Saturday, 21 April 2018

Thinking Through Planet Politics—25 April 2018, Tampere, Finland

I'm very much looking forward to travelling to Tampere in Finland next week for what should be a fascinating workshop on the subject of "planet politics."

For those of you who may not be familiar, Planet Politics: A Manifesto from the End of IR was published two years ago. This workshop continues the conversation that has resulted therefrom.

It is open to whoever may be interested, so if you happen to be in the area next week, just drop Hannes Peltonen an email!

(If the below is a bit fuzzy, click the image for higher resolution.)

My own contribution will involve a somewhat critical analysis of the debate thus far, particularly arguing that if planet politics as a 'thing' is to be more than just another re-branding effort for environmental politics then we need to give much more thought to reconceptualising the planetary as such.


  1. An contribution to re conceptualizing Gaia is the recent joint article with Bruno Latour

    "Giving Depth to the Surface –
    an Exercise in the Gaia-graphy of Critical Zones*"

    Don Utter

  2. what could "planetary" mean in terms of jurisdiction and how could it be more than UN style empty/toothless "universal" declarations? Also by what means would one measure one's data? thanks

    1. Yes, this is the problem. For the authors of the 'manifesto,' despite some internal disagreement, by 'planet' they basically seem to mean the 'Earth' of earth systems science. How that could be an object of politics is precisely the issue.

      Gayatri Spivak, by contrast, speaks of 'planetarity' to mean that which is absolutely other to self. It is basically a psychoanalytic concept that stands in contrast to the global of globalisation. For her it is a way of thinking through the necessity of solidarity without assuming unity in a postcolonial condition (to rather loosely paraphrase).

      For my part, I would point to the etymology of 'planet,' which once meant 'wandering' or 'wanderer.' I would say that 'planet politics' is the politics of an entity that calls us together, presents us with problems but offers no means of unification – neither scientific nor governmental.

      So, it is a similar conception to that of Gaia-politics for Latour, Stengers and others.

      However, this is all highly inchoate and contested, so these are just my initial ideas.