Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics by Thom Kuehls

Aerospace Equipment

By Thom Kuehls

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Extra info for Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics (Borderlines series)

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Both fit into a long line of Western political theory, dating back to the sixteenth or the seventeenth century, that links the state (and ultimately, politics) to the space of sovereign territory. There has been, global political theorist Rob Walker argues, a relative silence about sovereignty in Western political theory . . 39 Reading the histories of state and sovereignty back through this silence allows theorists to find "a striking sameness . . throughout the millennia" 40 in the practice of (international) politics.

Promise as well as danger exists here. The possibility for environmental degradation exists whether God's shadow lingers on or not. It is not enough simply to attack shadowy conceptions of nature. A new ethic is needed as well. If, as Botkin claims, the windless pond from which we took our reflection and in which we anchored our place in the world is no more, where can we draw our identity from now? How are we to relate to this chaotic nature? On what are we to base our actions? How will it be possible to act?

Where the state ends . . "88 Nietzsche attacks the state for a variety of reasons, from its lies about being "the people," to the way it sacrifices humans for its purposes, to its lies about being the most important creature on earth. In order to overcome these, and other, aspects of the state, Nietzsche suggests looking to the end of the state. And here I read him not to be making a temporal suggestion but a geographic one. The overman, that human who exists beyond resentment against the nature of things, that human who refuses to divest existence of its rich ambiguity, is not a creature of the state, if, as I suggested through a brief glimpse at Locke's theory of property in my introduction, the state can be read as the product of both a particular orientation to nature and a particular type of human.

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