SASE 2022 – TH14 – Conférence : The Political Economy of Climate Change

Climate Change is one of the defining issues of the 21st century. Humans are being challenged to find a set of policies, practices, and standards of behavior that provide long-term economic opportunities and improved quality of life around the world while maintaining a sustainable climate and viable ecosystems. At the core of how we collectively respond to this challenge are questions of global governance and coordination and political activism arrayed against the organized opposition of large sectors of the world economy like energy extraction and energy production, agriculture, and mining. Governments and communities who depend on these activities for their principal forms of revenue and employment are dug in to oppose efforts at climate mitigation. Put bluntly, the issue of whether and under what conditions capitalism can meet this challenge, and what alternatives to capitalism might look like, is at stake. The purpose of our mini-conference is to explore these themes in order to better understand what is going on and what might be possible.
We can think of no other issue that embeds all of these features of our current politics. In addition to addressing possibilities and limits of actions to decarbonize the economy, the social sciences also have an important role to play in better understanding the human dimensions of climate change’s physical impacts and designing strategies for adapting to these negative consequences. Climate change raises major questions of equity concerning how poor and marginalized communities, who have so far borne the brunt of disasters and other climate-driven risks, will cope with the increased pace of change. It also considers how developing countries with more vulnerable populations will suffer in the near future, promoting new waves of migration and social conflict.

We are interested in papers that consider political economy, corporate responses to the climate challenge, the role of markets and financial institutions, social movements and NGOs, cultural and meaning systems, macro-comparative policy research, technological innovations, and the social organization of science and science policy. We are also interested in work that tries to make sense of the social and political effects of climate change including issues like environmental justice, disaster research, impacts on labor, human health, security and conflict, and social demography with some attention to migration. Finally, we are interested in contributions that try and reference ongoing successful and unsuccessful efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


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