Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

Humans now influence all biological and physical systems of the planet. Almost no species, land area, or part of the oceans has remained unaffected by the expansion of the human species. Recent scientific findings suggest that the entire earth system now operates outside the...

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

This book seeks to develop a new perspective on the governance of human-nature coevolution at the planetary scale. It is the result of a research trajectory over several years that has evolved from dissatisfaction with current concepts of environmental policy to a felt need for...

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A Word on the Poems

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pp. xiii-xvi

Globalization is changing our lives in multiple ways. One facet is the global harmonization of cultures, belief systems, and languages. English, in particular, has become the global medium of scholarly and political discourse. This is important from the perspective that this book offers...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xx

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Humans have altered their environment since prehistoric times. Today we have begun to transform our planet. Humankind has become a planetary force that influences global biogeochemical systems. Humans are no longer spectators who need to adapt to the natural environment; we...

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2. Conceptualization

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pp. 15-46

“Long before / We swooped on oil, iron and ammonia / There was each year / A time of irresistible violent leafing of trees,” wrote Bertolt Brecht almost one hundred years ago, and continued: “High above, it is true / There seem to be storms: / All they touch now is / Our aerials.” This...

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3. Agency

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pp. 47-80

The myth of Prometheus marks the beginning of the Anthropocene. Prometheus brought the secret of fire to early humans, thus launching the perpetual process of fossil-fuel-based industrialization and modern civilization. Prometheus was hence one of the first, and most powerful...

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4. Architecture

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pp. 81-120

Institutions do not operate in a void. They interact, can be in conflict with each other, and are usually embedded in clusters with other institutions in complex webs of rules and claims to authority. This overall institutional arrangement within an issue area I describe in this book as...

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5. Accountability and Legitimacy

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pp. 121-144

Earth system governance is not only a question of institutional performance and effectiveness; the accountability and legitimacy of decision making is equally important. This relates to all levels of governance, from the local to the global. It involves the accountability and legitimacy of...

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6. Allocation

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pp. 145-174

When astronauts first photographed the earth from the moon and created the powerful imaginary of our “ blue planet, ” their picture suggested a common destiny of the human race with a common interest and purpose. Yet the human species, as main driving force of the Anthropocene, is in...

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7. Adaptiveness

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pp. 175-202

Four hundred, five hundred, or even higher—such data for atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, expressed in parts per million, might well define the future of our societies in the second half of this century. The widely cited paper by Johan Rockström and colleagues (2009) suggested...

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8. Conclusion

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pp. 203-214

“Bishop, I can fly,” claims the Tailor in the poem that opens this chapter, “Just watch me try!” “A man is not a bird / No man will ever fly,” responds the Bishop, adding that what the Tailor claims is “nothing but a lie.” This exchange between the Bishop and the Tailor in the mediaeval...

References

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pp. 215-260

Index

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pp. 261-267