1st Edition

Critical Environmental Politics

Edited By Carl Death Copyright 2014
    368 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The aim of this book is to review central concepts in the study of environmental politics and to open up new questions, problems, and research agendas in the field.

    The volume does so by drawing on a wide range of approaches from critical theory to poststructuralism, and spanning disciplines including international relations, geography, sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, and political science. The 28 chapters cover a range of global and local studies, illustrations and cases. These range from the Cochabamba conference in Bolivia to climate camps in the UK; UN summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg to climate migrants from Pacific islands; forests in Indonesia to Dutch energy governance reform; indigenous communities in Namibia to oil extraction in the Niger Delta; survivalist militias in the USA to Maasai tribesmen in Kenya.

    Rather than following a regional or issue-based (e.g. water, forests, pollution, etc) structure, the volume is organised in terms of key concepts in the field, including those which have been central to the social sciences for a long time (such as citizenship, commodification, consumption, feminism, justice, movements, science, security, the state, summits, and technology); those which have been at the heart of environmental politics for many years (including biodiversity, climate change, conservation, eco-centrism, limits, localism, resources, sacrifice, and sustainability); and many which have been introduced to these literatures and debates more recently (biopolitics, governance, governmentality, hybridity, posthumanism, risk, and vulnerability).

    Features and benefits of the book:

    • Explains the most important concepts and theories in environmental politics.
    • Reviews the core ideas behind crucial debates in environmental politics.
    • Highlights the key thinkers – both classic and contemporary – for studying environmental politics.
    • Provides original perspectives on the critical potential of the concepts for future research agendas as well as for the practice of environmental politics.

    Each chapter is written by leading international authors in their field.

    This exciting new volume will be essential textbook reading for all students of environmental politics, as well as provocatively presenting the field in a different light for more established researchers.

    1. Introduction – Carl Death

    2.Biodiversity – Bram Büscher

    3. Biopolitics – Kevin Grove

    4. Citizenship – Emma Hinton

    5. Climate change – Chukwumerije Okereke and Mark Charlesworth

    6. Commodification – Matthew Paterson

    7. Conservation – James Igoe

    8. Consumption – Andrew Brooks and Raymond Bryant 

    9. Eco-centrism – Katie McShane

    10. Feminism – Erika Cudworth

    11. Governance – Susan Baker

    12. Governmentality – Eva Lövbrand and Johannes Stripple

    13. Hybridity – Alan Rudy and Damian White

    14. Justice – Patrick Bond

    15. Limits – Gabriela Kütting

    16. Localism – Karen Litfin

    17. Movements –Stephan Price, Clare Saunders and Cristiana Olcese

    18. Posthumanism – Steve Hobden

    19. Resource violence – Michael Watts and Nancy Peluso

    20. Risk – Luigi Pellizzoni

    21. Sacrifice – Paul Wapner

    22. Science – Tim Forsyth

    23. Security – Simon Dalby

    24. States – Thom Kuehls

    25. Summits – Carl Death

    26. Sustainability – Mark Whitehead

    27. Technology – Timothy W. Luke

    28.Vulnerability – Chris Methmann and Angela Oels


    Carl Death is a Lecturer in International Politcs at the University of Manchester, UK.

    'Critical Environmental Politics asks the deeply disturbing questions and heads directly into the difficult possible answers. None of its contributors argue that a little more fine-tuning will avert socio-ecological catastrophe. Both new and established critical theorists join forces in a truly necessary "wake up" call. Read it.' Richard B. Norgaard, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

    "All eras are defined by keywords that both reflect dominant norms and serve to reproduce them. Yet these keywords are polysemic and have the potential to be redefined, so altering habits of thought and action in the world at large. This excellent book offers a rich set of genealogies of those concepts that have come to describe human-environment relationships in the early 21st century. It’s an essential guide for anyone trying to make sense of those relationships and how they might be made less destructive for people and non-humans. Read it to find out whose tactics and strategies have succeeded since the first Earth Day, and what potential for insurgency currently exists." Professor Noel Castree, University of Manchester, UK.

    "Who should read this book? Anybody who is increasingly growing weary of the hype that surrounds sustainability and the green economy. How refreshing the essays in the book are! What a penetrating analysis of the key-concepts of the environmental politics! The critical school of social thought at its best, debunking but constructive, and full of imagination. Last not least, the book is well-written and neatly structured, a superb primer of environmental citizenship." Professor Wolfgang Sachs, editor of The Development Dictionary, Wuppertal Institut, Germany.

    "An impressive set of contributors take us on a critical tour through the vast territory of environmental politics. Visiting along the way numerous essential ideas, thinkers, issues, and cases, this collection firmly and thoroughly establishes the proper place of critique in all its varieties at the heart of environmental affairs." Professor John Dryzek, Australian National University, Australia.