Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right, 15-17 Nov 2019

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right

Lund University, 15-17 November 2019
www.pefr.hek.lu.se

An interdisciplinary academic-activist conference organized by the Human Ecology Division at Lund University in collaboration with The Zetkin Collective and CEFORCED at Chalmers University

Far-right political parties, ideologies and social movements are increasingly exercising influence across the world. At the same time, ecological issues, such as climate change, deforestation, land use change, biodiversity loss, and toxic waste are intensifying in their urgency. What happens when the two phenomena meet? How, when and why do they intersect? How are party and non-party sectors of the far right mobilizing ecological issues and discourses to their advantage, whether through championing or rejecting environmentalist claims? What are the ecological underpinnings of far-right politics today? This understudied topic forms the basis of this interdisciplinary conference on the political ecologies of the far right.

From Trump and Bolsonaro to the Sweden Democrats and AfD, a radical anti-environmentalism is most often championed by the contemporary far right. This stance resonates with a conspiratorial suspicion of the state, science, elites, globalism, and supposed processes of moral, cultural and social decay. This is most clearly pronounced in climate change denialism and defense of fossil fuels, which have undergone a global resurgence in recent years. But the same position is also articulated in, for example, anti-vegetarianism or opposition to renewables. How can we understand the causes of far right rejection of environmentalism and environmental concerns where it occurs? What broader ideologies, interests, psychologies, histories, narratives and perceptions does it reflect? What might the implications be for ecological futures if far-right parties continue to amass power? How can the climate justice and other environmental movements and anti-racist, anti-fascist activism converge and collaborate?

On the other hand, it is an inconvenient truth that there is a long-standing shadowy legacy of genealogical connections between environmental concern and far-right thought, from links between conservation and eugenics in the early national parks movement in the US, to dark green currents within Nazism. Hostility to immigration informed by Malthusian thinking and regressive forms of patriotic localism have often surfaced in Western environmentalism. Today, the mainstream environmental movement is more usually aligned with leftist, progressive policies, yet the conservative streak that always lies dormant in overly romanticized conceptions of landscape and nature, or fears about over-population, lie ripe for mobilization in new unholy alliances between green and xenophobic, nativist ideologies. In what forms does this nexus appear around the world today and with what possible consequences? What frames, linkages and concerns are central to eco-right narratives? How can environmental thinking ward off the specter of green nationalism?

How to apply:

The conference aims to bring together not only scholars working at the interface of political ecology and far right studies but also activists from environmental, anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and movements. We believe there is still much work to do to bring together these often separate strands of scholar and activist work together, and much opportunity for collaboration, mutual learning, and networking. This conference aims to hold a space for such engagement.

Scholars: We welcome contributions from all disciplines (geography, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, cultural studies, sustainability studies, STS, philosophy, art history, media studies, communication studies, et cetera). Apart from individual papers, we also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.

Activists: At least one day of the conference (Sunday – TBC) will focus on activist practices, with an emphasis on sharing and developing ideas and synergies between green and anti-fascist thinking and working, and on ways to collectively prevent a scenario of ‘ecological crisis meets fascist populism’. We invite activist groups and individuals to submit proposals for workshops, discussions, and presentations.

In line with recent calls for radical emissions reductions at Swedish universities, we encourage prospective participants to consider other travel options than aviation if possible. We are also open to presentations via video link.

Submission of abstracts: Please send abstracts (max. 350 words) to pefr@hek.lu.se by Thursday 16th May. There are a limited number of travel bursaries available (we will prefer non-aviation means where possible) for those who are most in need of support. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• climate denialism/climate change, fossil fuels and the far right
• anti-environmentalism of far right
• linking environmental, anti-fascist, anti-racist activism and social movements
• ‘cultural marxism’, conspiracy theories and the environment
• gender, sexuality, the far right and environment (eco, hegemonic or industrial masculinities, anti-feminism, normative heterosexuality, patriarchy)
• renewable energy, vegan/vegetarianism, animal rights, agriculture, toxic waste, land use change, biodiversity extinction, pollution etc and the far right
• environmental science, epistemology and the far right
• racism, xenophobia, nature, conservation, ecology, wilderness and far right
• whiteness as/and ‘endangered’ species
• scenarios of a far-right ecological future
• religion, ecology and the far right
• populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, alt-right, far right
• greenwashing, industry links, capital and funding for the far right and links with environmental issues
• far right narratives on development, progress, and futures and their ecological conceptualization
• environmental history of green ideas in far right politics
• dark green histories and genealogies of environmentalism
• infiltrations of and unhappy alliances between the contemporary far right and environmentalists
• ecofascism, bio-nazism, green nationalism
• psychologies, affects, emotions, private lives of the ecologies of the far right
• historical legacies of ecologically unequal exchange and racial capitalism

