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      Eco-Miserabilism and Radical Hope: On the Utopian Vision of Post-Apocalyptic Environmentalism

      American Political Science Review
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          Eco-miserabilism—the thought that it is already too late to avert the collapse of human civilization—is gaining traction in contemporary environmentalism. This paper offers a “reparative” reading of this post-apocalyptic approach by defending it against those who associate it with defeatism and fatalism. My argument is that authors like Roy Scranton and the members of the Dark Mountain collective, while rejecting mainstream activism, remain invested in a specific kind of (radical) hope. Eco-miserabilists, hence, promote an affective politics for our climate-changed world that is both negative and iconoclastic. Without offering blueprints for a desirable future, they critically interrogate reality and disenchant the “cruel optimism” (Lauren Berlant) behind reformist plans for a “good Anthropocene.” The ultimate target of the eco-miserabilist position is the illusion that groundbreaking innovations, either in the realm of science and technology or of ordinary representative politics, could redeem us on an environmentally ravaged planet.

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          Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                American Political Science Review
                Am Polit Sci Rev
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0003-0554
                1537-5943
                February 2024
                April 18 2023
                February 2024
                : 118
                : 1
                : 318-331
                Article
                10.1017/S000305542300031X
                378dd5a6-0aae-4d87-990a-87b6ae71ad44
                © 2024

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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