Political Ecology, Development, and Human Exceptionalism

Krithika Srinivasan, Rajesh Kasturirangan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract / Description of output

The sub-discipline of Political Ecology devotes much critical attention to the complex and often pernicious socio-ecological impacts of mainstream development - developmentality - across the world. However, despite the 'ecology' in its name, Political Ecology continues to be predominantly anthropocentric which, we contend, compromises its critique of developmentality's excesses. Drawing on recent literatures in philosophy, political theory, and human geography, we argue that both the more-than-human and social impacts of developmentality are enabled by zoöpolitical logics of human exceptionalism which support anthropocentrism. We suggest that the adverse effects of development are co-constituted with the positive vision of human wellbeing which runs through developmentality. Thus, an effective critique of development will necessarily have to address the zoöpolitical logics that underpin anthropocentrism. Doing so will strengthen the rigour of political ecology’s engagement with developmentality and widen its attention to the diversity of life harmed by mainstream development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125–128
Early online date25 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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