Irma Kinga Allen
Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellow, ENHANCE ITN
Environmental Humanities Laboratory
Division of History of Science, Technology and EnvironmentKTH – Royal Institute of TechnologyTeknikringen 74D, 5th Floor, Office 1545, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Environmental Justice MOOC starting 11 March

EJ MOOC publicity photo

This free 5 week online course is open to everyone around the world. Understand how climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation affect people, exploring justice in environment management.

Learn with the University of East Anglia’s Global Environmental Justice Group – an interdisciplinary mix of scholars interested in social justice and environmental change.

Hear from activists around the world, and share your own experiences with other learners from many different backgrounds. The teaching is available in Spanish as well as English.

Join now! www.futurelearn.com/courses/environmental-justice

Contact: gej.group@uea.ac.uk

Twitter: @GEJGroup_UEA

Job opportunity: Professor of Climate Change and Societal Impacts

The Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change at the Faculty of Environmental, Regional and Educational Sciences (University of Graz) is seeking to appoint a

Professor (f/m) of Climate Change and Societal Impacts 

(40 hours per week; permanent employment according to the Austrian Law on Salaried Employment (AngG); planned starting date March 1st 2020) 

We are looking to appoint a full professor (f/m) who will form and lead a new research group “Climate Change and Societal Impacts“. This endowed chair and the new group will be part of the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change and will be embedded in and benefit from the University´s interdisciplinary Field of Excellence “Climate Change and Sustainable Transformation”. https://jobs.uni-graz.at/content/C_PR_EN_ClimateChange.pdf

As a group leader, the professor will have the opportunity to develop an innovative line of research related to the transformation to a low carbon and climate robust society. We expect research with a strong theoretical foundation. We are seeking an outstanding scholar, with a proven track record, preferably with a background in the social sciences (e. g., sociology, psychology, political science) who has experience in working with researchers in the natural sciences or engineering (e. g., geosciences, physical climate science, life sciences). Alternatively, we are open to receive applications from researchers with a background in natural sciences who have a proven record of working in the area of social sciences. We are looking for an internationally oriented, ambitious, yet collegial scholar who shares our dedication for climate change research and will contribute to Wegener Center’s collaborative research. The selected candidate has been successful in acquiring third-party funds as well as has experience in international research collaboration. He/she is expected to initiate and strongly engage in interdisciplinary research projects. The position includes teaching and supervision responsibilities and offers possibilities for developing innovative learning formats. In addition, we expect gender mainstreaming competence.  
Should you require any further information on the perspective or background please do not hesitate to contact  karl.steininger@uni-graz.at.
Please submit your applications stating the reference numberBV/2/98 ex 2018/19 by March 13th 2019 at the latest. For information about the application procedures and other prerequisites, please visithttps://jobs.uni-graz.at/en/BV/2/98.

Job opportunity: Academic assistant, Environment and sustainable development

The Institute of Development Policy (IOB) of the University of Antwerp wants to contribute to a more just and sustainable world through multidisciplinary academic research, education, partnerships and political engagement. More information about the institute and its activities can be found at www.uantwerp.be/iob.

The Institute of Development Policy (IOB) is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy for an

Academic assistant in the area of “environment and sustainable development”

