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Who speaks for the future of Earth?: how critical social science can extend the conversation on the Anthropocene
Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Department of Environmental Politics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.
Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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2015 (English)In: Global Environmental Change, ISSN 0959-3780, E-ISSN 1872-9495, Vol. 32, 211-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper asks how the social sciences can engage with the idea of the Anthropocene in productive ways. In response to this question we outline an interpretative research agenda that allows critical engagement with the Anthropocene as a socially and culturally bounded object with many possible meanings and political trajectories. In order to facilitate the kind of political mobilization required to meet the complex environmental challenges of our times, we argue that the social sciences should refrain from adjusting to standardized research agendas and templates. A more urgent analytical challenge lies in exposing, challenging and extending the ontological assumptions that inform how we make sense of and respond to a rapidly changing environment. By cultivating environmental research that opens up multiple interpretations of the Anthropocene, the social sciences can help to extend the realm of the possible for environmental politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MIT Press, 2015. Vol. 32, 211-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Anthropocence, Politics, Global environmental change, Social science, Critical interpretation, Ontology
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Sociology; Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-43841DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.03.012ISI: 000355770700019ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84929177755OAI: diva2:797774

Funding Agencies:

research project 'Novel Forms of Governance by Nested Networks (NESNET)' by the German Ministry for Education and Research, Funding Initiative "Research on the Relationship between Science, Politics and Society" KZ 01UZ1003

Linköping University

Available from: 2015-03-25 Created: 2015-03-25 Last updated: 2015-12-21Bibliographically approved

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Lidskog, Rolf
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School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden
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Global Environmental Change
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

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