Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Author Replies # Posted on March 5, 2014 at 12:27

Reply on reflection by Nik Petek

I interpret your reflection Nik, that you think the nation state is a valid and useful object for studying environmental history but in some extent not. I don´t think that the nation state should be dismissed in environmental history because it is, as you say, an actor and agent in changing the landscapes inside its own territory and in relation to other nation states and organizations, be it company’s, NGO:S or other international and political entities. The nation state is also a place for power but there is also much in Global environmental history of research interest that is not bound to the nation’s state and not to mention that nation states tend to change over time and geographical spac. People are constantly moving and crossing boarders, “culture” is a complex phenomenon and does not “belong” to the nation state. Gender order is another interesting aspect of environmental impact, but maybe the strongest argument for not having the nation state as main focus of environmental history is that “nature”, including weather phenomena’s as you are on to in your discussion, animals ecosystems etc., has no nation state boarders, maybe not even continental boarders in some cases. The same goes for diseases in a connected world. I agree with you Nik, that Hornborg has some strong argument for his point of wives and there is no doubt in that energy flow and economic resources is a major factor in environmental change over the globe, but also that nation states make different decisions and therefore have different impact on the globe and the ecosystems.