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10 - Living in the Unsettled World of the Anthropocene

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2019

Manfred B. Steger
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Paul James
Affiliation:
Western Sydney University
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Summary

This chapter concludes Globalization Matters with one of the most pressing issues of all: what does it mean that, at the height of our capacities as humans to command technological change and produce the means of our existence many times over, we have reached a point in human history when we have the capacity to destroy the planet as we know it? This is the ultimate form of globalization—the globalization of our own possible demise. Two themes are discussed. First, the possibilities of military violence have been stretched to ongoing global proportions, whether it be annihilation through nuclear exchange, ragged attrition through a global war on terror, or disruption through localized transnational violence. Second, incremental and escalating ecological destruction has brought global debates to the point of pronouncing a new global epoch: ‘the Anthropocene’. The task of giving the term practical consequence has been constantly and actively deferred by most policy-makers. This chapter explores the uneven and fractured nature of these global process and debates, arguing that there is now too much at stake to leave it to those who think that nothing consequential needs to change.

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Chapter
Information
Globalization Matters
Engaging the Global in Unsettled Times
, pp. 230 - 250
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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