VCU News: Exploring strategic connections between populism and the debate on pipelines

In his new book, VCU assistant professor Kai Bosworth looks at the theory of populism and how it relates to the world today.

How contemporary environmental struggles and resistance to pipeline development became populist struggles"My book seeks to understand the rise of a kind of populist environmentalism, or an environmentalism of the people, with all its possibilities and limitations. Populist environmentalism criticizes politicians of both parties for failing to act on environmental issues, and it sees the corrupting influence of oil money on political democracy. But it also departs from forms of elite environmentalism, whose values were based on a lifestyle associated with the interests of relatively wealthy white people. This form of environmentalism not only ignored but sometimes actively opposed the values of working-class people, who they blame for not caring enough about natural parks or pollution.

"[In addition to academics], Pipeline Populism is also intended for anyone interested in or involved in social movements, especially young people. If you are feeling disheartened by the climate crisis or class inequality and want to understand the source of those feelings and what can be done about it, this book offers strategic reflections on what can be done."

Read the full interview with Kai Bosworth at VCU News.