Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy

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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 political ecology or not; but we can 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.

Introduction: What Is to Be Done with Political Ecology?
1. Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature
2. How to Bring the Collective Together
3. A New Separation of Powers
4. Skills for the Collective
5. Exploring Common Worlds
Conclusion: What Is to Be Done? Political Ecology!
Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry . . .)

Author Details
"Bruno Latour"

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