Post-Democracy, Post-Politics and the Politics of Unsustainability
International climate and sustainability politics seem inescapably locked into a technocratic politics of unsustainability. This chapter explores what the literature on post-democracy and post-politics contributes to a more detailed understanding of this politics of unsustainability. It develops the notions of post-democracy and post-politics in a way that moves beyond existing work in the post- or neo-Marxist tradition. A brief account of the perspective that views contemporary eco-politics as a neo-liberal ploy is followed by the analysis of an emancipatory shift in social values and culture that has, arguably, given rise to a new eco-political governmentality. Today’s post-democratic and post-political politics of unsustainability is then interpreted as the product of this new governmentality. Thus, the diagnosed lock-in can no longer be seen exclusively as the result of ideological neo-liberalism but is, at least partially, also the outcome of an emancipatory process.
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