Policing Ecocide

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers critical commentary on the relationship between policing and ecological catastrophe. Grounded in a political ecology approach informed by green anarchism, critical animal studies, and critical geography, as well as years of fieldwork in and around ecological conflicts in the UK and beyond, we explore the interconnectedness of harms and oppressions and examine the way humans, ecosystems, and nonhumans alike are victims of closely related forms of oppression, as articulated in ‘Total Liberation’ approaches to resistance. We explore the way that policing has functioned as an essential facet of social control and repression within racial capitalist societies, protecting the interests of the powerful at the expense of community and ecosystem health. This discussion raises questions around “who” polices, for what end and at what cost. We explore examples of repression and criminalisation of protest by state, private, overt, covert, ‘harder’ and ‘softer’ forms of policing, and illustrate the less visible and entrenched ways in which policing works to protect the interests of fossil capitalism, allegedly ‘green capitalism’ acting as an obstacle to meaningful efforts to stop or reverse the slow violence of ecocide. Abolitionist perspectives on criminal justice then provide a fruitful means of linking the initial theorisation of human, animal and ecological exploitation, to discussions of policing and social control. Having illustrated the complex connectivity between policing and ecocide, we argue that the struggle against ecocide is therefore a struggle against policing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Anti-Policing
Subtitle of host publicationPrefiguring Possibilities Beyond the Thin Blue Line
EditorsSimon Springer, Richard J. White
Place of PublicationLanham, US
PublisherLexington Books
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781666931921
ISBN (Print)9781666931914
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024

Publication series

NamePolicing Perspectives and Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
PublisherLexington Books

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