The term Anthropocene denotes a new geological epoch in planetary history, one that is characterized by the unprecedented impact of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems. But while the natural sciences have advanced their understanding of the drivers and processes of global change considerably over the last two decades, the social sciences lag behind in developing and implementing a coherent research paradigm to address this fundamental challenge of politics and governance in the Anthropocene. The key question from a social science perspective is how to organize the co-evolution of societies and their surrounding environment, in other words, how to develop effective and equitable governance solutions for today’s global transformations.
This book attempts to close this crucial research gap, in particular with regards to the following three overarching research themes: (i) the meaning, sense-making and contestations emerging around the concept of the Anthropocene related to the social sciences; (ii) the role and relevance of institutions, both formal and informal as well as international and transnational, for governing in the Anthropocene; and (iii) the role and relevance of accountability and other democratic principles for governing in the Anthropocene. Drawing together a range of key thinkers in the field, this volume provides one of the first authoritative assessments of global environmental politics and governance in the Anthropocene, reflecting on how the planetary scale crisis changes the ways in which humans respond to the challenge.
This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental politics and governance, and sustainable development.
Philipp Pattberg is Associate Professor for Transnational Environmental Governance and the deputy department head of the department of environmental policy Analysis (EPA), Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Fariborz Zelli is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden.