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Border Walls Gone GreenNature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America$
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John Hultgren

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694976

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694976.001.0001

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Toward an Environmental Political Theory of Migration

Toward an Environmental Political Theory of Migration

(p.141) 5 Toward an Environmental Political Theory of Migration
Border Walls Gone Green

John Hultgren

University of Minnesota Press

Chapter five attempts to develop an alternative approach to thenature–sovereignty relationship. It begins from the observation that whereas environmental theorists have focused tremendous attention of late on greening traditionally territorialized, anthropocentric institutions, social theorists have turned to migration to critically reconsider sovereignty. Migration, in these accounts, functions as a lens into the political economic contours of sovereignty during a period of neoliberal globalization, the securitization of sovereignty amid the threats produced by neoliberal globalization, and the modes of resistance that are emerging in relation to these dominant forms of sovereignty. Drawing these insights into environmental political struggles, it makes the case that by placing migration at the center of their ontologies, epistemologies, strategies, and ethics, socioecological activists could imbue their practice with a critical cosmopolitan ethos that severs nature from its nationalistic foundations, working to construct a global movement that is better equipped to identify the structural sources of socioecological degradation, more ethical in its inclusion of human and nonhuman others, and more effective in its alliance building.As environmental crisis worsens and migration intensifies, the way that we react to these borders-in-crisis will shape efforts to construct alternative forms of socioecological communities, economies, and institutions.

Keywords:   nature, sovereignty, environmental theorists, social theorists, migration, globalization, activists, global movement, crisis

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