“Environmentality,” from Discard Studies, replete with citations.

Discard Studies

23533542331_cfee694f62_b Interpretive Sign for Prescribed Burning. Photo: US Forest Service. 

By Shaunna Barnhart
This post is part of the Discard Studies Compendium, a keyword text.

Environmentality is a term used to describe an approach to understanding complex interplays of power in environmental governance of human-environment interactions. It builds on philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Governmentality argues that a governing body manages a complex web of people and objects with the purported intent to improve the welfare and condition of the population through changing the relationship between the governing body and those it governs, mediated through objects of concern such as waste.  This is achieved through scaled relationships of power, technologies of government, knowledge production, and discourse which results in individuals changing their thoughts and actions such that they then self-regulate and further the goals of the governing body (Foucault 1991).

Since the…

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5 thoughts on “Environmentality

  1. Also of possible interest:
    Rumpala, Y. (2011). ‘Sustainable consumption as a new phase in a governmantalization of consumption’, Theory and Society, 40(6), 669I99.


  2. This is classic — don’t readjust programs and installed human-nonhuman infrastructure until it is too late…

    On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 12:04 PM, Installing (Social) Order wrote:



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