Empire is best understood not as a singular territorial or economic entity or an arrangement of flows and accumulation of stocks but, rather, as a type of rule. That is, it is the relationships between ruler and ruled, and the mechanisms of rule, that are important in contemporary discussions of “empire.” In today's American Empire, we see the mixing of two forms of rule: what is often called “neo-liberal institutionalism” with “new sovereignty.” In this commentary, I discuss the implications of such rule for global environmental politics.

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