Job description

  • Your research and societal service delivery is situated in the field of development processes, actors and policies, with particular attention to their nexus with global-to-local environmental/climate change governance processes. Your research focus matches the research line “Environment and Sustainable Development”.
  • Your research studies how the economics and politics of conservation and the environment intersect within the context of globalization, often resulting in social-environmental conflicts. You pay particular attention to the (local and global) environmental justice aspects of contemporary (market-based) environment-development policy frameworks, such as carbon and biodiversity markets, Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and/or Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES).
  • Geographically, you focus on Central/Latin America.
  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in development studies in this domain (appr. 50% of your time).
  • You contribute to the strengthening of the research line, i.a. through joint research and outreach activities and collaborating in applications for externally funded research grants.
  • You assist in teaching assignments within the framework of the IOB master programs.
  • Your research adopts a multidisciplinary perspective, includes fieldwork and uses a combination of qualitative (and, preferably, also quantitative) methods, in accordance with the IOB Research Strategy 2017-2022.
  • IOB PhD regulations allow joint or double PhDs degrees.
  • Your work includes activities of societal outreach.
  • You actively support the cooperation of IOB with its partner institutes in the South, in particular in Central America.
  • You function well in groups and you are willing to contribute to the service delivery to IOB, to the University of Antwerp and the wider society.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in development studies or in related social science disciplines (preferably with a proven interest in political ecology, human geography and/or ecological economics).
  • Your work is preferably interdisciplinary in nature and preferably engages with a combination of methodological approaches.
  • You obtained outstanding academic results.
  • You preferably have experience with development processes in the South.
  • The focus in your teaching corresponds to the educational vision of the university.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative, social and cooperative.
  • You are fluent in English and Spanish. Knowledge of other relevant languages is a plus.

We offer

  • an appointment as an academic assistant for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal twice for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;
  • the date of appointment will be 1 September 2019;
  • a full time gross monthly salary ranging from € 3.338,21 tot € 5.649,28;
  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.

How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online, until the closing date 24 March 2019.
  • The application must be completed with a PhD research proposal (appr. 1000 words) and an argument (appr. 500 words) how this proposal can strengthen the profile of the research line and of the IOB profile in general. This document must be submitted in English.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel. The selection interview will take place on 2 May 2019.
  • More information about the application form can be obtained at vacatures@uantwerpen.be.
  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact prof. dr. Gert Van Hecken (Tel. +32 3 265 56 85; Gert.vanhecken@uantwerpen.be).

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

CFP: SUSTAINABILITIES panel// DGSKA conference in Konstanz 2019, Germany

Workshop of the RG Circumpolar Regions and Siberia:

Sustainabilities’, Or The Politics of a Many-Faced Concept

Undoubtedly, ‘sustainability’ has become a widely used buzzword not only in our daily lives, but also on both domestic and international political stages. With regard to the Circumpolar North, it has recently been suggested that “sustainability research in the Arctic has moved to the forefront of intellectual and policy realms” (Petrov et al. 2016: 166).

Historian Jeremy Caradonna remarked that the concept of ‘sustainability’ (‘Nachhaltigkeit’) emerged in the context of conflicts over resources, especially wood, induced by the proto-industrialist economies of Early Modern Europe at the beginning of the 18th century (Caradonna 2014). He did not pay, however, much attention to the political effects of this particular development. In contrast, historian Joachim Radkau argued that the articulation of ‘Nachhaltigkeit’ essentially relates to the emergence of the modern, bureaucratic state and that therefore the invocation of ‘sustainability’ has to be understood in clearly political terms (Radkau & Schäfer 1987; Radkau 2011).

In line with this rather critical stance towards ‘sustainability’, we propose to shift attention to the politics  of its invocation: What are the consequences of the introduction of the concept in specific ethnographic settings? What kinds of actors are mobilized and what types of alliances are formed (e.g. NGOs, governmental organizations etc.)? How do these actors deal with potentially different notions of ‘sustainability’? How does ‘sustainability’ relate to the emergence of intensive resource extraction and the (colonial) bureaucratic state? To what extent do invocations of ‘sustainability’ shape the discursive frames of political processes, limiting the field of potential articulations of ‘collectivity’?

The proposed workshop explicitly attempts at breaching narrow regional as well as disciplinary perspectives and therefore welcomes contributions not only from other parts of the globe, but also from related disciplines.

Please note that the “two-role” rule applies to presentations, the organisation of workshops or roundta­bles, and the role of discussant: each conference participant is allowed to take on roles in a maximum of two categories (presentation, discussant, the organisation and chairing of a workshop or roundtable); it is not possible to take on two roles in the same category.

Please send a text of max. 1.200 characters (incl. spaces) and also a short version of max. 300 characters (incl. spaces) directly to the workshop organizer(s). Deadline: 02/15/2019

ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: Andreas Womelsdorf:  aawomelsdorf@gmail.com