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Janet Biehl

Janet Biehl
Born (1953-09-04) September 4, 1953
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Institute for Social Ecology
Subject Social ecology
Literary movement Libertarian municipalism

Janet Biehl (born September 4, 1953),[1] is a political writer with a focus on libertarian municipalism[2] and social ecology, the body of ideas developed and publicized by Murray Bookchin. She also opposes eco-feminism.


  • Education 1
  • Career 2
  • Selected works 3
  • References 4


In 1986 she attended the Institute for Social Ecology and there began a collaborative relationship with Bookchin, working intensively with him over the next two decades in the explication of social ecology from their home in Burlington, Vermont.[3]


From 1987 to 2000 she and Bookchin co-wrote and co-published the theoretical newsletter Green Perspectives, later renamed Left Green Perspectives.[4]

She is the editor and compiler of The Murray Bookchin Reader (1997);[5] the author of The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (1998) and Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics (1991); and coauthor (with Peter Staudenmaier) of Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience (1995). She has also authored numerous articles about or related to Bookchin’s thought, especially libertarian municipalism, social ecology and eco-feminism. Bookchin considered her The Murray Bookchin Reader to be the best introduction to his work.

Biehl is a supporter of the Kurdish rights movement in Turkey. Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers' Party, had become an avid reader of Bookchin's work after he was captured and imprisoned in 1999 and tried to arrange a meeting with Bookchin before he died, but was unsuccessful. Following the 2006 death of Bookchin, Biehl became involved in pro-Kurdish activism. She has since translated the 2011 book Democratic Autonomy in North Kurdistan from German into English.[6]

In 2011 Biehl separated herself from social ecology, explaining that she could no longer advocate an anti-statist ideology, and reverted to her pre-1987 political identity as "what leftists call a social democrat".[7]

She has written a biography of Bookchin, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Selected works

  • Biehl, Janet (1991). Finding our way: rethinking ecofeminist politics. Montreal New York: Black Rose Books.  
  • Biehl, Janet (1995). Ecofascism: lessons from the German experience. Edinburgh San Francisco: AK Press.  
  • Biehl, Janet (1998). The politics of social ecology: libertarian municipalism. Montreal Buffalo, New York: Black Rose Books.  
  • Biehl, Janet (2011). Mumford Gutkind Bookchin: the emergence of eco-decentralism. Porsgrunn, Norway: New Compass.  


  1. ^ "Biehl, Janet, 1953-". Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 January 2015. data sheet (b. 9-4-53) 
  2. ^ Biehl, Janet (1 January 1999). "The politics of social ecology: libertarian municipalism (ch. 1)". Article archive ( 
  3. ^ "Janet Biehl: Short Biography & Selected Works". Canto Libertário. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Left Green Perspectives (1988-1998)". Institute for Social Ecology. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Biehl, Janet. "The Murray Bookchin Reader: Introduction". Anarchy Archives. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Xulam, Kani (6 January 2014). "Turkish Iron Kettles and Kurdish Clay Pots". Rudaw English. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Biehl, Janet (April 13, 2011). "Biehl breaks with social ecology". Institute for Social Ecology. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
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