Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/108114
Type: Book chapter
Title: Environment and citizenship: Rethinking what it means to be a citizen in the 21st Century
Author: Cao, B.
Citation: The Citizen in the 21st Century, 2013 / Arvanitakis, J., Matthews, I. (ed./s), pp.155-166
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Publisher Place: United Kingdom
Issue Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781848882386
Editor: Arvanitakis, J.
Matthews, I.
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Benito Cao
Abstract: The increasing awareness of the human impact on the environment is having profound repercussions in contemporary societies, not least on the concept and content of citizenship. The past few years have seen significant scholarly interest regarding connections between the environment and citizenship, including the formulation of new notions of citizenship such as environment, ecological, green and sustainable. These types of citizenship are best illustrated by the ideas, projects and actions of groups and individuals who place the environment at the centre of their political activities. In recent times, some of the most prominent environmental citizens have gained global recognition, including Nobel Peace prizes, such as Wangari Maathai in 2004 and Al Gore in 2007. Simultaneously, environmental citizenship is increasingly finding its way into popular culture, as in the children's films WALL-E and The Lorax. This chapter outlines some of the challenges that environmental concerns pose to the dominant formulations and articulations of citizenship. The chapter explores how environmental concerns are creating new rights and responsibilities; how this is giving birth to new forms of citizenship (including environmental and ecological); and how these novelties interact with the individual-state-market triad, or with corporate and consumer citizenship. I argue that environmental citizenship is presently dominated by the emphasis on consumer culture and individual behaviour (as consumer-citizens), especially in the Global North. This is particularly visible in representations of human/nature relations in popular culture, and is also noticeable when we look at the most popular tool used to promote environmental citizenship: the ecological footprint. It is increasingly clear is that the ways in which we respond to environmental concerns and articulate human - nature relations has a major bearing on what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.
Keywords: Environment; citizenship; neoliberal; consumer-citizen; individual responsibility; corporations; popular culture; pedagogies; sustainability
Rights: Copyright status unknown
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Politics publications

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