Title: Against Ecological Authoritarianism: Towards a Critique of „Planetary” Politics
Authors: Mark Horvath & Adam Lovasz
Abstract: Contemporary society is dominated by the undeniable reality of the Anthropocene ecological crisis. Only the most foolish of political actors deny the very real danger of climate change. In a certain subset of the ecopolitical literature, however, this topic is framed as a problem of governance. Supposedly, the unintended consequences of numerous micro-level human actions can be addressed by macro-level government interventions. Such post-neoliberal discourses of eco-governmentality are informed by an emphasis upon the „planetary.” Our presentation seeks to critically engage with both the notion of a supposedly „planetary” community of interests, and also reject the idea of global eco-governmentality. In our view, not only does the misguided emphasis on global ecological governance oversimply the planetary predicament, obscuring differences between cultures and social power structures; it also runs the risk of obviating local democracy and could also lead to an ecologically legitimated undemocratic global technocracy. Instead of centralization, further decentralization could be key to both thinking and acting „glocally”, without expecting too much from the political system. In our view, Dan Shahar has made an excellent case against government-led ecologism. Similarly, recent critiques relating to the ethical and political pitfalls of geoengineering can also help us construct a more inclusive, bottom-up form of positive ecopolitics.
Keywords: Anthropocene, cosmopolitics, democracy, ecopolitics, governance