Climate Leviathan

Climate Leviathan:A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future

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How climate change will affect our political theory - for better and worse

**Winner of the 2019 Sussex International Theory Prize**

Despite the science and the summits, leading capitalist states have not achieved anything close to an adequate level of carbon mitigation. There is now simply no way to prevent the planet breaching the threshold of two degrees Celsius set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What are the likely political and economic outcomes of this? Where is the overheating world heading?

To further the struggle for climate justice, we need to have some idea how the existing global order is likely to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. Climate Leviathan provides a radical way of thinking about the intensifying challenges to the global order. Drawing on a wide range of political thought, Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann argue that rapid climate change will transform the world's political economy and the fundamental political arrangements most people take for granted. The result will be a capitalist planetary sovereignty, a terrifying eventuality that makes the construction of viable, radical alternatives truly imperative.

Reviews

  • A welcome addition to a small but growing body of climate writing on the left. It’s a book explicitly aimed at understanding the political dimensions of climate change instead of relegating them to a paragraph or two in the concluding section.

    Alyssa Battistoni, Nation
  • In the face of the contemporary ecological crisis, can sovereignty maintain the absolute character that has defined it from the beginning and continue the mediatory functions that modernity attributed to it? And how can national sovereignty deal with that global crisis? Can ‘political realism’ address the themes of ecological crisis? These are some of the thorny questions that Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann confront in this book. Bringing down the Leviathan seems the only possible response. The nature of the problem is clear, and its solution is a struggle we have to win.

    Antonio Negri
  • Urgent, provocative and elegantly executed, Climate Leviathan provides a map for climate politics in the stormy decades ahead. As the boat rocks ever more violently and we seek to set the compass, this work will be of foundational importance.

    Andreas Malm, author of Fossil Capital