Anthropocene Geopolitics: Globalisation, Empire, Environment and Critique



Critique is about challenging the taken for granted categories in scholarly and political discourse. Three aspects of contemporary politics at the biggest of scales are subject to critique here: the assumptions underlying the War on Terror, globalisation and the notion of environment. The global War on Terror is not really global, and might well be better understood by using imperial analogies from the past. Globalisation, once its implicit geographies are directly addressed, might be better understood as a matter of glurbanisation. Likewise earth system science, and its suggestion that human actions are now on such a large scale that we live in a new geological period, the Anthropocene, requires us to rethink assumptions of our living within an external environment. Taken together these criticisms of the taken for granted spatial categories of contemporary political life raise big questions for how geography is now understood and how we might teach it in the future. Such an analysis also suggests the continued importance of critique as an intellectual practice in the academy.