • Historic construction of the inequalities
  • Sectorial approaches (territorial, political, economic, ecological dimension, etc. of inequalities)
  • Systemic approaches of the inequalities

Considering the various dimensions (ecological, geographical, historic, sociological, economic, etc.) of these inequalities, the interdisciplinary contributions will be deeply appreciated.

Projected timetable

·         On December 31st, 2017 : deadline for proposal submission

  • On April 1st, 2018 : return to authors*
  • On June 1st, 2018 : reception of corrected articles
  • On July 10th, 2018 : return to the authors for final corrections*
  • On September 15th, 2018: reception of definitive articles
  • On December, 2018 : publication of the special issue

* Dates are indicative only

Standards of presentation

Articles will be submitted in one of the four languages of publication of the review (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese). Summaries and five keywords, in at least two of four languages of the review one in origin language and in English (the editorial committee takes care of the translation of the summary and of the keywords in two other languages). 
Articles necessarily have to respect the standards of presentation of the review: https://orda.revues.org/1763

Sending of the proposals

Complete articles (including summary, keywords) accompanied with the illustrations will be sent to Frédérique Blot (frederique.blot@univ-jfc.fr) and Anne Peltier (peltier@univ-tlse2.fr), via a transfer server for files above 6Mo. 


  • Federico Arenas Vásquez*,
  • Frédérique Blot**,
  • Cristian Henríquez Ruiz*,
  • Anne Peltier**

* Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

** Laboratoire GEODE, UMR 5602 CNRS, University of Toulouse, France


  • Sunday, December 31, 2017


  • inégalités, environnement, environmental justice, Amériques


  • Anne Peltier
    courriel : peltier [at] univ-tlse2 [dot] fr
  • Frédérique Blot
    courriel : frederique [dot] blot [at] univ-jfc [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Anne Peltier
    courriel : peltier [at] univ-tlse2 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Environmental inequalities in the Americas », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, June 23, 2017, https://calenda.org/410077

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