Democracy in the Anthropocene

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The Anthropocene is an emerging epoch of human-induced instability in the Earth system. Our book argues that many of the signature problems of the Anthropocene are the product of dominant institutions that emerged in the previous epoch – the Holocene. These institutions remain stuck in ‘pathological path dependencies’ that decouple human institutions from the Earth system by systematically repressing information about ecological conditions and prioritising narrow economic concerns. As an antidote to pathological path dependencies, institutions need to cultivate ecological reflexivity, which refers to the capacity of an entity to recognise and anticipate its impacts on social-ecological systems and listen to feedback from those systems; critically reflect on core values in light of this feedback; and respond by transforming its practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-141
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Political Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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