Assemblages without systems: From the problem of fit to the problem of composition

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6 Scopus citations


Briassoulis’ work is an invitation to think human responses to environmental degradation by means of assemblage theory. Introducing an analytical position beyond positivist and constructivist conceptualizations of ecological systems, Briassoulis’ article redirects our attention to the situated practices of assembling the heterogeneous actors that shape socio-natural environments. The consequences of such move, however, are not fully followed through. The notion of socio-ecological systems remains unchallenged, as response assemblages (RAs) are imagined to be constituted within such systems. The effectiveness of RAs is assessed in evolutionary terms by focussing on their ‘fit’, thus positing nature as their ultimate arbiter. By addressing these issues, this article prepares the ground for studying the cosmopolitics of RAs as involving an experimental practice aimed at composing the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-191
Number of pages6
JournalDialogues in Human Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • actor–network theory
  • assemblages
  • composition
  • ecology
  • systems


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