Savage Ecology

War and Geopolitics at the End of the World

Savage Ecology

The conclusion is now freely available here.

View the YouTube trailer.
Book Pages: 368 Illustrations: 7 illustrations Published: August 2019

Environmental Studies, Politics > International Relations, Political Theory

Jairus Victor Grove contends that we live in a world made by war. In Savage Ecology he offers an ecological theory of geopolitics that argues that contemporary global crises are better understood when considered within the larger history of international politics. Infusing international relations with the theoretical interventions of fields ranging from new materialism to political theory, Grove shows how political violence is the principal force behind climate change, mass extinction, slavery, genocide, extractive capitalism, and other catastrophes. Grove analyzes a variety of subjects—from improvised explosive devices and drones to artificial intelligence and brain science—to outline how geopolitics is the violent pursuit of a way of living that comes at the expense of others. Pointing out that much of the damage being done to the earth and its inhabitants stems from colonialism, Grove suggests that the Anthropocene may be better described by the term Eurocene. The key to changing the planet's trajectory, Grove proposes, begins by acknowledging both the earth-shaping force of geopolitical violence and the demands apocalypses make for fashioning new ways of living.


“In Savage Ecology Jairus Victor Grove gives us a weirdly hopeful eco-pessimism. ‘We broke the planet,’ he writes, and ‘now it is our planet.’ Agree or not, the breadth of his archive (neuro-torture, algorithmic warfare, drone strikes, and cybernetic nation-building) and audacity of his thinking (biopolitics is now ‘almost quaint,’ he says, given the geopolitics of the Anthropocene) are simply exhilarating. Your thinking cannot survive this book unchanged. Fortunately, Grove says, ‘the end of the world is never the end of everything’ (though it may well be the end of us).” — Bonnie Honig, author of Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair

“What Beck did for risk society, Hardt and Negri for empire, and Barad for technoscience, Jairus Victor Grove does brilliantly for global violence, delivering an ecology of warfare that is not only a corrosive critique of the three horsemen of our now daily apocalypse—geopolitics, biopolitics, and cybernetics—but a creative strategy for sustaining life now and thereafter. Grove is a philosopher with a hammer, writer with a stiletto, and artist with a spray can.” — James Der Derian, Michael Hintze Chair of International Security Studies, the University of Sydney

"An impressively informative and instructively presented work of meticulous scholarship, Savage Ecology is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and academic library Contemporary Environmental Issues collections in general, and political theory and warfare supplemental studies lists in particular." — Michael Dunford, Midwest Book Review

Savage Ecology is an extraordinarily rich text. . . . Wading through Savage Ecology uncovers a wondrous diversity of thought.”

— Chase Hobbs-Morgan, Theory & Event

"Grove offers one of the most robust and erudite examples of a critical ethos of pessimism I have read to date. . . . Rather than distancing total destruction from our current moment in order to propose a redemptive, critical utopia, Grove is immersed in catastrophe as an immanent condition of critique." — Davide Panagia, Public Books

Savage Ecology is not an easy read. Grove draws on an expansive archive, engages with an abundance of theoretical interlocutors and sets forth bold claims with far-reaching implications…. Whether they agree with this radically anti-positivist position or not, I am convinced that the book will prove a rich, challenging and thought-provoking encounter for graduate students and scholars interested in geopolitics, new materialism, critical war studies and international political theory.”
  — Adam Bregnsbo Fastholm, International Affairs

“In an oddly provocative manner Jairus Victor Grove has provided an eloquent and impassioned tribute to war and its savage ecology. This book is a twofer, a thoughtful intervention in current policy debate and a scorching critique of mainstream IR theory, with its arrogant pretensions and its plenitude of crucial failures and catastrophic consequences. It will be tragic if activists and the discipline’s leading practitioners fail to read it.” — John Buell, Informed Consent


Availability: In stock
Price: $28.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jairus Victor Grove is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Hawai‘i Research Center for Future Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction  1
Aphorisms for a New Realism  29
Part I. The Great Homogenization
1. The Anthropocene as a Geopolitical Fact  35
2. War as a Form of Life  59
3. From Exhaustion to Annihilation: A Martial Ecology of the Eurocene  79
Part II. Operational Spaces
4. Bombs: An Insurgency of Things  113
5. Blood: Vital Logistics  139
6. Brains: We Are Not Who We Are  159
7. Three Images of Transformation as Homogenization  191
Part III. Must We Persist to Continue?
8. Apocalypse as a Theory of Change  229
9. Freaks or the Incipience of Other Forms of Life  249
Conclusion. Ratio feritas: From Critical Responsiveness to Making New Forms of Life  273
The End: Visions of Los Angeles, California, 2061  281
Notes  285
Bibliography  317
Index  341
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Honorable Mention, Foundations of Political Theory First Book Award, presented by the American Political Science Association.

Additional InformationBack to Top