Capitalism, Fascism, and the Environment

Convenors: Maddalena Gretel Cammelli, Michele Fontefrancesco, Ognjen Kojanić, Juliane Müller, Ingo Schröder, Andreas Streinzer, Sabine Teryngel
University of Cologne, Global South Studies Center (GSSC)

Workshop organised by the EASA Networks Anthropology of Fascisms (ANTHROFA) and EASA Anthropology of Economy Network (AoE)
𝟑-𝟒 𝐉𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑

Capitalism has produced ongoing environmental crises. Degradation, mass extinction, and violent conflict about resources dominate the relations between ecology, communities, and economy. While the signs of environmental collapse appear as floods, drought, and storms, capitalism as the dominant global economic model reigns mostly unquestioned. Often, green capitalism is seen as the only alternative in the fight against climate change. Around the world, resource-intensive lifestyles provide the blueprint for the aspirational dreams of many. Fascist movements and a political climate of authoritarianism seem to align with radicalised extractivism and a violent exacerbation of environmental destruction to sustain such lifestyles.

The academic community sees a rise in literature discussing “fossil fascism” (Zetkin Collective 2021) or “carbofascism” (Acker 2021). This literature suggests a connection worth exploring between, on the one hand, fascism as a political movement and, on the other, capitalist modernity and its process of human exploitation of the Earth’s resources. Examining this connection in relation to capitalism and past and current economic crises is equally important.
To increase anthropological collaboration in the investigation of a decisive conjuncture for humankind, we propose to focus on the nexus between capitalisms and fascism through the prism of the environment. The sites where we locate the intersection are manifold and range from the preventive incarceration of climate activists in Germany, to the role of coal optimism in US politics, to ecofascist terrorist attacks in New Zealand and the US, to Hindu nationalism and its weaponization of “spiritual capital” in India, or to the destruction of indigenous livelihoods in Brazilian extractivism. Hence, the range of ethnographic entry points are manifold — whether as hopeful trajectories of green capitalism, the violent dispossession of some people’s resources to fuel others’ lifestyles, or how “nature” features in discourses of contemporary fascisms — and we are looking forward to the suggestions of anthropologists inspired by our call bringing together scholars from the Anthropology of Economy network with the Anthropology of Fascisms network.

The papers can touch on the following themes but are not limited to them:
• fascist politics of resource extraction;
• authoritarian configurations of capitalist valorisation of the environment;
• seemingly paradox political effects, such as support for extractivist and fascist parties by people affected by environmental degradation and pollution;
• the relationship of far-right ideologies and actors with environmental politics and conservationism;
• the use of ecological issues/discourses by the far right to endorse or reject environmentalist demands;
• the politics of climate change denial or moral panic about climate refugees;
• renewable energy and fossil fuels, pro-extraction and anti-extraction movements, green policies and regulations;
• landscapes and cultural imagination;
• tales of belonging and (historical) politics of exclusion;
• discourses about endangered or keystone species and hunting.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to by March 12th, 2023. Letters of acceptance will be sent out by March 31st.

The EASA has generously awarded some funding for travel and accommodation for EASA members’ participation in the workshop. We are also applying for further support to fund the attendance of scholars from the Global South. Please let us know with your application whether you have your own travel funds or would need to make use of our budget to defray the cost of your participation. Please note that the convenors prioritise travel funding for precarious scholars without access to travel funding.


Scarica il pdf della call

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