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This book explores the ways that international politics is a form of interspecies politics, one that involves the interactions, ideas, and practices of multiple species, both human and nonhuman, to generate differences and create commonalities. While we frequently think of having an international politics “of” the environment, a deep and thoroughgoing anthropocentrism guides our idea of what political life can be, which prevents us from thinking about a politics “with” the environment. This anthropocentric assumption about politics drives both ecological degradation and deep forms of interhuman injustice and hierarchy.
Interspecies Politics challenges that assumption, arguing that a truly ecological account of interstate life requires us to think about politics as an activity that crosses species lines. It therefore explores a postanthropocentric account of international politics, focusing on a series of cases and interspecies practices in the American borderlands, ranging from the US-Mexico border in southern Texas, to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, to Isle Royale, near the US-Canadian border. The book draws on international relations, environmental political theory, anthropology, and animal studies, to show how key international dimensions of states—sovereignty, territory, security, rights—are better understood as forms of interspecies assemblage that both generate new forms of multispecies inclusion, and structure forms of violence and hierarchy against human and nonhuman alike.