Environmental Humanities

Everyday Militarisms and Climate Emergency

Militarism is part of our everyday environmental, cultural and social worlds.

Photo by Shutterstock, ID: 1616217322.

The militarisation of everyday life has arguably become so banal that we barely notice it, even as it has pushed some of the great social, environmental and cultural shifts of recent generations. From the advent of the internet and the mechanization of human labour, to facilitating physical and visual access to once unfathomable environments (such as the deep sea and outer space), to the ubiquity of chemical compounds in both human and non-human bodies, militarisms are everywhere. Military legacies, infrastructures, and technologies continue to shape and reshape possibilities for planetary futures.

Recently, increasing attention has turned to the entanglements between militarisation and more-than-human worlds. For example: How are military technologies called upon to help address questions ranging from species conservation to climate change? How are extractive industries tethered to the military industrial complex? How do toxic legacies of war both foreclose and make possible the flourishing of different kinds of life? How does our understanding of “security” necessarily shift in the Anthropocene epoch, when any separation between human cultures and natural worlds is fundamentally untenable?

The project will focus our everyday militarisms lens on the question of climate emergency. Research will delve into the ways in which climate emergency becomes militarised, both in responses to crisis and in the discourses we use to address it. Also, in how climate catastrophe is taken up within military institutions and structures. The project poses the question: what possibilities exist for a military response that resists authoritarian, masculinist, or technocratic tactics?

The project team have established key partnerships with the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) and researchers at the UC Davis Critical Militarization, Policing, and Security Studies research group.

This is associated with the The Everyday Militarisms research collaboratory between the University of Sydney and University of California Davis. Through events and research  artists, activists, researchers and other professionals are brought together to generate new perspectives and dialogue on the ways in which militarisms are inseparable from everyday life.