From revelation to revolution: apocalypticism in green politics

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    Abstract

    Apocalyptic narratives in green politics have provoked much controversy about questions of rhetoric and framing. Critics argue that constant warnings about impending environmental collapse demoralise and demobilise the public, while advocates argue that dire predictions embody a realism necessary if the radical collective action required for a green transition is to be taken. This is not just a debate about the tactics of presentation; at a substantive ideological level, the multilayered questions raised by apocalypticism cut to the heart of significant divisions in the green movement between radical and mainstream currents concerning their orientation to structures of political and economic power. Comparisons with the contested historical tradition of apocalyptics in Christian theology shed light upon the dynamic tensions between movement insurgency and institutionalisation. Apocalypticism has played a key role in framing the green critique of capitalist modernity and is intrinsically connected to the formulation of utopic alternatives. In both theory and practice, it remains the animating spirit of radical environmentalism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1035-1054
    Number of pages20
    JournalEnvironmental Politics
    Volume26
    Issue number6
    Early online date25 Jun 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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    Apocalypticism
    Revelation
    Revolution
    Cut
    Rhetoric
    Insurgency
    Prediction
    Warning
    Collective Action
    Modernity
    Realism
    Economics
    Environmentalism
    Institutionalization
    Christian Theology
    Tactics

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Apocalyptic narratives in green politics have provoked much controversy about questions of rhetoric and framing. Critics argue that constant warnings about impending environmental collapse demoralise and demobilise the public, while advocates argue that dire predictions embody a realism necessary if the radical collective action required for a green transition is to be taken. This is not just a debate about the tactics of presentation; at a substantive ideological level, the multilayered questions raised by apocalypticism cut to the heart of significant divisions in the green movement between radical and mainstream currents concerning their orientation to structures of political and economic power. Comparisons with the contested historical tradition of apocalyptics in Christian theology shed light upon the dynamic tensions between movement insurgency and institutionalisation. Apocalypticism has played a key role in framing the green critique of capitalist modernity and is intrinsically connected to the formulation of utopic alternatives. In both theory and practice, it remains the animating spirit of radical environmentalism.",
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    From revelation to revolution : apocalypticism in green politics. / McNeish, Wallace.

    In: Environmental Politics, Vol. 26, No. 6, 02.11.2017, p. 1035-1054.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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