In the last 25 years the concept of the Anthropocene has emerged as a master category for thinking the contemporary environmental crisis. As much as it has energized the humanities and social sciences, the concept has been criticized for falsely postulating a collective human agent of environmental destruction. In the 2023 Tanner lectures, Adam Tooze will historicize this debate, placing it in relation to the struggle over global development. Born in the era of the first Cold War the vision of a comprehensive environmental transformation in the service of humankind needs to be placed now in relation to a new era of comprehensive global development, great power competition and polycrisis.
Lecture I: Beyond the Unipolar Moment
In this lecture, Tooze will locate the first phase of global climate politics in the unipolar moment of the 1990s.
Adam Tooze holds the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History at Columbia University and serves as Director of the European Institute. His research, writing and teaching deal with the history of power in the modern age, especially how economic and military power are articulated by politics, ideology and expert knowledge, in the struggle to bring order and shape to the modern world.
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