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The Limits to Capitalist Nature


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Theorizing the Imperial Mode of Living: An Introduction Chapter 2: The Crisis of Global Environmental Politics and the Imperial Mode of Living Chapter 3: Crisis and Continuity of Capitalist Societal Nature Relations Chapter 4: Strategies of a Green Economy, Contours of a Green Capitalism Chapter 5: The Valorization and Financialization of Nature as Crisis Strategy Chapter 6: Social-Ecological Transformation as the Horizon of a Practical Critique of the Imperial Mode of Living Chapter 7: Towards the Democratization of Societal Nature Relations Chapter 8: Overcoming the Imperial Mode of Living: Political and Strategic Implications References Index

About the Author

Ulrich Brand is Professor of International Politics at the University of Vienna. Markus Wissen is Professor of Social Science at the Berlin School of Economics & Law.


How and why does capitalism ceaselessly exploit the biophysical world yet remain resilient in the face of its manifest failures? Through their concept of the 'imperial mode of living' the authors show how the destructive forces of capitalism become, paradoxically, opportunities not only for political opposition but for capitalism itself. A battery of organisation, geographical and ideological manoeuvres allow the ecological limits to capitalism to be continuously overcome. Leveraging off these limits is the necessary work of capitalism's many opponents. -- Noel Castree, Professor of Geography, University of Manchester
Brand and Wissen's remarkable synthesis of political sociology and political ecology tells how a hegemonic mode of consumption regulates society-nature relations under a newly emergent 'internationalised state'. If you want to know why global environmental crisis stems from 'the imperial way of living'; why financialization and the green economy stops its effective management; and why participatory socio-ecological transformation is urgent, then this is your book. -- Ariel Salleh, Political Economy, University of Sydney, author of Ecofeminism as Politics
Brand and Wissen offer an innovative perspective on the limits of capitalist nature. The book is an important addition to the literature on the eco-social transformation of contemporary capitalism. Scholars, students and activists should read it. -- Max Koch, Professor in Social Policy, Lund University
This book has breakthrough appeal. It cuts through a thick layer of ideology around the crises of the societal relationships with nature in an age of climate change. Its innovative and precise core concept of 'the imperial mode of living' reveals the chief contradictions of daily life in neoliberalism and is a crucial contribution to current debates on the Capitalocene. -- Roger Keil, Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
Everybody who wants to know why and how contemporary capitalist societies are so unsustainable, why a Great Transformation is such a big challenge, but also which alternative strategies do already exist, should read this book. It provides a powerful explanation as to why the current mode of production and living is socially unjust, ecologically disastrous and a major obstacle for an attractive future. -- Christoph Goerg, Professor of Environmental Governance, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

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