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Climate Change and the Crisis of Capitalism: a chance to reclaim self, society and nature

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Commissioning bodyESRC Economic and Social Research Council
Number of pages207
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-67694-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Human Geography

King's Authors


Are established economic, social and political practices capable of dealing with the combined
crises of climate change and the global economic system? Will falling back on the
wisdoms that contributed to the crisis help us to find ways forward or simply reconfigure
risk in another guise? This volume argues that the combination of global environmental
change and global economic restructuring require a rethinking of the priorities, processes
and underlying values that shape contemporary development aspirations and policy.
This volume brings together leading scholars to address these questions from several
disciplinary perspectives: environmental sociology, human geography, international
development, systems thinking, political sciences, philosophy, economics and policy/
management science. The book is divided into four parts that examine contemporary
development discourses and practices. It bridges geographical and disciplinary divides,
and includes chapters on innovative governance that confront unsustainable economic
and environmental relations in both developing and developed contexts. It emphasises the
ways in which dominant development paths have necessarily forced a separation of individuals
from nature, but also from society and even from ‘self ’. These three levels of alienation
each form a thread that runs through the book. There are different levels and
opportunities for a transition towards resilience, raising questions surrounding identity,
governance and ecological management. This places resilience at the heart of the contemporary
crisis of capitalism, and speaks to the relationship between the increasingly
global forms of economic development and the difficulties in framing solutions to the
environmental problems that carbon-based
development brings in its wake. Existing
social science can help in not only identifying the challenges but also potential pathways
for making change locally and in wider political, economic and cultural systems, but it
must do so by identifying transitions out of carbon dependency and the kinds of political
challenges they imply for reflexive individuals and alternative community approaches to
human security and well-being.
Climate Change and the Crisis of Capitalism contains contributions from leading scholars
to produce a rich and cohesive set of arguments, from a range of theoretical and empirical
viewpoints. It analyses the problem of resilience under existing circumstances, but also
goes beyond this to seek ways in which resilience can provide a better pathway and template
for a more sustainable future. This volume will be of interest to both undergraduate
and postgraduate students studying Human Geography, Environmental Policy and Politics.

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