Environmental Crime and Justice

JPS 400, SU 2013, T/TR 8:10-10:10pm

Course Description

Framed through a transdisciplinary approach, this course aims to incite in students a willingness to read, write, and critically examine issues pertaining to environmental crime and justice. The construction and implementation of environmental protection laws has been a significant source of political and social controversy. This course will explore the nature of threats to ecosystems and living organisms, the laws and regulations designed to control them, and the strategies and problems associated with enforcement of these laws and regulations.


In order to understand the problems posed by violations of environmental law we will examine the relationship between environmental harms and what criminologists term state-corporate crime. Because environmental pollutants do not respect national boundaries, the course will also consider the role of pollution and pollution control within the international arena. Because not all social groups bear the consequences of environmental degradation the course will examine social movements that address issues of environmental privilege, environmental racism, and state-corporate environmental crime.

Course Objectives

  • Educate students about the history, theory, and practice of environmental justice
  • Develop students' ability to critically analyze environmental harm using a state-corporate crime framework
  • Enhance students' comprehension of the legal and enforcement problems posed by cross-border environmental hazards in an era of globalization and neoliberal capitalism

For more information contact:

Meghan McDowell, M.S., course instructor

meghanmcdowell@gmail.com