Free Trade Agreements, Private Courts and Environmental Exploitation: Disconnected Policies, Denials and Moral Disengagement


Although there is strong scientific consensus that climate change and environmental degradation are occurring, there is also a significant body of opinion that is sceptical about, or denies the validity of, evidence for this. However it is not solely the nature of differing views about global warming or ecological disaster that is being contested but the case for or against intervention and regulation in the market. At an international level, gestures toward ‘sustainability’ are (i) compromised by combining them with declarations of the need for continued economic growth, and (ii) undermined by the arrangements put in place by existing and new transnational trade agreements. The paper examines these views and developments, and the patterns of denial, disconnection and fragmentation they display.

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Published: 2016-12-01
Pages:45 to 59
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How to Cite
South, N. (2016) “Free Trade Agreements, Private Courts and Environmental Exploitation: Disconnected Policies, Denials and Moral Disengagement”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(4), pp. 45-59. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i4.307.

Author Biography

Professor South has taught at various universities in London and New York and between 1981 and 1990 worked as a Research Sociologist at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (now Drugscope), London, before returning to the Department in 1990.
He has previously served on the editorial boards of Sociology, The International Journal of Drug Policy, and The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, and continues to serve on the board of Critical Criminology and as an Associate Editor of the USA journal, Deviant Behavior. He is currently an Adjunct Professor, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.
Following roles as Director of the Health and Social Services Institute,Head of the Department of Health and Human Sciences, and Director of Health Partnerships, he is now Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Law and Management, and Academic Partnerships.