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Climate change, ‘the cancer stage of capitalism’ and the return of limits to growth: Towards a political economy of sustainability

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Are established economic, social and political practices capable of dealing with the combined crises of climate change and the global economic system? Will falling back on the wisdoms that contributed to the crisis help us to find ways forward or simply reconfigure risk in another guise? This volume argues that the combination of global environmental change and global economic restructuring require a rethinking of the priorities, processes and underlying values that shape contemporary development aspirations and policy. This volume brings together leading scholars to address these questions from several disciplinary perspectives: environmental sociology, human geography, international development, systems thinking, political sciences, philosophy, economics and policy/ management science. The book is divided into four parts that examine contemporary development discourses and practices. It bridges geographical and disciplinary divides, and includes chapters on innovative governance that confront unsustainable economic and environmental relations in both developing and developed contexts. It emphasises the ways in which dominant development paths have necessarily forced a separation of individuals from nature, but also from society and even from 'self '. These three levels of alienation each form a thread that runs through the book. There are different levels and opportunities for a transition towards resilience, raising questions surrounding identity, governance and ecological management. This places resilience at the heart of the contemporary crisis of capitalism, and speaks to the relationship between the increasingly global forms of economic development and the difficulties in framing solutions to the environmental problems that carbon-based development brings in its wake. Existing social science can help in not only identifying the challenges but also potential pathways for making change locally and in wider political, economic and cultural systems, but it must do so by identifying transitions out of carbon dependency and the kinds of political challenges they imply for reflexive individuals and alternative community approaches to human security and well-being. Climate Change and the Crisis of Capitalism contains contributions from leading scholars to produce a rich and cohesive set of arguments, from a range of theoretical and empirical viewpoints. It analyses the problem of resilience under existing circumstances, but also goes beyond this to seek ways in which resilience can provide a better pathway and template for a more sustainable future. This volume will be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Human Geography, Environmental Policy and Politics.
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... To frame environment-based development, we first constituted and compiled a list of key references. This initial literature review gathered references with different scales of analysis (global, Sahel, Senegal, and Ferlo), with particular attention paid to development studies in southern countries [8,9,[11][12][13][14][35][36][37] and sustainable development and/or environmental based development [10,[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45]. Given the study area, this review included literature on conservation issues [4,26,[46][47][48], desertification in the Sahel [5,[49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56], actions of reforestation and environmental restoration [27,[31][32][33][34][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64], issues around livestock and development dynamics [19,[65][66][67], water provisioning and boreholes [16,17,68], and grazing land management and Senegalese pastoral units [69][70][71]. ...
... The case in the Ferlo echoes the challenge of the development paradigm based on neoliberal logic. In this sense, we agree with Barry's criticism of carbon-based development in relation to capitalism [45]. There is a real challenge to avoid development actions that result in policy misfits [37]. ...
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... 91 Thiele (2013). 92 The literature here is voluminous, but see, e.g., Klein (2014), Malm (2016), and Barry (2012). many of the individual freedoms and rights so cherished today. ...
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