BC3120: The Politics of Nature | A. Battistoni

Political Science
Undergraduate and Graduate Colloquia
W 11AM-12:50PM

Nature and politics have often been counterposed in political thought: politics is understood to be a distinctly human activity, perhaps even the defining human activity, while nature describes the material world as it operates independently from human action; politics concerns the realm of decisions about how things will and ought to be, while nature names that which simply is and cannot be changed. What, then, does it mean to think about the politics of nature? We will begin by examining the ways that political thinkers have understood nature in general before moving into specifically ecological thought and ending with reflections on the central challenge of nature and politics today: climate change. Themes addressed include the role of science in politics, the challenges of politics on a global or planetary scale, the political and moral status of nonhuman nature, and the relationship between nature and economics.

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