Future-forming interdisciplinary research

After Western Capitalism?…, A Chinese Anthropocene?


Roundtable and Launch

Isabel Hilton OBE (Chinadialogue)

Nigel Clark (LEC)

David Tyfield (LEC)

Wednesday 31st January, 4 – 6+pm Welcome Lecture Theatre 1

Ten years on from the ‘Global Financial Crisis’, the spectres of economic malaise and environmental catastrophe continue to stalk the world, even as the year opens with record stock market highs.  With the rise of a new nationalist populism, not least in the West, 2017 was the year in which the fears about the inexorable decline of Western liberal capitalism – of ‘Western civilization’ itself! – went mainstream.  And the seemingly inexorable rise of China as an increasingly credible contender to US hegemony, including in ‘green’ and/or digital technologies, has only fuelled this zeitgeist of cultural panic.

But what is actually happening in China regarding its capacity for world-leading environmental innovation? This is the question explored in a new book by LEC’s David Tyfield: Liberalism 2.0 and the Rise of China – Global Crisis, Innovation and Urban MobilityIn launching this book, this event will explore this key question through a roundtable discussion of leading journalist of Chinese environmental politics, Isabel Hilton, leading scholar of the Anthropocene, Nigel Clark, and the author.

The book takes low-carbon innovation in China as a window onto the systemic and qualitative change of the global system now unfolding.  Through this lens, it describes the global systemic crisis of a neoliberal world order and the embryonic emergence of an alternative global power regime: a ‘liberalism 2.0’. The book suggests this emerging regime is likely to thwart both the doomsday forecasts of the new Western declinism and any sanguine predictions of ‘China saving the world’.  We will explore this complex and confusing prognosis of global system transition, and what the ‘West’ has to learn from China, as much as vice versa.

The event also thereby marks the launch of an exciting new initiative based in the Institute for Social Futures, exploring an ‘Economics of the Anthropocene’ as an inter-/trans-disciplinary and non-utopian venture of developing the knowledges needed for skilful management of our planetary home.  Contributions from across campus and beyond will be invited at this launch and over the coming months.

For further information or if you would like to attend this event please contact isf@lancaster.ac.uk


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