1st Edition

The Politics of 21st Century Environmental Disasters

Edited By Susan Park Copyright 2023

    This book explores the main concerns for grappling with increasing environmental disasters and examines how environmental disasters are understood by states, corporations, and non-government organizations nationally and internationally.

    The focus of this book is threefold: first, to investigate what constitutes an environmental disaster and to identify the parameters for political responses nationally and internationally. Second, the chapters analyse contemporary state practices that exacerbate the impact of, and responses to, environmental disasters. They show how states promote extractivism based on limited understandings of nature drawn from Western philosophy. Finally, the book highlights the strengths and weaknesses in political and institutional responses at the local level to such disasters by state and non-state actors. This shows how both slow and fast violence of environmental disasters affects communities, but also how vulnerable subjects are based on people’s capabilities.

    The Politics of 21st Century Environmental Disasters is an indispensable resource for students and scholars in political science and environmental studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Environmental Politics.

    Introduction: The politics of 21st century environmental disasters

    Susan Park

    1. The role of the Sovereign state in 21st century environmental disasters

    Susan Park

    2. Planetary disasters: moving the UN disaster risk reduction framework into cosmopolitised reality

    Sabine Selchow

    3. Rehabilitating Ranger uranium mine:scientific uncertainty, deep futures and the production of ignorance

    Rebecca Lawrence

    4. Disaster? No surprise

    Christine J. Winter

    5. Extractive industry disasters and community responses: a typology of vulnerable subjects

    Teresa Kramarz


    Susan Park is Professor of Global Governance in the Discipline of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She focuses on how International Organisations and global governance can become greener and more accountable, particularly in the transition to renewable energy.