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Governing the "Enough" in a Warming World: The Discourse of Sufficiency from a Climate Governmentality Perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the discourse of “sufficiency” as a response to the question of how government should be achieved in times of climate change. Sufficiency implies the critique of the imperative of economic growth and a return to a “sufficient” degree of consumption and partial subsistence in order to reach qualitative well-being. “Government” is understood in the Foucauldian sense as any attempt to shape the behavior of individuals, groups and the self, which can be examined through the lenses of “governmentality”, the rationalities and technologies  involved.  Drawing  from  Michel  Foucault's  endeavor  to  write  a  “history  of problematics” and Mitchell Dean's framework of an “analytics of government”, I develop a discourse analytical method to scrutinize how government is reconceived through the prac-tice of thought. Three books by leading advocates of the idea of sufficiency, which all hold potential programs of climate government, serve as case studies. By focussing on the fields of  visibility,  knowledge,  technical  means  and  identities  of  government,  I  reconstruct  the problematization of forms of government, the reconfiguration of governmentalities and the planned subjectification of individuals. My results indicate that human conduct in various domains is to be steered towards the total reduction of energy, resource use and emissions in order to achieve a stable climate in 2050. Through techniques of disciplinary and sovereign power individuals should develop two new “technologies of the self”: the re-balancing of needs  (through  the  reflection  on  personal  aspirations)  and  the  self-furnishing  of  demands (through practices like gardening, repairing and shared consumption). In that way, the gov-ernmentality of sufficiency remediates elements of liberalism and modern progress to guar-antee a “good life” for all in a warming world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
governmentality, climate change, climate governmentality, sufficiency, degrowth, discourse analysis, problematization, political genealogy
National Category
History Political Science Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257505OAI: diva2:839526
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
2015-06-01, 21:54 (English)
Available from: 2015-09-16 Created: 2015-07-02 Last updated: 2015-09-16Bibliographically approved

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