Abstract

The classification of a new epoch in planetary history as the ‘Anthropocene’ is fundamentally changing the way we understand our political systems. Given the inherently political nature of human societies, the Anthropocene also has to be understood as a global political phenomenon. The paper elaborates on how the Anthropocene is changing societal interdependence relationships, and sketches foundations of an emerging new paradigm in the social sciences, ‘Earth System’ governance. The notion of Earth System governance is developed as both an analytical and a normative research problem that is of fundamental relevance for the disciplines of political science and governance studies.