Ecofeminism as Politics is now a classic, being the first work to offer a joined-up framework for green, socialist, feminist and postcolonial thinking, showing how these have been held back by conceptual confusions over gender. Originally published in 1997, it argues that ecofeminism reaches beyond contemporary social movement ideologies and practices, by prefiguring a political synthesis of four-revolutions-in-one: ecology is feminism is socialism is postcolonial struggle. Ariel Salleh addresses discourses on class, science, the body, culture and nature, and her innovative reading of Marx converges the philosophy of internal relations with the organic materiality of everyday life.

This new edition features forewords by Indian ecofeminist Vandana Shiva and US philosopher John Clark, a new introduction, and a recent conversation between Salleh and younger scholar activists.

‘One of the most original and important thinkers in the international political ecology field. Salleh unveils the blind spot at the root of contemporary social and ecological crises and her lucid call for an “embodied materialism” enlightens like no other framework I know.’
Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; author of Designs for a Pluriverse

‘Neoliberalism has not eliminated poverty, nor discrimination of women, nor exploitation of the Earth; neither economists, politicians, nor theoreticians know a way out. Marxists ignore both nature’s and women’s contribution to the production of wealth, but as ecofeminists show, this is the lost key to building Another World.’
Maria Mies, ecofeminist activist and author of Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale

‘The combination of eco-socialist, feminist and decolonial perspectives is analytically and politically thrilling. Ecofeminism as Politics offers an integrative understanding of our world, its multiple processes and crises, and possibilities for change in the post-development era.’
Ulrich Brand, University of Vienna; co-author of Theorizing the Imperial Mode of Living

‘A powerful critique of both anthropocentrism and the androcentric thinking that permeates scholarship and activist discourses on the left. This social movement synthesis is an essential read for those seeking solutions to our deepening systemic crises.’
Jackie Smith, University of Pittsburgh; editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research

See: http://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/ecofeminism-as-politics/

See Contents

See Chapter 1 Ecology Re-Frames History


Heloise Thomas (2018) Review of Ecofeminism as Politics: Open Edition Journals (French. FR)

Louise Edwards (2000) 'Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx and the postmodern.', The Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 46, No. 2, 305-306.

Nigel Lee (2000) 'A Triple Review', Capital & Class, No. 72, 215-217.

John Barry (1998) 'The Emergence of Ecofeminist Political Economy', Environmental Politics, No. 7, 150-155.


1997 Edition

Ecofeminism as Politics (London: Zed Books/New York: Palgrave, 1997) travels laterally through topics such as globalisation and Green ideologies, gendered science and gene tech, Aboriginal land rights, the population debate, critical reflections on neo-liberalism and on Marx’s theory of value. Not surprisingly, it finds a home in environmental studies, history and philosophy of science, ethics, politics, sociology, cultural and women’s studies. Social movement researchers have here a history of ecofeminism as grassroots resurgence and literature.

The book sets out to destabilise the Western construct of humanity and nature as separate spheres. As ecofeminists see it, this eurocentric discourse reflects a gendered form of denial, whereby men are recognised as cultural and political subjects, but women are treated as closer to nature. Thus, in the search for sustainable futures, even critical traditions like Marx’s class analysis beg interrogation.

Ariel Salleh’s focus is a grouping that she names ‘meta-industrial workers’. These are housewives, peasants, indigenous peoples’ whose reproductive labours minimise risk and hold complex living systems together. Her ecofeminism is a politics embedded in specific skills and values an ‘embodied materialism’. At the psychological level, it is a political agency energised by the painful contradictory identity of being human and yet also a ‘natural resource’. This dialectical epistemology silences old criticisms of ecofeminism as essentialist.

The cover of this book features ‘Maralinga’ (1990), a fibreglass sculpture by the late Aboriginal artist Lin Onus. A mother and her child, fragile as cinders, face the blast of an atomic bomb at Maralinga in the South Australian desert. British experiments in the 1950s, maimed and displaced the Tjarutja people and decimated their sacred country. The original of this life size fibreglass work is housed in the Art Gallery of Western Australia, whose curator and the Onus family, granted permission for reproduction of the image on the cover of this book.


Chapter Translation

(2016) 'Pour un ecofeminisme international' in Emilie Hache (ed.), Reclaim: Recueil de textes ecofeministes. Paris: Editions Cambourakis/Sorcieres, 343-366

(2017) 'Le matérialisme incarné en action', Multitudes, Vol. 67, No. 2, 37-45: DOI:10.3917/mult.067.0037. (French transl. FR)

@ Ariel Salleh.