Socially motivated divestment from the fossil fuel industry is occurring at a rapid rate. Banks, pension funds, universities, and philanthropic organizations around the world are divesting vast amounts of capital. Based on empirical data from face-to-face interviews with key divestment actors in the UK and Australia, this chapter explores the entanglements between the divestment and neoliberal assemblages. By approaching this topic through the analytical frame of assemblage, we highlight the perverse consequences arising from the mobilization of the responsible citizen subject through free market mechanisms. That is, whilst the divestment movement achieves its aims in disrupting flows of capital around the fossil fuel industry, it unwittingly reproduces neoliberalizing logics by reinforcing a shift away from the state as the key corporate regulator.
Published: April 2017