The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism

1st Edition

By Erika Cudworth, Stephen Hobden


180 pages

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pub: 2017-08-30
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This is the first book to make the argument for an emancipatory project from within a posthuman framework. Responding to critics, Cudworth and Hobden argue that while some posthumanisms may be less critical, it is possible to develop a political programme from a posthuman perspective.

Cudworth and Hobden develop such issues by addressing the following questions: How have ideas about emancipation been developed, and does the notion of emancipation still hold relevance for the contemporary world order? Is it possible to have a non-Utopian form of emancipation? What are the implications of differing posthuman/new materialist viewpoints for an emancipatory project? In a world typified by complexity, how is it possible to pursue political projects? The chapters consider various interpretations of the term ‘emancipation’, looking at work that has appeared within the posthumanist framework such as Bruno Latour, William Connolly, and Jane Bennett.

The authors develop their own account of posthumanism, demonstrating how it avoids the problems that have been found within this framework, and considering the possibilities for emancipatory projects and public policy. It will be of great interest to postgraduates and scholars of International Relations, Political Theory, Environmental Studies, and Sociology.


'Cudworth and Hobden continue to take their thought-provoking work on posthumanism in fascinating directions. This is not just analysis and interpretation—it is a manifesto for transforming the world.' - Brett Bowden, Western Sydney University

'It is past time for a truly transformative emancipatory politics for mortal beings on the earth, human and nonhuman. This book is a guiding thread for that transformation. This is a book for Terrans, for earthly beings united in crafting radical multispecies environmental justice in opposition to the ravages of ongoing capitalist, colonialist, racist, human exceptionalist, and misogynist extractions. Terraists Unite!' - Donna J Haraway, University of California, Santa Cruz

Cudworth and Hobden follow up their ground-breaking Posthuman International Relations with an important, provocative new statement: The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism. This book not only beautifully summarises, dissects, engages, and critiques the existing controversies within and surrounding posthumanism, but also puts forward a powerful new statement for a critical posthuman terraism. In the context of the ecological, economic and political challenges we are faced with today this is precisely the kind of bold and imaginative - and yet immediately relevant and concrete - intervention we need to reimagine planetary relations, communities and politics. - Milja Kurki, Aberystwyth University

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Emancipation and its Critics

Chapter 3 A Politics of Enchantment: the power and fragility of things

Chapter 4 A Politics of Attachment: actor-network theory

Chapter 5 How to Change a Complex World

Chapter 6 Critical Posthumanism and the Lives of Others

Chapter 7 From the Imperial Human to Creaturely Politics

Chapter 8 For Posthumanist Emancipation – a Terraist Manifesto


About the Authors

Erika Cudworth is Professor of Feminist Animal Studies in the School of Social Sciences, University of East London, where she teaches International Relations, researches in the fields of international political theory, critical animal studies and gender, and generally thinks about things posthuman.

Stephen Hobden is Reader in International Relations in the School of Social Sciences at the University of East London, where he teaches International Relations theory.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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