Nature, Action and the Future: Political Thought and the Environment

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Katrina Forrester, Sophie Smith
Cambridge University Press, Jan 25, 2018 - Political Science
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Climate change is one of the great challenges of modern politics. In this volume, leading political theorists and historians investigate how the history of political ideas can help us make sense of it. The contributors add a historical perspective to contemporary debates in political theory. They also show that the history of political thought offers new directions for thinking about the environment today. By situating the relationship between humans and nature within a wider history of ideas, the essays provide alternative ways of thinking about the most intractable problems of environmental politics - the status of science in modern democracies, problems of collective action, and the challenges of fatalism. This volume will create new avenues of research for scholars and students in the history of political thought. It is essential reading for undergraduate students interested in environmental challenges: both those in politics seeking a historical perspective, and those in history who want to link their studies to the present.
 

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Contents

Is There Any Place for Environmental Thinking
23
Sustainability Resources and the Destiny of States
43
Abundance and Scarcity in Geological Time 17841844
70
Slack
94
The Nature of Fear and the Fear of Nature from Hobbes
115
Two Traditions of Political
133
The Problem of Negligibility
157
melissa lane
180
Optimism Pessimism and Fatalism
202
Index
231
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About the author (2018)

Katrina Forrester is assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard University, Massachusetts.

Sophie Smith is associate professor of political theory at the University of Oxford.