The Political Economy of Climate Change and Capitalism: An Ideology Critique

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dc.contributor.advisor Cremin, C en Smith, Ian en 2012-01-24T20:25:20Z en 2012 en
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dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Environmental crisis is the apocalyptic vision of our time, threatening to destroy society as we know it. This thesis attempts a sociological understanding of climate change; more specifically it focuses upon the relationship between climate change and capitalism. In order to unpick this relationship this thesis approaches the matter through three levels of analysis. These approaches are firstly, political-economy, with a focus on the Marxian theoretical tradition, Secondly, ideology, which develops from a particular materialist understanding of ideology, and thirdly , the level of 'the subject', with a focus on Foucault's notion of govermentality. Chapter one demonstrates that there is a fundamental incompatibility between capitalism and a sustainable human relationship with the natural environment. Chapter two demonstrates the emergence of a dual hegemony, that of capitalist ideas and concern for the environment. It shows that as these hegemonies have developed environmental concerns have developed within an ideological order in which capitalist ideas constitute the intellectual climate in which climate change is discussed. The idea of commodity fetishism is then used to show how this has meant that the question of capitalism does not feature in the contemporary politics of climate change and the consequences of this. Chapter three demonstrates that in this ideological climate it is the individual subject who is placed front and centre as the subject who is ethically responsible for, and capable of transforming our unsustainable relation to nature. Foucault's notion of govermentality is here utilised to show how various institutions attempt to direct subjects into particular green modes of consumption, and that subjects themselves reproduce the ideologies of contemporary climate change politics in their day to day subjective practices. The conclusion that this thesis reaches is that capitalism is the central determinant of our environmental problems. However, as we have attempted to address this problem, our attention has consistently been drawn away from such fundamental economic issues. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title The Political Economy of Climate Change and Capitalism: An Ideology Critique en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 278830 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-01-25 en

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