Conclusions: Complexity, Responsibility and Urgency in the Anthropocene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The term Anthropocene denotes a new geological epoch characterized by the unprecedented impact of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems. While the natural sciences have advanced their understanding of the drivers and processes of global change considerably over the last two decades, the social sciences lag behind in addressing the fundamental challenge of governance and politics in the Anthropocene.

This book attempts to close this crucial research gap, in particular with regards to the following three overarching research themes: (i) the meaning, sense-making and contestations emerging around the concept of the Anthropocene related to the social sciences; (ii) the role and relevance of institutions, both formal and informal as well as international and transnational, for governing in the Anthropocene; and (iii) the role and relevance of accountability and other democratic principles for governing in the Anthropocene. Drawing together a range of key thinkers in the field, this volume provides one of the first authoritative assessments of global environmental politics and governance in the Anthropocene, reflecting on how the planetary scale crisis changes the ways in which humans respond to the challenge.

This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of global environmental politics and governance, and sustainable development.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • Anthropocene, accountability, institutions, environmental governance, institutional analysis, equity, complexity, fragmentation, institutional theory, multi-level governance, climate governance, Kyoto Protocol
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Politics and Governance in the Anthropocene
Subtitle of host publicationInstitutions and Legitimacy in a Complex World
EditorsPhilipp H. Pattberg, Fariborz Zelli
ISBN (Electronic)9781315697468, 9781317449935
ISBN (Print)9781138902398
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan
Publication categoryResearch

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