Disaster Making in the Capitalocene

O’Lear, Shannon, Massé, Francis, Dickinson, Hannah and Duffy, Rosaleen (2022) Disaster Making in the Capitalocene. Global Environmental Politics, 22 (3). pp. 2-11. ISSN 1526-3800

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00655


We live in a new normal of increasing, crosscutting, and shifting patterns of disasters fueled by large-scale environmental change, from floods to wildfires to pandemics. Our intervention in this forum piece makes the case that disasters, and responses to disasters, must be understood within the context of the global political-economic system of capitalism. We situate disasters, their making, and their politics within the Capitalocene and argue that disasters and the physical processes that underpin them are not natural: they are unevenly produced through, and exacerbated by, processes inherent in the capitalist system, with uneven consequences. We suggest that the predominantly technomanagerial approaches to disasters pursued within the neoliberal state and multilateral governance institution system reveal the tensions in addressing the causes of environmental change and the new normal of disasters under capitalism. We argue that through an engagement with the Capitalocene, environmental politics could further contribute to nuanced, critical understandings of disasters and their making in ways that foreground their in/justice implications.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This project was made possible with support from a European Research Council grant for the BIOSEC Project, number 694995.
Subjects: C900 Others in Biological Sciences
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 13:42
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 08:15
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48098

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