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Environmental Inequality in Germany

  • Though environmental inequality research has gained extensive interest in the United States, it has received far less attention in Europe and Germany. The main objective of this book is to extend the research on environmental inequality in Germany. This book aims to shed more light on the question of whether minorities in Germany are affected by a disproportionately high burden of environmental pollution, and to increase the general knowledge about the causal mechanisms, which contribute to the unequal distribution of environmental hazards across the population. To improve our knowledge about environmental inequality in Germany, this book extends previous research in several ways. First, to evaluate the extent of environmental inequality, this book relies on two different data sources. On the on hand, it uses household-level survey data and self-reports about the impairment through air pollution. On the other hand, it combines aggregated census data and objective register-based measures of industrial air pollution by using geographic information systems (GIS). Consequently, this book offers the first analysis of environmental inequality on the national level that uses objective measures of air pollution in Germany. Second, to evaluate the causes of environmental inequality, this book applies a panel data analysis on the household level, thereby offering the first longitudinal analysis of selective migration processes outside the United States. Third, it compares the level of environmental inequality between German metropolitan areas and evaluates to which extent the theoretical arguments of environmental inequality can explain differing levels of environmental inequality across the country. By doing so, this book not only investigates the impact of indicators derived by the standard strand of theoretical reasoning but also includes structural characteristics of the urban space. All studies presented in this book confirm the disproportionate exposure of minorities to environmental pollution. Minorities live in more polluted areas in Germany but also in more polluted parts of the communities, and this disadvantage is most severe in metropolitan regions. Though this book finds evidence for selective migration processes contributing to the disproportionate exposure of minorities to environmental pollution, it also stresses the importance of urban conditions. Especially cities with centrally located industrial facilities yield a high level of environmental inequality. This poses the question of whether environmental inequality might be the result of two independent processes: 1) urban infrastructure confines residential choices of minorities to the urban core, and 2) urban infrastructure facilitates centrally located industries. In combination, both processes lead to a disproportionate burden of minority households.
Author:Tobias Rüttenauer
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-54210
Advisor:Henning Best
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2018/11/26
Year of Publication:2018
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2018/09/28
Date of the Publication (Server):2018/11/26
Tag:Environmental inequality; European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR); Geographic Information System (GIS); German census; Industrial air pollution; SOEP; Spatial regression models
Number of page:VI, 147
Source:European Sociological Review; Social Science Research; Urban Studies
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Sozialwissenschaften
DDC-Cassification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie, Anthropologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)