Critical Criminology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 503–518 | Cite as

Green Activist Criminology and the Epistemologies of the South



Since its inception, green criminology has attempted to highlight instances of environmental degradation and destruction, as well as examine and analyse the causes thereof and contemplate the responses thereto. Efforts to reduce environmental crime and curb environmental harm, more generally, have not gone unimpeded, however. Activists around the world are being killed in record numbers trying to defend their land and protect the environment. In this article, I consider the role of socially engaged scholars who reject the idea or ideology of ‘neutral scientists’ in light of the risks faced by environmental defenders. As such, this article replies to the claims that activism and the production of knowledge must be clearly separated. To do so, this article draws upon examples from Latin America to underscore the importance of an ‘activist criminology’ (Belknap in Criminology 53(1):1–22. doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12063, 2015) attuned to environmental harms and injustices perpetrated on those seeking to prevent the despoliation of the Earth.


Western Science Environmental Harm Public Sociology Environmental Crime Critical Criminology 



The author would like to thank Avi Brisman, Kerry Carrington, Rune Ellefsen, Ragnhild Sollund and Nigel South for their valuable comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Antonio Nariño UniversityBogotáColombia

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