In this Book

University of Minnesota Press
How should we think about politics in a world where ecological problems-from the deforestation of the Amazon to acid rain-transcend national boundaries? This is the timely and important question addressed by Thom Kuehls in Beyond Sovereign Territory. Contending that the sovereign territorial state is not adequate to contain or describe the boundaries of ecopolitics, the author reorients our thinking about government, nature, and politics.

Kuehls argues that changes in technology and the scope of governmental aims have rendered conventional ecological and internationalist aims anachronistic-and ultimately ineffective-in the face of impending environmental collapse. He questions the process by which land is transformed into an object of sovereignty-into “territory”-demonstrating how representations of political space that focus on territorial sovereignty fail to come to terms with much of what is involved in ecopolitics.

Engaging social and political theory texts from such diverse thinkers as Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari, Kuehls moves through the fields of ecopolitical thought and international relations on his way to articulating an ecological politics that exceeds the space of the sovereign territorial state. Throughout, Beyond Sovereign Territory juxtaposes traditional conceptualizations of nature with unorthodox-and enlightening-alternatives. Kuehls articulates a governing “eco-ethic,” what he calls an “ethics of care,” one that insists on the centrality of ethics to the space in which ecopolitics exists. Ultimately, Kuehls critiques an orientation that privileges a certain utilitarian relationship between humans and nonhuman nature, one in which the earth is largely interpreted as given to humans. Deeply humanistic and challenging conventional wisdom, Beyond Sovereign Territory will be of interest to readers of environmental politics, geography, international politics, and political theory.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, About the Series, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Brazil
  2. pp. ix-xviii
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  1. 1. Natures, Ethics, and Ecologies
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. 2. Exploring the Space of the (Inter)State (I): Sovereignty
  2. pp. 25-56
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  1. 3. Exploring the Space of the (Inter)State (II): Governmentality
  2. pp. 57-90
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  1. 4. Theories of Ecopolitics: Machines, Organisms, Cyborgs
  2. pp. 91-114
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  1. 5. Brazil of the North
  2. pp. 115-130
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 131-152
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 153-164
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 165-168
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 169-169
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