Ekologiasta politiikkaan

From Ecology to Politics: Discipline or Solidarity?

The catastrophe at Chernobyl in 1986 demonstrated the ambiguity of environmental problems: the"ecology" that was damaged was primarily within the human body and society, not "out there". The ecological crisis is a shock of uncertainty – the realization that while there are lots of potential Chernobyls around, it is impossible to identify them with certainty in advance. The ambiguity of environmental problems connects with Michel Foucault's concepts of "governmentality" and "biopolitics": important aspects of modern environmental policy can be understood through these concepts. The main argument of the paper is as follows: because it is not clear whether environmental problems actually are inside or outside society, every effort to establish comprehensive environmental governance necessarily includes a strong disciplinary edge. Globalisation of environmental thinking strengthens this tendency. As a counterpoint, concrete forms of solidarity should be developed to support the capacity of human individuals and communities to get prepared to unexpected environmental disturbances.

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