In These Critical Times: Of Monstrosity, Catastrophe, and the Future of Critique

Daniel Nyberg, Christian De Cock

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

38 Downloads (Pure)


In this essay, we argue that the climate catastrophe is the Monstrous disruption that opens the instituted and textual reality to an outside—overflowing planetary boundaries—whilst de-centring human beings as the assumed masters of the universe. This contradictory relation—an external force other than humans, contingent on humans—constructs a situation ripe for nostalgic yearning for certainty and truth-tellers. Across the globe, this takes the form of the Sovereign, who domesticates climate change into a shared phantasm upholding human mastery and exceptionalism while denying others’ agencies and experiences. The alternative, we suggest, is to stare into the abyss opened up by the climate catastrophe and support an affirmative critique of responsibility towards the other. This compliments the common negative form of critique in organization studies, but also suggests the end of the business school.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)151-181
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Climate change
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Monstrosity
  • Sovereignty
  • Critique

Cite this