Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781681163

Category: Political Science

Page: 292

View: 9618

Carbon Democracy provides a unique examination of the relationship between oil and democracy. Interweaving the history of energy, political analysis, and economic theory, Mitchell targets conventional wisdom regarding energy and governance. Emphasizing how oil and democracy have intermixed, he argues that while coal provided the impetus for mass democracy, the shift to oil drastically limited democratic possibility; above all, the ability to confront contemporary ecological crises.
Release

Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844678962

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 1129

Oil is a curse, it is often said, that condemns the countries producing it to an existence defined by war, corruption and enormous inequality. Carbon Democracy tells a more complex story, arguing that no nation escapes the political consequences of our collective dependence on oil. It shapes the body politic both in regions such as the Middle East, which rely upon revenues from oil production, and in the places that have the greatest demand for energy. Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called “the economy” and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. In the twenty-first century, the oil-based forms of modern democratic politics have become unsustainable. Foreign intervention and military rule are faltering in the Middle East, while governments everywhere appear incapable of addressing the crises that threaten to end the age of carbon democracy—the disappearance of cheap energy and the carbon-fuelled collapse of the ecological order. In making the production of energy the central force shaping the democratic age, Carbon Democracy rethinks the history of energy, the politics of nature, the theory of democracy, and the place of the Middle East in our common world.
Release

The Global Politics of Science and Technology - Vol. 1

Concepts from International Relations and Other Disciplines

Author: Maximilian Mayer,Mariana Carpes,Ruth Knoblich

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 364255007X

Category: Political Science

Page: 282

View: 4853

An increasing number of scholars have begun to see science and technology as relevant issues in International Relations (IR), acknowledging the impact of material elements, technical instruments, and scientific practices on international security, statehood, and global governance. This two-volume collection brings the debate about science and technology to the center of International Relations. It shows how integrating science and technology translates into novel analytical frameworks, conceptual approaches and empirical puzzles, and thereby offers a state-of-the-art review of various methodological and theoretical ways in which sciences and technologies matter for the study of international affairs and world politics. The authors not only offer a set of practical examples of research frameworks for experts and students alike, but also propose a conceptual space for interdisciplinary learning in order to improve our understanding of the global politics of science and technology. This first volume summarizes various time-tested approaches for studying the global politics of science and technology from an IR perspective. It also provides empirical, theoretical, and conceptual interventions from geography, history, innovation studies, and science and technology studies that indicate ways to enhance and rearticulate IR approaches. In addition, several interviews advance possibilities of multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Release

The Wild and the Toxic

American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health

Author: Jennifer Thomson

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469651653

Category: Nature

Page: 216

View: 2790

Health figures centrally in late twentieth-century environmental activism. There are many competing claims about the health of ecosystems, the health of the planet, and the health of humans, yet there is little agreement among the likes of D.C. lobbyists, grassroots organizers, eco-anarchist collectives, and science-based advocacy organizations about whose health matters most, or what health even means. In this book, Jennifer Thomson untangles the complex web of political, social, and intellectual developments that gave rise to the multiplicity of claims and concerns about environmental health. Thomson traces four strands of activism from the 1970s to the present: the environmental lobby, environmental justice groups, radical environmentalism and bioregionalism, and climate justice activism. By focusing on health, environmentalists were empowered to intervene in the rise of neoliberalism, the erosion of the regulatory state, and the decimation of mass-based progressive politics. Yet, as this book reveals, an individualist definition of health ultimately won out over more communal understandings. Considering this turn from collective solidarity toward individual health helps explain the near paralysis of collective action in the face of planetary disaster.
Release

Blood

A Critique of Christianity

Author: Gil Anidjar

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231537255

Category: Religion

Page: 560

View: 9556

Blood, according to Gil Anidjar, maps the singular history of Christianity. As a category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law. Engaging with a variety of sources, Anidjar explores the presence and the absence, the making and unmaking of blood in philosophy and medicine, law and literature, and economic and political thought from ancient Greece to medieval Spain, from the Bible to Shakespeare and Melville. The prevalence of blood in the social, juridical, and political organization of the modern West signals that we do not live in a secular age into which religion could return. Flowing across multiple boundaries, infusing them with violent precepts that we must address, blood undoes the presumed oppositions between religion and politics, economy and theology, and kinship and race. It demonstrates that what we think of as modern is in fact imbued with Christianity. Christianity, Blood fiercely argues, must be reconsidered beyond the boundaries of religion alone.
Release

The Republic of Nature

An Environmental History of the United States

Author: Mark Fiege

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295804149

Category: History

Page: 520

View: 6236

In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/
Release

Ownership and Control of Oil

Explaining Policy Choices across Producing Countries

Author: Bianca Sarbu

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317695437

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 204

View: 3036

Ownership and Control of Oil examines government decisions about how much control to exert over the petroleum industry, focusing on the role of National Oil Companies in the production of crude oil since the nationalizations in the 1970s. What are the motives for which some producing states opt for less and NOT more control of their oil production sector? When can International Oil Companies enter the upstream industry of producing states and under what conditions? The diversity of policy choices across producers provides the stage for this investigation: different theoretical explanations are confronted, with the empirical evidence, with the aim of finally proposing an interdisciplinary framework of analysis to explain who controls oil production around the world. This book is intended for both specialists and general readers who have an interest in the issue of government control of the petroleum industry. Due to its multidisciplinary approach, the book is aimed at a large academic public composed of scholars of Political Science, International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, and Middle East Area Studies. Moreover, this book should be relevant to international consultants, industry professionals and decision-makers in countries assessing their experience with existing control structures as well as the many countries in the process of joining the ‘petroleum club’ of oil producing nations.
Release

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

Author: Paul Graves-Brown,Rodney Harrison,Angela Piccini

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191663956

Category: Social Science

Page: 864

View: 2118

It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.
Release

The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 5763

By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
Release

Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

Author: Seth L. Sanders

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 147986398X

Category: History

Page: 275

View: 8280

Until very recently, the idea of ancient Jewish sciences would have been considered unacceptable. Since the 1990’s, Early Modern and Medieval Science in Jewish sources has been actively studied, but the consensus was that no real scientific themes could be found in earlier Judaism. This work points them out in detail, and posits a new field of research: the scientific activity evident in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The publication of new texts and new analyses of older ones reveals crucial elements that are best illuminated by the history of science, and may have interesting consequences for it. The contributors evaluate these texts in relation to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the first comprehensive attempt to account for scientific themes in Second Temple Judaism. They investigate the meaning and purpose of scientific explorations in an apocalyptic setting. An appreciation of these topics paves the way to a renewed understanding of the scientific fragments scattered throughout rabbinic literature. The book first places the Jewish material in the ancient context of the Near Eastern and Hellenistic worlds. While the Jewish texts were not on the cutting edge of scientific discovery, they find a meaningful place in the history of science, between Babylonia and Egypt, in the time period between Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The book uses recent advances in method to examine the contacts and networks of Jewish scholars in their ancient setting. Second, the essays here tackle the problematic concept of a national scientific tradition. Although science is nowadays often conceived as universal, the historiography of ancient Jewish sciences demonstrates the importance of seeing the development of science in a local context. The book explores the tension between the hegemony of central scientific traditions and local scientific enterprises, showing the relevance of ancient data to contemporary postcolonial historiography of science. Finally, philosophical questions of the demarcation of science are addressed in a way that can advance the discussion of related ancient materials. Online edition available as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library and in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW).
Release