Ecological transformations

June 22, 2020

The conjunction of care and control describes central tensions in current eco-politics. On the one hand, most eco-political analyses take as their point of departure the observation that the attempts of humans to control ecological relationships – by reducing them to “resources” that they exploit for their own purposes – are the reason why global ecologies are under tremendous huge stress. The wave of species extinction, the global spread of pollution and diseases, and climate change are all of anthropogenic origin but can no longer be held in check. On the other hand, eco-politics also envisions new (better, greener) ways of living in a shared world. Various eco-political agendas find that, in order to mitigate potential disasters and make “ecosystem services” more reliable, ecological relationships should be nourished and regenerated. New ecological relationships are attempts to integrate ecological contingencies into economic activities. In different sites, the projects study various attempts to control and to care, such as the cultivation of “wildness” in Europe, the creation of carbon sinks in India, or rethinking the ambiguous relationship between humans, water, and sand in the coastal ecologies of Southeast Asia.

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