Business Responsibility and Government Complicity in Environmental Conflicts

Global patterns of business responsibility and government complicity in Environmental Rights-based Socio-Environmental Conflicts. A quali-quantitative analysis.

Chiara Certomà (University of Turin)  & Federico Martellozzo (University of Florence)

Presentation based on a paper by Chiara Certomà, Federico Martellozzo, Stefania Benetti, Roberta Gemmiti

Our research aims at exploring how the critical geographers’ critiques toward the limited reach of political ecology can be addressed. To this end, we focused on a subset of socio-environmental conflicts (SECs) (reported in the global atlas produced by the EU project “Environmental Justice, Liability and Trade”) that directly connect with some of the most mutilating violations perpetrated by state and non-state actors, i.e. the violations of environmental-related Human Rights (ERs). We propose a quali-quantitative analysis to explore the country distribution of the incidence of violations of ERs leading to SECs (VERCs) worldwide; the extent to which these can be associated with the involvement of business companies; and the general governance conditions spatially associated with the emergence of VERCs, regardless of the involvement of businesses. Through statistical regression analysis we showed that, although governance conditions are not as relevant as business involvement in contributing to the emergence of the spatial pattern of VERCs, these are nevertheless statistically significant. Overall, the evidence of business’ implication in VERCs and of the lack of adequate public governance conditions suggest the need to complexify political ecology’s perspective with a more nuanced understanding of the patterns of liability and complicity between diverse actors involved in SECs. Moreover, data analytics at global level contribute to the debate on international business regulation modes.

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Starting Time


May 5, 2022

Ending Time

15:30 CET

May 5, 2022



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