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The Politics of the Anthropocene$
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John S. Dryzek and Jonathan Pickering

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809616.001.0001

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Conclusion: a practical politics of the Anthropocene

Conclusion: a practical politics of the Anthropocene

(p.151) 8 Conclusion: a practical politics of the Anthropocene
The Politics of the Anthropocene

John S. Dryzek

Jonathan Pickering

Oxford University Press

How exactly might ecological reflexivity be established as a core priority of social, economic, and political institutions? Rather than think in terms of any model to aim for, it is better to begin with where we are now and figure out positive moves on many fronts. Living frameworks—embodied in institutions that are flexible enough to respond to changing social and ecological conditions but stable enough to provide a basis for long-term flourishing—can facilitate such efforts. A practical politics of the Anthropocene can involve dismantling aspects of lock-in to the carbon economy and other unsustainable practices, avoiding renewed lock-in that could arise through misguided efforts to solve ecological problems, and cultivating elements of reflexivity through institutional, legal, and cultural change. Introducing elements of reflexivity—and learning from them—can facilitate more effective rethinking of dominant institutions and their pathological path dependencies, and build momentum for transformative change.

Keywords:   Anthropocene, reflexivity, carbon lock-in, transformation, living frameworks, path dependency

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