Environmental justice and the role of criminology: An analytical review of 33 years of environmental justice research

Lisa Anne Zilney, Danielle McGurrin, Sammy Zahran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


An increasing number of scholars and activists have begun to tackle a variety of issues relevant to environmental justice studies. This study attempts to address the role of criminologists in this domain. The authors examine 425 environmental justice articles in 204 academic journals, representing 18 programs/departments between 1970 and 2003. First, they measure the environmental justice contributions in the literature by academic department or activist affiliation. Second, they identify the major themes in the literature as they have developed and reveal the current and future directions of environmental justice studies. Such themes include the spatial distribution of hazards, social movements, law and public policy, and environmental discrimination. Finally, the authors seek to call attention to the evident linkages between accepted areas of criminological scholarship and environmental justice. From this latter objective, the authors seek to demonstrate how criminology and criminal justice can advance this critical dialogue and social movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-62
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006



  • Eco-criminology
  • Environmental crime
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental racism
  • Green criminology

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