On the temporalization of ecological crisis and the modern socionature regime

Authors: Vijay Kolinjivadi*, , Diana Vela Almeida, Lecturer, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (IAEN), Ecuador , Nicolas Kosoy, Associate Professor, McGill University
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Social Geography, Sustainability Science
Keywords: time, political ecology, entropy, ecological economics, modernity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom D, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The passing of time has historically been instrumentalized to coordinate and organize human societies. Time has been essential in the scheduling of rituals, the orchestration of invasions, the management of natural resources and labour, technological development, and generally for the increasing complexity of modern society. The instrumentalization of time to coordinate the growth of society has led to the subjugation of both people and nature by those who control the means of coordination. In this paper, we revive an old debate between Albert Einstein, Henri Bergson, and Martin Heidegger on the concept of time and contextualize it in relation to Arturo Escobar’s socionature regimes and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen’s stock-flow-fund-service (SFFS) economies. In doing so, this paper addresses the limits of clock time as a fetishized spatial representation which forces the articulation of socionature experiences into regularized, predictable and comparable intervals. By contextualizing the passing of time through socionature regimes and SFFS economies, we illustrate how the separation between experienced time and its essentialized representation paralyzes potential for meaningful action. For instance, a systematic confusion between the actions and consequences of climate change and socialized representations of time and space within which humans must organize and coordinate smothers not only the potential to respond but also traps possible solutions within the same fixed imaginaries. By re-evaluating the role of clock time within future development pathways, we conclude with a reflection on strategies for re-animating socionature articulations to better navigate through the social and ecological consequences of modern society.

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