Climate fiction, climate theory: Decolonising imaginations of global futures

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The international politics of climate change invokes the imagination of various potential global futures, ranging from techno-optimist visions of ecological modernisation to apocalyptic nightmares of climate chaos. This article argues that most dominant framings of the future in climate policy imaginaries tend to be depoliticised and linear visions of universal, homogenous time, with little spatio-temporal or ecological plurality. This article aims to convince IR scholars of climate politics that Africanfuturist climate fiction novels can contribute to the decolonisation of climate politics through radically different socio-climatic imaginaries to those that dominate mainstream imaginations of climate futures. The Africanfuturist climate fiction novels of authors such as Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes and Doris Lessing imagine different spaces, temporalities, ecologies and politics. Reading them as climate theory, they offer the possibility of a more decolonised climate politics, in which issues of land and climate justice, loss and damage, extractive political economies and the racialised and gendered violence of capitalism are central.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-455
Number of pages26
JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2022


  • cambio climático
  • changement climatique
  • ciencia ficción
  • climate change
  • postcolonial theory
  • science fiction
  • science-fiction
  • teoría poscolonial
  • théorie postcoloniale


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