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Agony and the Anthropos

Democracy and Boundaries in the Anthropocene

Amanda Machin

The Anthropocene diagnosis, in which humanity has become a disruptive geological force, indicates an irresolvable political paradox. The political demos is inevitably and necessarily bounded. The Anthropocene, however, heralds the anthropos—the globalized more-than-human identity. The anthropos challenges the maintenance of political boundaries, yet any robust response to ecological predicament must be underpinned by a decisive demos. This article, informed by theories of political agonism, suggests that this paradox importantly provokes ongoing political contestation of the inevitable yet contingent exclusions from politics and the proper place of political boundaries in the Anthropocene. The article concludes that the Anthropocene diagnosis provides an opportunity for a lively democratic politics in which the demos is always prompted to reimagine itself and asks, who are “we” in the Anthropocene?

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Huub de Jonge, Tomasz Płonka, Reginald Byron, Longina Jakubowska, Cindy Horst, Han ten Brummelhuis and Jeremy Boissevain

Albert Schrauwers, Colonial ‘reformation’ in the highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1892–1995

Chris Gosden, Anthropology and archaeology: a changing relationship

Jane Nadel-Klein, Fishing for heritage: modernity and loss along the Scottish coast

’Aref Abu-Rabi’a, Bedouin century: education and development among the Negev Bedouin in the twentieth century

Marc Sommers, Fear in Bongoland: Burundi refugees in urban Tanzania

Richard Parker, Beneath the Equator: cultures of desire, male homosexuality, and emerging gay communities in Brazil

Klaus Eder and Maria Kousis (eds.), Environmental politics in Southern Europe: actors, institutions and discourses in a Europeanizing society

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Transforming Participatory Science into Socioecological Praxis

Valuing Marginalized Environmental Knowledges in the Face of the Neoliberalization of Nature and Science

Brian J. Burke and Nik Heynen

Citizen science and sustainability science promise the more just and democratic production of environmental knowledge and politics. In this review, we evaluate these participatory traditions within the context of (a) our theorization of how the valuation and devaluation of nature, knowledge, and people help to produce socio-ecological hierarchies, the uneven distribution of harms and benefits, and inequitable engagement within environmental politics, and (b) our analysis of how neoliberalism is reworking science and environmental governance. We find that citizen and sustainability science often fall short of their transformative potential because they do not directly confront the production of environmental injustice and political exclusion, including the knowledge hierarchies that shape how the environment is understood and acted upon, by whom, and for what ends. To deepen participatory practice, we propose a heterodox ethicopolitical praxis based in Gramscian, feminist, and postcolonial theory and describe how we have pursued transformative praxis in southern Appalachia through the Coweeta Listening Project.