University Of Tasmania

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Green victimology and non-human victims

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:39 authored by Robert WhiteRobert White
This article explores the tensions and interplay between human and non-human environmental victims from the point of view of eco-justice. The article begins by sketching out the broad contours of green victimology as a newly emerging area of intellectual engagement. Human victims of environmental harm are not widely recognised as victims of ‘crime’. Moreover, within the category ‘victim’, the non-human environmental victim is seldom considered worthy of attention. From an eco-justice perspective, victimhood can be conceptualised in terms of environmental justice (the victim is human), ecological justice (the victim is specific environments) and species justice (the victim is animals, and plants). Hierarchies of victims between and within each of these categories can be identified. One response to these hierarchies is to assert the notion of ‘equal victimhood’ (based on the notion, for example, that all species should be considered equal or that the natural environment has its own intrinsic worth). However, the eco-justice approach adopted in this article argues that context (both social and ecological) is vital to understanding and responding to specific instances of environmental victimisation. Particular circumstances must be taken into account in the conceptualisations of victimisation and in the moral weighing up of interests and harms in any given situation.


Publication title

International Review of Victimology








School of Social Sciences


Sage Publications Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 The Author

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other environmental management not elsewhere classified