The Anthropocene, in which humankind has become a geological force, is a major scientific proposal; but it also means that the conceptions of the natural and social worlds on which sociology, political science, history, law, economics and philosophy rest are called into question.

The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis captures some of the radical new thinking prompted by the arrival of the Anthropocene and opens up the social sciences and humanities to the profound meaning of the new geological epoch, the ‘Age of Humans’. Drawing on the expertise of world-recognised scholars and thought-provoking intellectuals, the book explores the challenges and difficult questions posed by the convergence of geological and human history to the foundational ideas of modern social science.

If in the Anthropocene humans have become a force of nature, changing the functioning of the Earth system as volcanism and glacial cycles do, then it means the end of the idea of nature as no more than the inert backdrop to the drama of human affairs. It means the end of the ‘social-only’ understanding of human history and agency. These pillars of modernity are now destabilised. The scale and pace of the shifts occurring on Earth are beyond human experience and expose the anachronisms of ‘Holocene thinking’. The book explores what kinds of narratives are emerging around the scientific idea of the new geological epoch, and what it means for the ‘politics of unsustainability’.


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part I|69 pages

The concept and its implications

chapter 2|15 pages

The Geological Turn

Narratives of the Anthropocene
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chapter 5|13 pages

The Political Ecology of the Technocene

Uncovering ecologically unequal exchange in the world-system
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chapter 6|14 pages

Losing the Earth Knowingly

Six environmental grammars around 1800
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part II|35 pages

Catastrophism in the Anthropocene

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chapter 8|12 pages

Eschatology in the Anthropocene

From the chronos of deep time to the kairos of the age of humans
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chapter 9|8 pages

Green Eschatology

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part III|54 pages

Rethinking politics

chapter 10|11 pages

Back to the Holocene

A conceptual, and possibly practical, return to a nature not intended for humans
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chapter 11|11 pages

Accepting the Reality of Gaia

A fundamental shift?
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chapter 13|12 pages

A Much-Needed Renewal of Environmentalism?

Eco-politics in the Anthropocene
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part |9 pages


chapter 15|7 pages

Commission on Planetary Ages

Decision CC87966424/49: The onomatophore of the Anthropocene
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