[JOURNAL ARTICLE] Hichmann, T./Partzsch, L./Pattberg, P./Weiland, S. 2020. Mehr Engagement der Politikwissenschaft in der Anthropozän-Debatte. In: Politische Vierteljahresschrift (2020), open access (in German).

The current debate on the Anthropocene is thus far dominated by the natural sciences. This leads to a simplistic analysis of environmental devastation and the underlying changes of human-nature relations. In this commentary, we urge the discipline of political science to enhance its engagement in the debate on the so-called human age and its far-reaching implications. The Anthropocene is characterized first and foremost by complex interactions, non-linear dynamics and tipping points that entail abrupt changes. Against this backdrop, it becomes clear that there can be no simple management of human impacts on the earth system in the Anthropocene. To explore the root causes and potential solutions of human-induced environmental problems, we need to raise questions on key topics, such as prevailing power relations, clashes of interests and norm conflicts. Political theory is moreover highly relevant to address the question of how the existing political institutions could be reformed in the Anthropocene. The discipline of political science plays hence a particular role in the Anthropocene debate. Yet, the Anthropocene should not only remain a critical topic for those political scientists concerned with the environment. Instead, what is needed is a political science contribution that reflects the entire breadth of the discipline to develop adequate response strategies for system-threatening global environmental changes in an interdisciplinary dialogue.

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