5. Environmental Human Rights and Environmental Conflicts

Photo by Chiara Certomà

This research line is intended to investigate and document how far the definition in the 2014 of U.N. “Environmental Human Rights” (which expands the traditional understanding of environmentally relevant HRs focused on substantive rights, with procedural rights, whose violations are likely to both cause or to be caused by environmental harms) has been influence by Political Ecology theory and agency. This last critically deconstructs the mainstream liberal perspective to explain how environmental challenges are permeated with issues of power circulation and social justice; points out the mutual influence of environmental degradation and economic, social and cultural poverty; and offer the theoretical framework for the legitimation and discussion of environmental conflicts. My research aims at clarifying whether and under what condition environmental conflicts can be considered as originated from EHR violation or the inadequate application of procedural EHRs, in situations where state or non-state actors (particularly national or multinational enterprises) are threatening the enjoyment of the substantive component of these very rights.