Approaching the Edge: Towards a New Materialist Theory of Democracy for the Anthropocene

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch


Approaching the Edge: Towards a New Materialist Theory of Democracy for the Anthropocene is an attempt to rethink what democracy might mean in a time of widespread ecological and climatic crises. Drawing on recent theoretical innovations by thinkers like Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Anna Tsing, and Donna Haraway, the dissertation argues in favor of a new materialist theory of democracy that envisions politics as a multi-sited, multispecies affair involving complex assemblages of both human and nonhuman forces and beings. More specifically, the dissertation offers a new materialist reconceptualization of three central concepts in contemporary democratic theory: political participation, political representation, and political leadership. Throughout the dissertation, the theoretical insights are developed in close conversation with an ongoing ethnographic engagement with a small rural community on the west coast of Denmark called Lemvig, where many of the challenges associated with democratic politics in the Anthropocene are acutely felt. By investigating the abstract theoretical matters through the lens of this particular place, the dissertation aims to offer a different kind of situated knowledge about the state of democracy today, which takes seriously the multiple and complex character of the Anthropocene condition.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherFaculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Number of pages241
ISBN (Print) 9788772094281
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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