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Enacting Environments: An Ethnography of the Digitalisation and Naturalisation of Emissions

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesisResearch

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Enacting Environments is an ethnography of the midst of the encounter between corporations, sustainable development and climate change. At this intersection 'environmental management' and 'carbon accounting' are put into practice. Purportedly, these practices green capitalism.
Drawing on fieldwork of day-to-day practices of corporate environmental accountants and managers, Ingmar Lippert reconstructs their work as achieving to produce a reality of environment that is simultaneously stable and flexible enough for a particular corporate project: to stage the company, and in consequence capitalism, as in control over its relations to an antecedent environment. Not confined to mere texts or meetings between shiny stakeholders co-governing the corporation – among them some of the world's biggest auditing firms, an environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) and standards – control is found to be distributed across as well as limited to a myriad of practical work situations, involving spreadsheets and slide shows. Carbon accounting takes place in the midst of docile as well as dissident humans and nonhumans. As a result of this analysis, Enacting Environments establishes how carbon emission facts are produced and co-configure climate change realities. Ingmar Lippert argues: within capitalism, environment does not exist in the singular but in the plural; and these environments are not existing out there to be read off some anterior Nature but they are brought into social, economic and political existence in the practices of accounting for them.
Providing a portfolio of methods to study techno-managerial engagement with carbon, Ingmar Lippert shows how much is overlooked in received theories of corporate environmental accounting, theories of the performativity of environmental economics and, ultimately, the epistemic and ontic effects of fact-making in the heart of neoliberal capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAugsburg
PublisherUniversity of Augsburg
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

The thesis is published by University of Augburg in 2013, but without ISBN. 9.8.2014 haal

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    Research areas

  • carbon accounting, Actor-Network theory, environmental sociology, Science and Technology Studies

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