Workshop | Spaceship Earth. A total institution

Popularised in the 1960s, “Spaceship Earth” has become a metaphor for the vision turned imperative that all inhabitants of planet Earth be harmoniously united in the mission to preserve their planet. In this talk, I shall draw on works by Niklas Luhmann, Michel Foucault, and Friedrich August von Hayek to argue that fashionable “missionary theories” of economy, society, and environment converge, and complement one another, in the pathologisation of economic and social institutions as well as of the natural environment. If successfully applied, the “missionary therapies” proposed by the self-acclaimed officers of our planet might indeed turn it into a well-tempered, healthy, and totally institutionalised ‘Spaceship Earth’, a vessel with no mission other than orbiting another celestial body. The question for discussion is what can be done to avert this fate and …

Registration for this talk at the King’s College London Centre for the Study of Governance and Society on 25 May 2023 is via this website.

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