Environmental Research in the Human Sciences

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Environmental Research in the Human Sciences

The aim of this new initiative is to develop a strong collaborative network on environmental issues between the three faculties which make up the Human Sciences Area at Stockholm University: Humanities, Law and Social Sciences. The university realises that the human factors driving on-going global environmental change cannot be fully understood without a Human Sciences perspective. Underlying the alarming changes which receive so much publicity are socio-cultural practices, the economic systems in which we produce and consume resources, and the politico-legal structures which permit and prevent action around the world. The human sciences have a unique contribution to make towards understanding the diversity and history of these contributory factors, as well as towards analysing how necessary change can come about.

To advance the Human Sciences’ ability to fulfil this role, we aim to develop a forum to bring voices, ideas and research together in a dialogue that crosses the disciplinary boundaries in and around our area. This is the mission of our new initiative. Through the on-going research of our five recently-hired postdoctoral researchers and the cross-faculty activities which they are undertaking, we will create a network of internal dialogue that can speak to academics from all backgrounds, within and outside Stockholm University, as well as to governments, and to the citizens that are and will be affected by living in the Anthropocene.

Foto credit:  Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Research Findings Seminar

In 2018, Stockholm University launched a strategic initiative to expand research on environmental issues. Now the project is drawing to a finish, and it's time to share research results and say goodbye.

Bokomslag

New book by Francesca Rosignoli

What does it mean Environmental Justice? What are the origins of this concept? Francesca Rosignoli’s essay seeks to answer those questions by mapping environmental inequalities ranging from the US to the EU.

Pastoralism

New Book on Pastoralism and Landscape Change

Postdoctoral Fellow, Eugene Costello, has recently published an important new book, Transhumance and the Making of Ireland’s Uplands, 1550-1900.

The rearing of cattle is today a fairly sedentary practice in Ireland, Britain and most of north-west Europe. But in the not-so-distant past it was common for many rural households to take their livestock to hill and mountain pastures for the summer. Moreover, ethnographic accounts suggest that a significant number of people would stay in seasonal upland settlements to milk the cows and produce butter and cheese. However, these movements all but died out in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, meaning that today transhumance is mainly associated with Alpine and Mediterranean landscapes.

This book is the one of the first major interdisciplinary studies of the diversity and decline of transhumance in a northern European context, with relevance for studies of fäbodar and säter in Scandinavia. Focusing on Ireland from c.1550 to 1900, it shows that uplands were valuable resources which allowed tenant households to maintain larger herds of livestock and adapt to global economic trends. And it places the practice in a social context, demonstrating that transhumance required highly organized systems of common grazing, and that the care of dairy cows amounted to a rite of passage for young women in many rural communities.

Dr Costello’s book is published by Boydell & Brewer. He would like to acknowledge the generous support of Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Stockholm University, the Irish Research Council, and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at University of Notre Dame.

Why a 17% emissions drop does not mean we are addressing climate change

A commentary by Larissa Basso.

Using narratives for strategic adaptation: lessons learned from COP21

In the midst of the current wave of climate protests under banners of Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, it is worthwhile to look back at past mobilizations of the climate movement, and to see what lessons can be learnt from them. Drawing on our recent study of the climate movement’s mobilization around COP21, published open access in the journal Theory and Society, we argue that today’s organizers would benefit from reflecting upon the use of shared stories about prior mobilizations when strategizing.

An article by Joost de Moor and Mattias Wahlström.

Climate action shouldn’t mean choosing between personal and political responsibility

We often treat the decisions to find alternative ways of living more sustainably and to pursue political resistance against big polluters and inactive governments as separate. But our recent research found that the relationship between alternatives and resistance is really far more complex. One can often lead to the other. But we also found that this doesn’t always happen and that bringing the two together can be difficult.

An article on climate action by Joost de Moor, Brian Doherty and Philip Catney.

Kan klimatflyktingen betraktas som flykting enligt FN:s flyktingkonvention?

Genom att använda sig av begreppet klimaträttvisa undersöker statsvetaren och juristen Francesca Rosignoli möjligheterna att inkludera klimatflyktingen i FN:s flyktingkonvention.

Wasteocene. Guerrilla Narrative and the embodied stratigraphies of toxic capitalism

Humans may live in the Anthropocene, but this does not affect all of them in the same way. How would the Anthropocene look if, instead of searching its traces in the geosphere, researchers would look for them in the organosphere, that is, in the ecologies of humans in their entanglements with the environment?

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