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Thomas Hylland Eriksen

About the author
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is professor in the department of social anthropology at the University of Oslo. His books include What is Anthropology? (Pluto Press, 2004); Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010); and Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). His website is here

‘Surprisingly to many, the new humanism began with commonsensical ecological measures. In the early years of the 21st century, we were increasingly aware that we were running out of space. The global middle class began to think of waste as resources gone astray, gradually learning to see ourselves, and humanity, in ecological terms. We were complementary, not competitors; different, but equal. Based on ecological models, the new pluralism was flexible and sustainable, spreading like wildfire across the world when its potential was understood.’

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