ABSTRACT

This book is an analysis of the ontopolitical assumptions of the Anthropocene and engages these assumptions through establishing and introducing the reader to the three distinct modes of governance grounded upon them: Mapping, Sensing and Hacking. 1 It considers each mode as providing a distinct conceptualisation of governance in a world framed as complex, entangled and unpredictable. 2 The articulation of these distinct modes of governance is my own attempt to parse and to clarify the, often unclear, forms through which political thought expresses and reflects new ways of developing policy, of engaging with problems, of deriving knowledge and of thinking about political agency in the 21st century. This is not a work on ontology, therefore it does not assert what the Anthropocene is or what humans are or are not. It operates within the discipline of international relations, in terms of its focus being the new forms of governance that Anthropocene ontopolitics are understood to engender. Its concern is a critical one; the book analyses these modes for the purposes of understanding their inner logics and their consequences for the policies and practices of governance. I do not seek to argue that these modes necessarily operate in a pure form, without overlaps or interconnections, but I do suggest that heuristically drawing out their distinctive logics is useful for understanding their development, their limits and their aporias or contradictions. I do not advocate for any particular one 4of these modes, nor the underlying ontopolitical claims seen to necessitate them, but seek to examine them to clarify what is at stake in the ontopolitics of the Anthropocene.