The Kyoto Protocol is an international arrangement setting goals for thirty-seven industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Development Mechanism as a flexibility mechanism defined in the Kyoto Protocol offers emission reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units which may be traded in emissions trading schemes. The purpose is to support industrialised […]

This paper draws on the theoretical framework of German sociologist Ulrich Beck’s ‘risk society theory’ of reflexiveness to assist in understanding civil society response to industrial risk in Durban, South Africa. The paper draws on qualitative research and presents viewpoints from key stakeholders at the city level and through a local case study. Following the […]

Although post-apartheid South Africa has witnessed constraints on press freedom by the ruling party, there is limited understanding of how media discourse is contested and constructed by diverse social actors. This article is interested in the extent to which various social actors in the Durban network society, such as civil society, corporations and the state, […]

Since South Africa’s transition to democracy, civil society has been considered a critical component of new inclusive “democratic” societies, acting to ensure human rights for all. Government and donor agencies require the incorporation of this sector within project documents and programmes. However, is civil society merely a loosely defined term used to satisfy the requirements […]

Under Apartheid, marginalised groups had limited power to influence decisions contributing to environmental injustices. Democracy witnessed civil society as ‘inclusive’ to engage in formal decision-making. This paper examines the ability of the state and industry to effectively implement formal participatory decision-making spaces, including the ability of civil society to engage in these spaces. This paper […]

Africa will suffer most under climate change as the continent is the poorest and least equipped to adapt to the potential impacts of the climate crisis. This paper briefly reviews some of the emerging trends surrounding climate change and implications for the African continent. It explores some of the already devastating impacts of climate change […]

The idealization of the natural environmental as a virtual garden of Eden during colonization and apartheid in South Africa has continued to influence mainstream conservationists focusing purely on nature – excluding environmental justice concerns. If issues of environmental justice are neglected, then biodiversity is also at risk. The paper draws on empirical analysis in Durban […]

The concerns of political ecology since its beginnings as a field have been predominantly set in rural areas with limited focus on urban industrial risks. Further, debates on the global South (often from Anglo-American perspectives) have not fully appreciated the divergent and differentiated perceptions of urban risks and, therefore, everyday forms of resistance within civil […]

It was in February that the delegation from the Centre for Social Change, University of Johannesburg (UJ) flew to Dakar, Senegal to attend the World Social Forum (WSF) 2011. The WSF attracted more than 60,000 people pursuing the vision of ‘Another World is Possible’, with the event becoming a symbol of hope for environmental, social […]

This paper examines the ability of civil society leaders in Durban, South Africa to champion environmental justice in an industrial risk society. It presents viewpoints from key social actors at the Durban city level, including three local case sites, to examine civil society leadership capacity to achieve environmental justice by addressing grassroots concerns. It explores […]