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Palgrave Macmillan

The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Politics and Theory

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Integrates politics into environmental theory, closing the gap in previous volumes that focus on political thought
  • Emphasis environmental policy and activism while still rooted in the foundations of environmental political theory
  • Focuses on environmental thinkers and activist leaders, organizations and movements for social change

Part of the book series: Environmental Politics and Theory (EPT)

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About this book

This Handbook aims to provide a unique and convenient one-volume reference work, exhibiting the latest interdisciplinary explorations in this urgently burgeoning field of intellectual and practical importance. Due to its immense range and diversity, environmental politics and theory necessarily encompasses: empirical, normative, policy, political, organizational, and activist discussions unfolding across many disciplines. It is a challenge for its practitioners, let alone newcomers, to keep informed about the ongoing developments in this fast-changing area of study and to comprehend all of their implications. Through the planned volume’s extensive scope of contributions emphasizing environmental policy issues, normative prescriptions, and implementation strategies, the next generation of thinkers and activists will have very useful profiles of the theories, concepts, organizations, and movements central to environmental politics and theory. It is the editors’ aspiration that this volume will become a go-to resource on the myriad perspectives relevant to studying and improving the environment for advanced researchers as well as an introduction to new students seeking to understand the basic foundations and recommended resolutions to many of our environmental challenges. Environmental politics is more than theory alone, so the Handbook also considers theory-action connections by highlighting the past and current: thinkers, activists, social organizations, and movements that have worked to guide contemporary societies toward a more environmentally sustainable and just global order.

Chapter “Eco-Anxiety and the Responses of Ecological Citizenship and Mindfulness” is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via

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Table of contents (28 chapters)

  1. Environmental Politics and Theory in the City


“Environmental emergency is the theme running through this timely handbook. The editors and a diverse set of international authors move beyond mainstream environmental understandings to challenge their problematic, often latent assumptions that impede a deeper grasp of the ecological crisis and the fundmental challenges it poses. Toward this end, these first-rate essays examine an extensive range of issues—from the Anthropocene and degrowth, environmental justice and democracy, sustainable agriculture and animal rights, eco-feminism and biopower, to mention just a few. The authors look beyond eco-pessimism to shape a hopeful vision for stimulating and guiding a socio-ecological transformation.” (Frank Fischer, Professor Department of Agricultural Policy and Politics, University of Humboldt in Berlin Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany)

“We have known for decades, but the IPCC 6th Assessment report made it crystal clear. Without immediate and deep decarbonization across all sectors of society, it will be impossible to stop global mean warming at 1,5 degrees C. The time for transformative climate action is now. The Palgrave Handbook on Environmental Politics and Theory takes this dire and inescapable environmental reality as the starting point for a new era of green political theorizing. The volume seeks to reclaim a space for critically engaged scholarship that encourages dissent and speaks up for the many communities that are mobilizing for a radical change of political course. The environmental context within which this Handbook appears is urgent and troubling. However, by confronting systems of denial and inviting conceptual and ethical innovation, the chapters form a powerful collective response.” (Eva Lövbrand, Associate Professor in Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden)

“The volume delivers on its promise of providing pioneering and provocative analyses of foundational and societally transformative issues for our turbulent times. So much so that the editors might have just as easily entitled the book, A Field Guide for Understanding our Age of Perpetual Crises. The volume, made up of 26 chapters, covers ‘high level’ topics ranging for the urgent need to move beyond perpetual economic growth, and how this means moving beyond both carbon energy and capitalism (and the legacy of extractivist colonialism). Other important and emerging areas such as eco-anxiety, ethical dimensions of human-animal-nature relations, gender and deep climate adaptation are also represented It also has ‘applied theoretical’ considerations of urbanism and cities, housing, property rights, the law, the role of the state, and youth environmental activism. Written by an impressive array of both established scholars and new voices, the editors (Kassiola and Luke) are to be congratulated for assembling such a variety of topics, scholars and approaches, which has produced an excellent addition to the Palgrave Handbook series.” (John Barry, Professor Green Political Economy and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Change, Co-Chair, Belfast Climate Commission, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, USA

    Joel Jay Kassiola

  • Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

    Timothy W. Luke

About the editors

Joel Jay Kassiola is Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Francisco State University, Department of Political Science, San Francisco, California, USA. He is the author of one of the first books in the emerging field of environmental political theory, The Death of Industrial Civilization and, more recently, editor of Explorations in Environmental Political Theory (2015). He serves as Series Editor for Palgrave's Environmental Politics and Theory book series.

Timothy W. Luke is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech, USA. His areas of research include environmental politics and cultural studies as well as comparative politics, international political economy, and modern critical social and political theory.

Bibliographic Information

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