Making Threats

ebook Biofears and Environmental Anxieties

By Betsy Hartmann

cover image of Making Threats

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Today we live in times of proliferating fears. The daily updates on the ongoing 'war on terror' amplify fear and anxiety as if they were necessary and important aspects of our reality. Concerns about the environment increasingly take center-stage, as stories and images abound about deadly viruses, alien species invasions, scarcity of oil, water, food; safety of GMOs, biological weapons, and fears of overpopulation. Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties addresses how such environmental and biological fears are used to manufacture threats to individual, national, and global security. Contributors from environmental studies, political science, international security, biology, sociology and anthropology discuss what they share in common: the view that fears should be critically examined to avoid unnecessary alarm and scapegoating of people and nations as the 'enemy Other'. In these highly original and thought-provoking essays, Making Threats focuses on five themes: security, scarcity, purity, circulation and terror. No other book has systematically examined the proliferation of fear in the context of current world events and from such a multidisciplinary perspective. It consolidates in one place cutting edge research and reflection on how the contemporary landscape of fear shapes and is shaped by environmental and biological discourses. By uncovering the linguistic tools that make fear resonate in the public consciousness, by identifying the interests that create or are sustained by fears, in short by giving fears histories, Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties engages with some of the most potent and disturbing political and cultural aspects of the contemporary scene.

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Making Threats