The Generic Politics of Extinction Rebellion:

Toward A Badiouian Conception of Environmental Politics


  • Evan Supple Athabasca University


Ontology, Badiou, Universality, Radical Politics, Ecology


In this paper, I argue that for an emancipatory environmental politics to be fundamentally distinct from the liberal democratic tradition, it must take the form of what Alain Badiou terms a ’truth procedure’. This form of processual politics structured around an affirmative norm disclosed by an Event — which I here claim to be the emerging ecological crises vis-a-vis modern States — and determined by what Badiou designates the generic will, has the potential to maintain a receptive and reciprocal relation with the environment within which it is situated. To justify this claim, I enlist Alain Badiou’s formalist ontology and political thought. I begin with an exegesis of the latter and then, following a discussion of what I designate as the ecological Event, proceed to introduce the environmental activism movement, Extinction Rebellion — one of the first examples of a Badiouian political truth procedure in the 21st century — to animate Badiou’s abstract political thought. By referencing Extinction Rebellion and its indubitable success, I demonstrate the contemporary relevance of Badiou’s politics and articulate why it ought to guide future environmental-political theories and praxes. In pleading this case, I simultaneously affirm the emancipatory potential that inheres in XR, giving heed to its ontological form.

Author Biography

Evan Supple, Athabasca University

Master's Candidate, Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty of Social Sciences and the Humanities



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How to Cite

Supple, E. (2021). The Generic Politics of Extinction Rebellion:: Toward A Badiouian Conception of Environmental Politics. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 340–364. Retrieved from