The University of Arizona

The sociology of ecologically unequal exchange, foreign investment dependence and environmental load displacement: summary of the literature and implications for sustainability

Andrew K. Jorgenson


The article begins by summarizing sociological approaches to (1) ecologically unequal exchange, and (2) foreign investment dependence and environmental load displacement. These areas of sociological inquiry consist of structural theories and cross-national statistical analyses that test hypotheses derived from both approaches. It concludes by briefly describing sociological research on global civil society and the environment, with a focus on the world society approach to environmental change. This area of theory and research provides some insights on ways in which global and transnational civil society groups, such as environmental international nongovernmental organizations, can partially mitigate the environmental harms caused by ecologically unequal exchanges and environmental load displacements.

Key words: ecologically unequal exchange, environmental load displacement, foreign investment dependence

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