Political Order in the Anthropocene

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The advent of the epoch known as the Anthropocene has been treated as a paradigm shift throughout the natural as well as parts of the social sciences. This shift entails mankind’s becoming of a geological force alongside others. Political theory and International Relations in particular have, however, been slow to pick this up. This thesis is an attempt to fill this gap. In this thesis I examine the idea of our modern conception of political order – how it is conceptualized, legitimated, and what the consequences for it may be upon facing the changes suggested by the Anthropocene. In doing so, I engage a wide variety of sources on the political theory of order, as well as on the contested nature of the Anthropocene in itself. I furthermore adopt a realist notion of political legitimacy in order to clarify the possibly problematic political trade-offs we may face when going forward into this new epoch.

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