Political Philosophy Colloquium
ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to think at the intersection of the contemporary crises of democracy, the historical limits and failures of democracy, and the climate and extinction catastrophes.
In most critical accounts of the climate crisis today, capitalism but not democracy is held culpable. At the same time, in most accounts of contemporary crises of democracy, both the meaning and the value of democracy are assumed. Yet democracy's crisis condition, its impoverished relation to non-human life, its persistent imbrications with orders of supremacy, and its inaptness to problems and powers global in scale (especially but not only the climate emergency) together suggest the need for critique and rethinking rather than programs of restoration. But what kind of critique? And what possibilities for democracy? How do we approach this imperiled creature now?
Wendy Brown is a UPS Foundation Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
- Department of Politics
- University Center for Human Values