Toxic and explosive legacies: A proposal for comparative study of war pollution across the globe | Di sản chất độc và chất nổ: Đề xuất nghiên cứu so sánh về ô nhiễm chiến tranh trên toàn cầu

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic


Modern chemical, biological, and nuclear warfare has resulted in unprecedented environmental hazard in many parts of the world. Across the globe, accounts of environmental destruction caused by civil and international armed conflicts have been highlighted by politicians, diplomats, journalists, and scholars alike. Instead of Genocide, Ecocide refers to the war in which the environment of the enemy is destroyed and rendered unlivable decades if not centuries after the war ended. In analyzing war pollution one can distinguish three kinds of narrative: a critique of modernity (of human destructive creativity with its polluting war technology), a moral narrative of war and its impact, and a developmental narrative of urgency (to clean and clear the environment of war remnants). While war's impact on the environment is well-documented, it is curiously underrepresented in transitional justice and postwar reparation as well as in the wider environmental concerns of today. Given its long-lasting nature, it is pertinent to ask how war-resulted environmental pollution continues to impact individuals and society trying to rebuild life on war's footprints and how coping with toxic and explosive legacies of war is not only a local concern with preventing a recurring circle of violence but also a global moral obligation towards people and their environment. This presentation outlines a theoretical framework for studying war pollution and puts forward a proposal for a comparative anthropological study of war and the environment across the globe.
Period08 Dec 2021
Event titleAnthropology and environment in contemporary Vietnam
Event typeConference
LocationHanoi, Viet NamShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational