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Advocacy after Bhopal

Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders

Advocacy after Bhopal

Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders

The 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India was undisputedly one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. Some have argued that the resulting litigation provided an "innovative model" for dealing with the global distribution of technological risk; others consider the disaster a turning point in environmental legislation; still others argue that Bhopal is what globalization looks like on the ground.

Kim Fortun explores these claims by focusing on the dynamics and paradoxes of advocacy in competing power domains. She moves from hospitals in India to meetings with lawyers, corporate executives, and environmental justice activists in the United States to show how the disaster and its effects remain with us. Spiraling outward from the victims’ stories, the innovative narrative sheds light on the way advocacy works within a complex global system, calling into question conventional notions of responsibility and ethical conduct. Revealing the hopes and frustrations of advocacy, this moving work also counters the tendency to think of Bhopal as an isolated incident that "can’t happen here."

488 pages | 34 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies: South Asia

Earth Sciences: Environment

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society

Medicine

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations

Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PROLOGUE: THE TIMES
INTRODUCTIONAdvocacy, Ethnography, and Complex
Systems
ONEPlaintive Response
TWOHappening Here
THREE Union Carbide, Having a Hand in Things
FOURWorking Perspectives
FIVEStates of India
SIXSituational Particularities
SEVENOpposing India
EIGHTWomen’s Movements
NINEAnarchism and Its Discontents
TENCommunities Concerned about
Corporations
ELEVENGreen Consulting
EPILOGUE
APPENDIX
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

Awards

American Ethnological Society: Am Ethnological Soc First Book Award
Won

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