1st Edition

Ecological Democracy Caring for the Earth in the Anthropocene

By Odin Lysaker Copyright 2024

    Ecological Democracy offers an original, thought-provoking, and engaging treatment of why and how democracy should be re-imagined in reaction to today’s ecological crisis. The book explains that one need to re-imagine both the view on nature and democratic ideals within the same framework in the Anthropocene, the present geological epoch of human-made instability in the Earth system and its planetary boundaries. This book proposes unique and challenging readings of green political theory and its development of ecological democracy in the last four decades. The book is the first to offer a systematic and detailed interpretation of the role of critical theory vis-à-vis green political theory through an update regarding current non-anthropocentric critical theorists and how they may contribute to the further development of ecological democracy. Ecological Democracy builds further on deep ecology, ecophenomenology, and animism by articulating an ecocentric view on nature which defends an intrinsic moral value of all existence as well as formulating the democratic principle of all ecologically affected parties.

    This book provides a sophisticated, convincing, and accessible argument for how to re-imagine ecological democracy as ecocentrism in practice: ecological love. To love ecologically means caring for and encountering all existence on the Earth and in the cosmos. This book is multi-disciplinary and will be of great value to researchers as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students from many disciplines.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    1 Introduction: Ecological Democracy of the Anthropocene

    2 From Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism: Redefining Nature

    3 Ecological Sensibility: The Encountering of All Existence

    4 Ecophenomenological Ethics: Caring for Mother Earth

    5 Ecological Democracy: The Moral Trump of Earth Politics

    6 Conclusion: The Widening Circles of Ecological Love



    Odin Lysaker is a Professor of Ethics at the University of Agder, Norway. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oslo. Lysaker is an Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo, and a member of the Working Group on Ecological Democracy organized by the Earth System Governance Project. He has written and contributed to many articles, books, and book chapters, especially in the fields of philosophy of nature, environmental ethics, and democracy theory.

    Re-Imagining Ecological Democracy is a landmark in ecological philosophy, offering both a profound argument about how to care democratically for all existence and an indispensable critical guide to the history of green political thought. Lysaker clarifies what is at stake as he re-thinks what a truly ecocentric democracy should entail.’ - John S. Dryzek, Professor, University of Canberra, Australia

    In this ambitious critical survey of the avant-garde of green social thought, Odin Lysaker proposes a vision of ecological democracy as ecocentrism in practice. On Lysaker’s pulsating synthesis, ecological democracy is envisioned as an emergent constellation of nonanthropocentric critical theory, ontological realism, a political-cosmological ontology, and ecological reflexivity joined together by and as enacting ecological love. A vital addition to the armory of green political philosophy.’ - J.M. Bernstein, Professor, The New School for Social Research, USA