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Title: The natural environment and local perceptions of poverty, well-being and justice in a Mexican fishing community : gaps and bridges between local perceptions and national metrics
Author: Wong-Pérez, Karen Jossuely
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 6104
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Although the 'right to enjoy a healthy environment' is granted by the Mexican Law of Social Development, the environmental dimension is missing in the current national measures of multidimensional poverty. This doctoral research aims to understand the implications of this absence by understanding the local meanings, perceptions and lived experiences of poverty; what contributes to a flourishing, worth-lived life and justice; and the nexus between the natural environment. For this purpose, an integrated 'Justice and well-being pipeline' conceptual framework, inspired in the capabilities approach, was designed to examine in a holistic way the processes contributing to shape the dynamics of social exclusion. Research was undertaken in the municipality of San Felipe, a fishing community of Yucatán, México between summer 2016 and spring 2017. The research adopted a mixed data collection and analytical methods including Q-methodology and network analysis. A geographically systematic sampling approach was used to collected data through semi-structured interviews and purposive sampling for Q methodology. Research findings suggest that the absence of national indicators to measure progress towards the social right to a healthy environment hides the detrimental and corrosive effects of an unhealthy environment and the disproportionate negative effect on vulnerable groups, especially low-income, the elderly and those who do not benefit from social protection mechanisms provided by the community. Understanding social exclusion dynamics emanating from the experience of environmental injustice is essential to understand the processes that perpetuate social disadvantage. The empirical research provides evidence of the centrality of the natural environment as an enabler of a wide array of valuable life functionings. Based on this evidence, the thesis proposes a hybrid approach that encompasses the incorporation of a set of Environmental Primary Goods (EPGs) within the current multidimensional poverty measure and the creation of an environmental enabling conditions dashboard focusing on making visible key environmental enabling conditions.
Supervisor: Vira, Bhaskar Sponsor: CONACYT ; Cambridge Trust ; Mexican SEP ; Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust (CPEST) ; Pannett Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: environmental justice ; multidimensional poverty ; environmental wellbeing ; human flourishing ; human development ; q methodology ; network analysis ; local perceptions of justice ; SDGs ; Environmental Primary Goods ; capabilities approach