The environmental politics of white supremacist ideology and class in Louisiana
This thesis analyzes the relationships between racism, education, partisanship, and environmental policy preferences in Louisiana voters utilizing data from the 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationships between the explanatory scales (an individual's symbolic racism, biological racism, party identity, political ideology, and education level) and opposition to five environmental policies, identified as negative environmental policy preference. I hypothesize that racism will be a better indicator variable for negative environmental policy preference than education level, in spite of popular discourse which tends to rely on lack of education as an explanation for negative environmental politics, conveniently obscuring the role of racist ideologies. Chapter 1 outlines the basis for this study in the historical and political realms and in the literature of theory on racism in American politics, political polarization of climate change, environmental racism, and the case of environmental politics in Louisiana. Chapter 2 delineates the methods by which I analyze the relationships between these phenomena, for which I use three statistical models (correlation, analysis of variance, and multivariate logistic regression) to derive the results explored in Chapter 3. The discussion of these results and analyses in Chapter 4 concludes that racism is a better indicator variable for negative environmental policy preference than education. This thesis builds on the exploratory work of American political scientists on the influence of historical white supremacy on contemporary racism in the American political landscape by applying this theory to environmental politics.