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(Ine)quality of air and water - A political ecology approach to a multilevel analysis of individual- and country-level factors impacting people’s experience of environmental quality in their community

Stagge, Josefin LU (2019) SIMV32 20191
Graduate School
Master of Science in Development Studies
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine inequalities in terms of air and water quality in a cross-national study comparing determinants at both individual and national level using a subjective measurement. This study explores how uneven development and economic inequalities within and between countries affect people’s experience of environmental problems (i.e. poor water and air quality) in their community. The study design is secondary analysis of cross-national data from the World Values Survey and the World Development Index. A multilevel linear regression was conducted and the sample in the final model specification consisted of 29,307 individuals nested in 24 countries. The results indicated that there is a significant cross-national... (More)
The purpose of this study is to examine inequalities in terms of air and water quality in a cross-national study comparing determinants at both individual and national level using a subjective measurement. This study explores how uneven development and economic inequalities within and between countries affect people’s experience of environmental problems (i.e. poor water and air quality) in their community. The study design is secondary analysis of cross-national data from the World Values Survey and the World Development Index. A multilevel linear regression was conducted and the sample in the final model specification consisted of 29,307 individuals nested in 24 countries. The results indicated that there is a significant cross-national pattern of people living in larger towns (or cities) experiencing worse air and water quality in their community than those living in smaller towns. Another significant result was that experience of good air and water quality decreases as GNI per capita decreases. Being female also decreases a person’s experience of good air and water quality in their community. There were no significant relationships between experienced air and water quality and individual-level income or the GINI coefficient. Inequalities in air and water quality between rural and urban areas are discussed as the uneven development of space and nature. As the main objective of the prevailing societal mode of production – capitalism – is accumulation of wealth, centralization of productive capital (labor and means of production) occurs as a way to achieve this goal. This process changes the metabolism of nature, mainly through vehicular traffic and industrial activities. The differences between low- and high-income countries are discussed through the perspective of world-systems analysis. Core countries contribute to environmental degradation in (semi-)periphery countries by ecological unequal exchange; by offshoring hazardous industries and thus externalizing the environmental costs of their way of living. This is possible because periphery countries, due to the shortage of economic resources, often lack the environmental regulations that are implemented in core countries. Gender inequality is discussed through the lens of feminist political ecology, which suggest that experience of and exposure to environmental problems is gendered as a result of socially and culturally structural positions in relation to labor and nature (i.e. gender roles). In addition, women tend to be underrepresented in environmental decision-making, which affects their possibilities to improve their situation. (Less)
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author
Stagge, Josefin LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV32 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
air quality, water quality, environmental justice, political ecology, uneven development, world-systems analysis, multilevel linear regression
language
English
id
8983343
date added to LUP
2020-05-26 13:15:41
date last changed
2020-05-26 13:15:41
@misc{8983343,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this study is to examine inequalities in terms of air and water quality in a cross-national study comparing determinants at both individual and national level using a subjective measurement. This study explores how uneven development and economic inequalities within and between countries affect people’s experience of environmental problems (i.e. poor water and air quality) in their community. The study design is secondary analysis of cross-national data from the World Values Survey and the World Development Index. A multilevel linear regression was conducted and the sample in the final model specification consisted of 29,307 individuals nested in 24 countries. The results indicated that there is a significant cross-national pattern of people living in larger towns (or cities) experiencing worse air and water quality in their community than those living in smaller towns. Another significant result was that experience of good air and water quality decreases as GNI per capita decreases. Being female also decreases a person’s experience of good air and water quality in their community. There were no significant relationships between experienced air and water quality and individual-level income or the GINI coefficient. Inequalities in air and water quality between rural and urban areas are discussed as the uneven development of space and nature. As the main objective of the prevailing societal mode of production – capitalism – is accumulation of wealth, centralization of productive capital (labor and means of production) occurs as a way to achieve this goal. This process changes the metabolism of nature, mainly through vehicular traffic and industrial activities. The differences between low- and high-income countries are discussed through the perspective of world-systems analysis. Core countries contribute to environmental degradation in (semi-)periphery countries by ecological unequal exchange; by offshoring hazardous industries and thus externalizing the environmental costs of their way of living. This is possible because periphery countries, due to the shortage of economic resources, often lack the environmental regulations that are implemented in core countries. Gender inequality is discussed through the lens of feminist political ecology, which suggest that experience of and exposure to environmental problems is gendered as a result of socially and culturally structural positions in relation to labor and nature (i.e. gender roles). In addition, women tend to be underrepresented in environmental decision-making, which affects their possibilities to improve their situation.},
  author       = {Stagge, Josefin},
  keyword      = {air quality,water quality,environmental justice,political ecology,uneven development,world-systems analysis,multilevel linear regression},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {(Ine)quality of air and water - A political ecology approach to a multilevel analysis of individual- and country-level factors impacting people’s experience of environmental quality in their community},
  year         = {2019},
}