Contemporary environmental politics is generally dominated by two discourses: scepticism/denialism and liberal, managerialist reformism. Romantic-inspired environmentalism and deep ecology, on the other hand, promote the notion of an ecological subject as the key to unlocking this double bind. Yet theoretical accounts of ecological subjectivity are mired in a myriad of problems that stem from the attempt to somehow go back to a nature that pre-exists language and culture. Employing Lacanian theory, this paper aims to correct this misrecognition. It maps the putative ecological subject onto those fleeting moments of dislocation in which established discourses of nature and culture reveal their historically contingent origins.
- Laclau and Mouffe