Politics of Nature

Politics of Nature

A major work by one of the more innovative thinkers of our time, Politics of Nature does nothing less than establish the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its proponents have thus far envisioned. Bruno Latour announces his project dramatically: "Political ecology has nothing whatsoever to do with nature, this jumble of Greek philosophy, French Cartesianism and American parks." Nature, he asserts, far from being an obvious domain of reality, is a way of assembling political order without due process. Thus, his book proposes an end to the old dichotomy between nature and society--and the constitution, in its place, of a collective, a community incorporating humans and nonhumans and building on the experiences of the sciences as they are actually practiced. In a critique of the distinction between fact and value, Latour suggests a redescription of the type of political philosophy implicated in such a "commonsense" division--which here reveals itself as distinctly uncommonsensical and in fact fatal to democracy and to a healthy development of the sciences. Moving beyond the modernist institutions of "mononaturalism" and "multiculturalism," Latour develops the idea of "multinaturalism," a complex collectivity determined not by outside experts claiming absolute reason but by "diplomats" who are flexible and open to experimentation. Table of Contents: Introduction: What Is to Be Done with Political Ecology? 1. Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature First, Get Out of the Cave Ecological Crisis or Crisis of Objectivity? The End of Nature The Pitfall of "Social Representations" of Nature The Fragile Aid of Comparative Anthropology What Successor for the Bicameral Collective? 2. How to Bring the Collective Together Difficulties in Convoking the Collective First Division: Learning to Be Circumspect with Spokespersons Second Division: Associations of Humans and Nonhumans Third Division between Humans and Nonhumans: Reality and Recalcitrance A More or Less Articulated Collective The Return to Civil Peace 3. A New Separation of Powers Some Disadvantages of the Concepts of Fact and Value The Power to Take into Account and the Power to Put in Order The Collective's Two Powers of Representation Verifying That the Essential Guarantees Have Been Maintained A New Exteriority 4. Skills for the Collective The Third Nature and the Quarrel between the Two "Eco" Sciences Contribution of the Professions to the Procedures of the Houses The Work of the Houses The Common Dwelling, the Oikos 5. Exploring Common Worlds Time's Two Arrows The Learning Curve The Third Power and the Question of the State The Exercise of Diplomacy War and Peace for the Sciences Conclusion: What Is to Be Done? Political Ecology! Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry...) Glossary Notes Bibliography Index From the book: What is to be done with political ecology? Nothing. What is to be done? Political ecology! All those who have hoped that the politics of nature would bring about a renewal of public life have asked the first question, while noting the stagnation of the so-called "green" movements. They would like very much to know why so promising an endeavor has so often come to naught. Appearances notwithstanding, everyone is bound to answer the second question the same way. We have no choice: politics does not fall neatly on one side of a divide and nature on the other. From the time the term "politics" was invented, every type of politics has been defined by its relation to nature, whose every feature, property, and function depends on the polemical will to limit, reform, establish, short-circuit, or enlighten public life. As a result, we cannot choose whether to engage in it surreptitiously, by distinguishing between questions of nature and questions of politics, or explicitly, by treating those two sets of questions as a single issue that arises for all collectives. While the ecology movements tell us that nature is rapidly invading politics, we shall have to imagine - most often aligning ourselves with these movements but sometimes against them - what a politics finally freed from the sword of Damocles we call nature might be like.

The Politics of Nature

Explorations in Green Political Theory

The Politics of Nature

This book presents a uniquely comprehensive and balanced survey of current green political ideas. It analyses the ability of these ideas to provide plausible answers to fundamental problems in political theory, concerning justice and democracy, individual rights and freedom, human nature and gender. The authors, who come from a range of different disciplines, explore the relationship between green ideas and other traditions including liberalism, anarchism, feminism and Christianity.

The Politics of Nature

Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries

The Politics of Nature

Taking into account recent developments in historical and ecological criticism, and incorporating fresh research into poetry and politics in the 1790s, the second edition of The Politics of Nature enlarges and updates Nicholas Roe's acclaimed study of Romanticism. Hitherto marginal figures are restored to prominence, and there is new material on William Wordsworth's radical years. The book includes the full text of John Thelwall's Essay on Animal Vitality with commentary, exploring how ideas of nature, revolution and radical science entwined.

