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The panel interrogates the conditions under which adverse transformations impacting the quality of air, soil, or water and ecological crises emerge, examines local reactions to environmental degradation, and explores the broader implications of living close to environmentally hazardous areas.
This panel is located at the intersection of two core themes pertaining to new anthropological horizons in Europe, namely, environmental hazards and everyday life in regions in the periphery of Europe. We seek to interrogate the social, political, and economic conditions under which adverse transformations impacting the quality of air, soil, or water and ecological crises emerge, analyze how environmental destruction is understood and by whom, examine reactions of communities and grassroots organizations to environmental (chemical and microbial) degradation, and explore the broader implications of living in proximity to environmentally hazardous areas. We are interested in analyzing these questions from the perspective of people living in countries in the periphery of Europe -especially North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania-, but we will also consider empirically grounded contributions addressing the above-mentioned questions in Central and South Eastern European countries that have joined the European Union. Our goal is to shed light on the intimate connections among global disparities of power and influence, environmental injustice (such as, for example, cases of manufacturing polluting facilities in marginal areas or appropriating natural resources of weaker communities), and vulnerability (physical, economic, natural, or social) to environmental hazards. The panel also welcomes papers analyzing theoretical and methodological challenges surrounding ethnographic research on environmental hazards in Europe, including how anthropology can contribute to a better understanding of how to survive, conceived in broad terms, in the world today.