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The Environmental State II: Producing Scarcity, Managing Uncertainty

Type: Paper
Theme: AAG Climate Action Task Force
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, AAG Climate Action Task Force
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM (MDT)
Room: Virtual Track 10
Organizers: Michael Simpson, Jessica Dempsey, Patrick Bigger
Chairs: Patrick Bigger


In the midst of accelerating planetary emergencies of climate change and biological emaciation, governments worldwide have consistently failed to take the coordinated actions required to either mitigate or resolve these compounding crises. As the stack of international reports offering increasingly dire warnings grows taller, the list of international climate summits and failed accords has grown longer. In response to the inadequate actions of the world’s nation states, social and environmental movements – from Extinction Rebellion, to Global Climate Strikes, and advocates of a Green New Deal – continue to pressure states to act with the urgency that befits a state of emergency.

Yet, the state, as a form of power and a logic of governance, is arguably responsible for many of the very same political-ecological processes that have precipitated anthropogenic global environmental change and associated ecological crises. Violent socio-ecological processes such as settler colonial dispossession and genocide, war and militarization, the policing of territories and securitization of borders, resource extraction and capital accumulation, and the production of property and markets, are not only facilitated and executed by the state, but are often inseparable from the state form and logics. This points to a troubling paradox where the state is at once deeply rooted and invested in processes that continue to produce socio-ecological crises, while also being positioned as the dominant site of political contestation and the primary political actor to which many look to resolve these crises.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Elizabeth Lunstrum*, Boise State, Bio-nationalism: The environmental state and the making of a vital national population 15 11:10 AM
Presenter Keith Brown*, UC Berkeley, Seizing Earth: Eminent Domain, the Green New Deal, and Brazilian Lessons for Expropriation from Below 15 11:25 AM
Discussant Geoff Mann Simon Fraser University, Centre for Global Political Economy 15 11:40 AM

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