The Politics of the Anthropocene

The Politics of the Anthropocene

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The Politics of the Anthropocene is a sophisticated yet accessible treatment of how human institutions, practices, and principles need to be re-thought in response to the challenges of the Anthropocene, the emerging epoch of human-induced instability in the Earth system and its life-support capacities. However, the world remains stuck with practices and modes of thinking that were developed in the Holocene - the epoch of around 12,000 years of unusual
stability in the Earth system, toward the end of which modern institutions such as states and capitalist markets arose. These institutions persist despite their potentially catastrophic failure to respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene, foremost among them a rapidly changing climate and accelerating
biodiversity loss. The pathological trajectories of these institutions need to be disrupted by advancing ecological reflexivity: the capacity of structures, systems, and sets of ideas to question their own core commitments, and if necessary change themselves, while listening and responding effectively to signals from the Earth system.

This book envisages a world in which humans are no longer estranged from the Earth system but engage with it in a more productive relationship. We can still pursue democracy, social justice, and sustainability - but not as before. In future, all politics should be first and foremost a politics of the Anthropocene. The arguments are developed in the context of issues such as climate change, biodiversity, and global efforts to address sustainability.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 157 x 234 x 12mm | 320g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019880962X
  • 9780198809623
  • 78,603

Table of contents

1: Anthropocene: The Good, the Bad, and the Inescapable
2: Governance in the Holocene
3: Governance in the Anthropocene
4: Planetary Justice
5: Sustainability
6: Who Will Form the Anthropocene?
7: Democratic Anthropocene
8: Conclusion: A Practical Politics of the Anthropocene
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Review quote

This is a salutatory warning for social scientists who study international institutions and the United Nations system, but one that needs to be taken seriously especially when it runs against the overwhelming impetus to be "policy relevant" to generate solutions to what are presented as solvable "problems". The Anthropocene requires more fundamental thinking, and as such this volume is a useful antidote to technocratic assumptions that there are simple solutions to
issues that are better coped with reflexively as sets of interconnected complicated changing circumstances. * Simon Dalby, Wilfrid Laurier University, Academic Council on the United Nations System *
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About John S. Dryzek

John S. Dryzek is Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Centenary Professor in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra. He is best known for his contributions in democratic theory and practice and environmental politics. He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (2018) and The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and
Society (2011), and the author of many books, including The Politics of the Earth (3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013).

Jonathan Pickering is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra. His research focuses on global environmental governance, climate ethics and policy, and deliberative democracy. His research has been published in a range of journals including Climate Policy, Ecological Economics, Global Environmental Politics, International Environmental
Agreements, and World Development.
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