Race, Nature, and the Politics of Difference

Race, Nature, and the Politics of Difference

How do race and nature work as terrains of power? From eighteenth-century claims that climate determined character to twentieth-century medical debates about the racial dimensions of genetic disease, concepts of race and nature are integrally connected, woven into notions of body, landscape, and nation. Yet rarely are these complex entanglements explored in relation to the contemporary cultural politics of difference. This volume takes up that challenge. Distinguished contributors chart the traffic between race and nature across sites including rainforests, colonies, and courtrooms. Synthesizing a number of fields--anthropology, cultural studies, and critical race, feminist, and postcolonial theory--this collection analyzes diverse historical, cultural, and spatial locations. Contributors draw on thinkers such as Fanon, Foucault, and Gramsci to investigate themes ranging from exclusionary notions of whiteness and wilderness in North America to linguistic purity in Germany. Some essayists focus on the racialized violence of imperial rule and evolutionary science and the biopolitics of race and class in the Guatemalan civil war. Others examine how race and nature are fused in biogenetic discourse--in the emergence of "racial diseases" such as sickle cell anemia, in a case of mistaken in vitro fertilization in which a white couple gave birth to a black child, and even in the world of North American dog breeding. Several essays tackle the politics of representation surrounding environmental justice movements, transnational sex tourism, and indigenous struggles for land and resource rights in Indonesia and Brazil. Contributors. Bruce Braun, Giovanna Di Chiro, Paul Gilroy, Steven Gregory, Donna Haraway, Jake Kosek, Tania Murray Li, Uli Linke, Zine Magubane, Donald S. Moore, Diane Nelson, Anand Pandian, Alcida Rita Ramos, Keith Wailoo, Robyn Wiegman

Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of Natural Philosophy

Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of Natural Philosophy

In 1625, Charles I inherited not only his father's crown, but also his desire to run the country without interference from Parliament. But many members of Parliament opposed the King on issues of taxation, religion and the royal prerogative. It was in this historical context that Hobbes presented a political philosophy that, at least in his opinion, achieved the status of a science, in a nation that was 'boiling hot with questions concerning the rights of dominion and the obedience due from subjects'. In this important new book, Stephen J. Finn argues that, contrary to the traditional interpretation, Hobbes's political views influence his theoretical and natural philosophy and not the other way about. Such an interpretation, it is argued, provides a better appreciation of Hobbes's writings, both philosophical and political.

Building Nature's Market

The Business and Politics of Natural Foods

Building Nature's Market

Body-builders and hippies, religious cultists and nature cure believers--these and other marginal groups were the primary consumers of natural foods for at least the first 100 years of their existence. Natural foods were resisted by organized interests like the medical establishment and big agrifood producers. Advocates for natural foods were dismissed as kooks, faddists, and even dangerous quacks. Then, in the 1980s, broad-based support for natural foods began to really take hold. In the last 15 years we have seen an explosion of superstores which feature healthy eating options, while the First Lady goes high-profile with fresh-from-the-garden ingredients and mainstream institutions (hospitals, schools, workplace cafeterias) tout their healthy new eating options. Laura Miller gives us the full natural foods story, from its history to its mass production, distribution and consumption not only of food but other body-care goods. She deals with the role of vegetarianism, organic and sustainable farming, food co-ops, and other practices, placing all this in the context of discussion of private enterprise and social change activities. She features face-to-face interviews with natural foods movement leaders and advocacy groups. She also focuses on movement practices to bolster not only personal health, but the health of the natural environment.

The Politics of Human Nature

The Politics of Human Nature

The effort to understand human nature in a political context is a daunting challenge that has been undertaken in a variety of ways and by a myriad of disciplines through the ages. From Plato to Hobbes and Burke, to Wallas and Oakeschott in our era, efforts have been made to provide some organic framework for the political study of mankind. What has added greatly to the complexity of the task is the increasing denial, even rejection, in the positivist and behaviorist traditions, of the very notion of a human nature. The work can be described as a series of interlocking propositions: the proverbial view of human nature can be explained by evolutionary theory. Biological differences between men and women are responsible for family, community and group life. Social evolution goes through stages which are recapitulated in the moral life of individuals. A well-defined federal system mirrors human development. And finally, for Fleming, most problems in social and political life stem from violations of this federalist system. Fleming's volume takes up a variety of issues: sex and gender differences, democracy and dictatorship, individual and familial patterns of association. He does so in the context of showing how forms of legitimate authority such as families, communities and nations establish such authority by appeals to human nature, and that these appeals, while presumably resting on empirical evidence, also confirm the existence of normative structures. Fleming's work is an effort of synthesis that is sure to arouse discussion and debate. It represents a serious addition to a literature retrieved from the historical dustbins to which it has been repeatedly consigned.

The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital

The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital

DIVComing from a broad cross-section of academic disciplines and theoretical positions, this collection of essays questions and reworks Marxist critiques of capitalism that center on the West and which posit a uniform model of development. More specifically/div

Ecocritique

Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture

Ecocritique

Ecocriticism, whether coming from "back to nature" conservatives, Nature Conservancy liberals, or Earth First! radicals, is familiar enough. But when we listen do we really hear what these groups are saying? In a book that examines the terms of ecocriticism, Timothy W. Luke exposes how ecological critics, organizations, and movements manipulate our conception of the environment. Ecocritique rereads ecocriticism to reveal how power and economy, society and culture, community and technology compete over what are now widely regarded as the embattled ecosystems of nature. Luke considers in particular how the meanings and values attached to the environment by various groups -- from the Worldwatch Institute, the Nature Conservancy, and Earth First! to proponents of green consumerism, social ecology, and sustainable development -- articulate new visions of power and subjectivity for a post-Cold War era. With its critical analysis of many contemporary environmental discourses and organizations, Ecocritique makes a major contribution to ongoing debates about the political relationships among nature, culture, and economics in the current global system.