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Remaking Appalachia cover

Nicholas F. Stump 

Available now!
April 2021
PB 978-1-949199-91-8
CL 978-1-949199-90-1
eBook 978-1-949199-92-5


Remaking Appalachia

Ecosocialism, Ecofeminism, and Law


Weatherford Award Finalist, Nonfiction

Environmental law has failed spectacularly to protect Appalachia from the ravages of liberal capitalism, and from extractive industries in particular. Remaking Appalachia chronicles such failures, but also puts forth hopeful paths for truly radical change.

Remaking Appalachia begins with an account of how, over a century ago, laws governing environmental and related issues proved fruitless against the rising power of coal and other industries. Key legal regimes were, in fact, explicitly developed to support favored industrial growth. Aided by law, industry succeeded in maximizing profits not just through profound exploitation of Appalachia’s environment but also through subordination along lines of class, gender, and race. After chronicling such failures and those of liberal development strategies in the region, Stump explores true system change beyond law “reform.” Ecofeminism and ecosocialism undergird this discussion, which involves bottom-up approaches to transcending capitalism that are coordinated from local to global scales.



1. Historical Beginnings: Appalachian Coal and the Coming of Industrial Capitalism
2. Foundations of Environmental Law: Classical Liberalism
3. Twentieth-Century Appalachia: Failed Development Models and Coal’s Hegemony
4. Environmental Law: A Critically Flawed Paradigm
5. Modern Appalachia: Environmental Law’s Failure and the Broader Regional Landscape
6. Systemic Economic and Socio-Legal Change: Theory, Practice, and Praxis
7. Remaking Appalachia: Strongly Ecologically Sustainable Futures



Nicholas F. Stump is a lifelong West Virginian. His scholarship explores environmental law, critical legal theory, law and social movements, and Appalachian and rural studies. He currently works as a faculty member with the George R. Farmer Jr. Law Library at West Virginia University College of Law.


Remaking Appalachia offers a thorough critical account of Appalachia through a law and political economy lens, and makes a persuasive case for what the region needs today: a hopeful vision for a new future rooted in transformative, bottom-up change.”
Ann M. Eisenberg, University of South Carolina

“A must-read for anyone concerned about our reliance on unsustainable energy sources and environmentally damaging practices, and what can be done about it.”
Law Library Journal