Concerns about an ever-expanding array of global environmental harms and their social and economic impacts have become central to contemporary popular and political discourse.
‘Green’ criminology, which began to emerge as an identifiable strand of criminology in the early 1990s and has expanded and developed in recent years into a clear and distinct sub-discipline, can be seen as a particular and significant response to these concerns. Yet it remains marginalised in the larger field and those engaged with this highly relevant topic are isolated or in fractured groups.
A unique seminar series led by Dr Tanya Wyatt of Northumbria University aims to realise the benefit of bringing together academics at all career stages from a range of disciplines such as law, sociology, criminology, and justice studies, to exclusively focus on the analysis and examination of ‘green’ crimes. Crucially though, the series will also include ecological and conservation practitioners, environmental and wildlife law enforcement, security officials and other experts. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The UK-based series consists of five half-day seminars and one 2-day mini-conference. The seminars will take place every term until August 2014 in different locations around the country and will each have two invited speakers depending on the topic.
It is not possible to cover all the facets, so the series will focus primarily on: 1.) ‘green’ criminology Theories and Concepts; 2.) Wildlife and Timber Trafficking; 3.) Animal Abuse and Wildlife Crime; 4.) Hazardous Waste and Pollution; and 5.) Environmental Law and Regulation.
The mini-conference will have sessions on each of these themes and time devoted to those aspects of ‘green’ criminology not covered elsewhere in the series, such as methodological challenges, environmental conflict, and bio-piracy. The final conference will also have a session devoted to plans for future collaborative research, publications, and an annual conference.
The first seminar is on 20 October 2012 at Northumbria University. This seminar is titled ‘Green Criminology: Theories and Concepts’ and will feature two keynote speakers as well as time for networking and discussion. Dr. Avi Brisman, School of Justice Studies, Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University (US) and Professor Nigel South, Sociology, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Essex will explore the analytical and theoretical strands of green criminological thought such as environmental, ecological, and species justice, which help to define the field and set it apart from mainstream criminology.
General attendance is welcome though there is a £10 fee. Please follow the link to register http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/esrcgreencrime. Or if you are unable to attend, please visit the website where recordings of the seminars will be uploaded.
By Dr Tanya Wyatt