The Contested Politics of Climate Change and the Crisis of Neo-liberalism


  • David Featherstone School of Geographical and Earth Sciences University of Glasgow


Climate change, social relations, environmental relations, COP15, neoliberalism, climate change politics, environmental politics, civil protests, demonstrations, repressive policing


Climate change must be placed in relation to broader contestation of unequal social and environmental relations and specifically in relation to the crisis of neoliberalism. I contest those accounts of climate change which isolate carbon emissions from the unequal social and environmental relations upon which neoliberal globalization depends. I locate the mobilizations during the COP15 round of climate negotiations in relation to political trajectories that have shaped antagonistic ways of constructing climate change politics. These forms of contentious action challenge the dominant terms of climate change politics in a number of important ways, and at the same time the repressive policing of demonstrations and actions open up the space for protests and for productive debates around the environmental politics of climate change.


How to Cite

Featherstone, D. (2015). The Contested Politics of Climate Change and the Crisis of Neo-liberalism. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 12(1), 44–64. Retrieved from