CSSJ Working Papers

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Centrality in the world-system allows countries to externalize their hazards or environmental harms on others. Core countries, for instance, dump heavy metals and greenhouse gases into the global sinks, and some of the core’s hazardous products, production processes and wastes are displaced to the peripheral zones of the world-system. Since few peripheral countries have the ability to assess and manage the risks associated with such hazards, the transfer of core hazards to the periphery has adverse environmental and socio-economic consequences for many of these countries. Such export practices are therefore contributing to the globalization of health, safety, and environmental risks. Most discussions of the risk globalization problem have failed to situate the problem firmly in a world-system frame. This paper begins such a discussion by examining the specific problem of ship breaking in Alang, India and Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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