State - Green Theory, Hay.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Bruce Morrison

GREEN THEORY – PATERSON,DORAN AND BARRY  Personal is political element in green politics  Humans should be seen not so much as citizens, workers but as plain members of the land community  Greens are thus for the most part instinctive global thinkers and think globally, act locally  Four distinct elements in critiques of the state can be discerned - The spatial disjuncture between territorially organized state and the spatial characteristics of ecological problems - The predominant mode of rationality instates which is bureaucratic - The nature of the state as a centralizing institution of domination and violence, and which promotes accelerated throughput of resources as a consequence - The way in which the liberal democratic state underwrites a very thing and disempowering version of democratic citizenship and democratic governance  Modern societies have grown too big in scale for their socio-ecological well being  The socio-ecological feedback loops need to be short to make for ecologically rational decisions  Nature is linguistically reconstructed as a resource for resource management  The central contradiction is between the putatively global character of ecological questions and the spatial separation of political institutions into territorially organized states  The logic is for world government since states are irredeemably oriented around protecting the interests of those within their own territory, they will never be able to pursue environmental cooperation to the extent necessary to avoid ecological collapse BUREAUCRATIC RATIONALISM  Resource managerialism has become the privileged form of state rationality governing environmental questions  The efficiency oriented approach focuses on the relationship between means and ends and it is important to note that the overall quality of the outcome is not considered – only the efficiency of the means matters  Greens reject claims regarding the neutrality of knowledge which usually rests on a consequentialist argument that one cannot know in advance the consequences of the production of particular knowledge and thus one must leave scientists free to pursue their intellectual enquiries  The rationality of the state is a particular form of this instrumental rationality DOMINATION, VIOLENCE, ACCUMULATION  Territoriality and the monopoly of legitimate violence – which are often the problem from a green point of view  Regarding the state as an instrument of domination, the state is the ultimate hierarchical institution which consolidates al other hierarchical institutions  The state is the ultimate hierarchical institution which consolidates all other hierarchical institutions – institutions of domination simultaneously involve the domination of some humans by others and the domination of non-humans by human societies  State building is often closely associated with interstate competition, and the military projects involved themselves engender environmental degradation but also have historically led state to create mechanisms to promote accumulation to provide resources for warfare  Biopower developed in two distinct and related forms an anatamo-politics of the human body – focused on individual to increase its utility and manageability through its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls; and a focus on the supervision of the species body or the biopolitics of the population - Foucault  These elements in a Foucauldian approach are best understood as useful ways of understanding the political dynamics
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