Multitudes and Exile in Populist Ecologies

Isaacs, Rico (2022) Multitudes and Exile in Populist Ecologies. Political Geography . ISSN 0962-6298

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John Clare’s poem Remembrances is an elegiac lament not just for a childhood gone, but also for the irrevocable loss of access to nature. The poem mourns the impact of the acts of enclosure which took place in the English countryside from the 17th Century onward, which upturned centuries of tradition of the open field system by parcelling land off to private farmers and landlords, thereby exiling the commoner from the land. Clare’s words speak to a long-standing relationship between the forces of populism, which imagine a political and social divide between the ‘elite’ and the ‘people’, and ecologism, an ideology which seeks to rebalance human-nature relations and advocate against environmental degradation. This relationship between populism and ecologism contains multitudes. As this short commentary argues, populist ecologies appear in various forms, but one common thread which ties together 19th Century populist ecologies with that of their 21st Century counterparts, is that they are all rooted in some form of exile from nature.

Keywords:Ecologism, Nature, Exile, Ecology
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L217 Environmentalism
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:47273
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 11:12

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