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Denaturalizing the Environment: Dissensus and the Possibility of Radically Democratizing Discourses of Environmental Sustainability

Bloom, Peter and Barthold, Charles (2020) 'Denaturalizing the Environment: Dissensus and the Possibility of Radically Democratizing Discourses of Environmental Sustainability.' Journal of Business Ethics. ISSN 0167-4544

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of dissensus as an important perspective for making current organizational discourses of environmental sustainability more radically democratic. It presents the Anthropocene as a force for social naturalization—one that paradoxically acknowledges humanity’s role in negatively impacting the environment while restricting their agency to address this problem to those compatible with a market ideology. Radical democratic theories of agonism help to denaturalize the relation of organizations to the environment yet risk reproducing values of anthropocentrism and patriarchy in doing so. Dissensus, by contrast, emphasizes the need to ‘redistribute the sensible’, treating organizations as a space for continually denaturalizing and renaturalizing our socio-material relation with the world. Yet it also puts forward a radically democratic political ethics demanding that firms ecologically preserve the environment to allow for positive dissensus while internally resisting institutional power structures that naturalize these organizational environments. This paper, thus, seeks to show the significance of dissensus for enhancing radical democracy both in regards to discourses of environmental sustainability specifically and more generally within organizations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dissensus, Anthropocene, Democracy
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 10:07
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 10:07
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26322

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