1) Bruce Braun - Environmental issues (3).docx

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James Stinson

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#1 Bruce Braun - Environmental issues: global natures in the space of assemblage 1. Introduction  cities are best seen as ‘polyrhythmic’ assemblages composed of multiple networks stretched across space and time in which humans and nonhumans are inextricably entangled  Nature is now commonly asserted, is inextricably social, even as it cannot be reduced to the actions of humans alone  Global is an effect, not a condition; and uneven rather than uniform, it is best understood in terms of specific connections and encounters that work across and through difference – global natures are always specific  emphasis lies on the word assemblage, so as to stress the making of socio- natures whose intricate geographies form tangled webs of different length, density and duration, and whose consequences are experienced differently in different places  configurations of global nature today emerge as conjunctural effects of all of these: the political-economic, the techno-scientific and the ethical-political 2. Tracing socio-ecological networks: the nature of commodities  What does it mean to speak of global assemblages of nature, and how are they to be studied?  Perhaps the most popular approach to tracing human-non-human assemblages has been the study of commodity or supply chains  more important question is how and why specific nature-culture assemblages are produced  global commodity chain (GCC) approaches emphasize the forms of relationships and transformations of value that occur through various stages in commodity production;  commodity circuit approaches assume a less linear model and attend to cultural inflected relationships between production, circulation and consumption;  commodity network approaches stress the topological nature of these geographies 3. The environment and neoliberal globalization  This focus on heterogeneous practices is consistent with Stephen Collier and Aihwa Ong’s (2005) work on global assemblages in anthropology.  While they pay scant attention to the non-human they capture well the composition of global forms.  Of interest to them are the complex conditions that allow global forms to function and how these forms interact with other elements in contingent, uneasy, and unstable interrelationships.  neoliberal capitalism ‘drives the politics, economics and culture of the world system, providing the context and direction
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