Globalization and Its Discontents: Ecofeminism and the Dilemma of ‘Universal’ Politics

  • Catriona Sandilands
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter is part of a larger work in which I explore several interrelated tensions that appear in ecofeminism when viewed through the lens of democratic theory.1 As a whole, the work seeks to hold ecofeminist theory accountable to the radical democratic project articulated by (among others) Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe,2 in order to reveal both the strengths and the weaknesses of the budding praxis of ecofeminism and in order to show the importance of ecofeminism in ongoing conversations about the future of democracy. In this chapter, I explore the specific tension between universality and particularity with the agenda of showing ecofeminism’s significance — and limitations — as a democratic politics in the context of globalization.


Social Movement Democratic Politics Global Citizenship Global Civil Society Democratic Move 
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  1. 2.
    Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    For examples of these two divergent views (they are far more complex than my brief summary suggests) see Alain Touraine, ‘An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements’, Social Research, 52, 4 (Winter 1985): 749–87Google Scholar
  3. and Alberto Melucci, ‘Social Movements and the Democratization of Everyday Life’, in John Keane (ed.), Civil Society and the State: New European Perspectives (London, Verso, 1988).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Slavoj Zizek, ‘Beyond Discourse-Analysis’, in Ernesto Laclau, New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (London: Verso, 1990): 250.Google Scholar
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    See Frederick Buttel and Peter Taylor, ‘Environmental Sociology and Global Environmental Change: A Critical Assessment’, in Michael Redclift and Ted Benton (eds), Social Theory and the Global Environment (London: Routledge, 1994).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Ecofeminism (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publications, 1993).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    For a variety of critical perspectives on Rio, see Wolfgang Sachs (ed.), Global Ecology: A New Arena of Political Conflict (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publications, 1993).Google Scholar
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    Carl Boggs, ‘The New World Order and Social Movements’, Society and Nature, 2, 2 (1994): 99.Google Scholar
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    Richard Falk, ‘The Making of Global Citizenship’, in Jeremy Brecher, John Brown Childs, and Jill Cutler (eds), Global Visions: Beyond the New World Order (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1993): 50.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Lee Quinby, Anti-Apocalypse: Exercises in Genealogical Criticism (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1994): 46.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catriona Sandilands

There are no affiliations available

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