Environment

Authored by: Shannon O’Lear

The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics

Print publication date:  January  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409423805
eBook ISBN: 9781315612874
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043720

10.4324/9781315612874.ch16

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Abstract

Critical geopolitics aims to decode narratives about geographies of risk, threats and power (Dodds 2010a; Ó Tuathail 1998), so a critical geopolitics of the environment looks to decode narratives about how environmental features pose risks to society and how environmental resources empower society and narratives about dangerous or desired human–environment interactions. Noel Castree has made the case that although environmental problems may be real, there is no singular, objective perspective about any given problem. Instead, he encourages us to examine the geopolitics behind representations of environmental problems. Castree points out that dominant discourses that define and establish management practices for environmental problems often serve to maintain ‘business as usual’. A critical geopolitics view, however, seeks ‘to contest existing geopolitical arrangements, uncovering the power relations inherent in them and the possibilities for more just interstate relations’ (2008: 435).

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