Air-appropriation: The imperial origins and legacies of the Anthropocene

  • This article elucidates the spatial order that underpins the politics of the Anthropocene – the ecological nomos of the earth – and criticizes its imperial origins and legacies. It provides a critical reading of Carl Schmitt’s spatial thought to not only illuminate the spatio-political ontology but also the violence and usurpations that characterize the Anthropocene condition. The article first shows how with the emergence of the ecological nomos seemingly ‘natural’ spaces like the biosphere and the atmosphere became politically charged. This challenges the modernist separation between natural facts and political norms. It then underlines the imperial origins of this nomos by introducing the concept of air-appropriation understood as the colonization of atmospheric space by CO2 emissions. Instead of assuming that the ecological nomos represents a transition from a colonial to an ecological and cosmopolitan world order, focusing on air-appropriation highlights forms of ecological imperialism that go along with the new nomos. Accordingly, the article calls for a just redistribution of ecospace that takes into account the imperial legacies and ongoing effects of air-appropriation.

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Author:Andreas Folkers
Parent Title (English):European journal of social theory
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/02/04
Date of first Publication:2020/02/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/09/14
Tag:Atmosphere; Carl Schmitt; carbon; climate change; nomos of the earth; political ecology
Page Number:20
First Page:611
Last Page:630
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0