"This study of the basis of modern democracy over the past century connects oil-producing states of the Middle East with industrial democracies of the West. Mitchell argues that carbon democracy in the West has been based on the assumption that unlimited oil will produce endless economic growth, and he concludes that this model cannot survive the exhaustion of these fuels and associated climate change. Tim Mitchell has written a remarkable book that deserves a wide audience."--Mahmood Mamdani, author of "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim""A challenging, sophisticated, and important book."--Marc Lynch, "Foreign Policy""It's a book that tackles a really big subject, in a sweeping but readable fashion, and after reading it, it's hard to imagine thinking about political power the same way again ... This book utterly blew me away."--Matt Stoller, "Naked Capitalism""A remarkable account of the politics of oil and nation building in the Middle East."--"The Herald"Vom Verlag:
How do oil and democracy mix? Oil is a curse, we are told, that causes corruption and war, but Carbon Democracy tells a different story. Timothy Mitchell rethinks the history of energy, the politics of nature, the work of democracy, and the place of the Middle East in our common world. He begins with the history of coal, which gave those who produced it the power to shut down energy systems, a power they used to build the first mass democracies. Oil offered the West an alternative source of energy, and a different form of politics. It helped create a denatured political life whose central object, the economy, appeared capable of infinite growth. It created democratic forces dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. And it left us with an impoverished political practice, incapable of addressing the crises of cheap energy and the carbon-fueled collapse of the ecological order.
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