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Climate Justice Public lecture Series - Spring 2023


A Public Lecture Series organized by: Graduate School of Social Sciences and PRECURBICA, University of Basel and History of the Anthropocene, University of Zürich


While the climate crisis is planetary in scale, it is obvious that its effects impact life on earth extremely unequally, with the largely ‘developed’ economies in the global North causing the bulk of climatogenic emissions, while the effects of climate change are, so far, more harshly felt in the global South. Yet it is often populations and communities in ‘developing countries’ that are chastised for their ‘adaptation deficit’, and become the targets of development interventions to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience. Parts of the global South are in the process turned into experimental labs for climate adaptation. A climate justice approach, by contrast, centres the analysis around how climate risk, natural hazards and environmental disasters impact communities unevenly along historically constituted and locally contingent socio-economic fault-lines. It also allows for a historical perspective on the making of climate science, carbon markets and fossil capitalism. A justice-centric approach allows us to keep at the forefront how social inequalities shape how people anticipate, plan, and build for climate change in very diverse ways. This public lecture series organised jointly by the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Urban Studies at the University of Basel and the Chair for the History of the Anthropocene at the University of Zurich aims to promote a conversation across disciplines to bring together students, faculty, and practitioners/activists to think through the thorny epistemological, ethical, and analytical challenges of social science research on the Anthropocene, and how a focused conversation on the interface of climate and capitalism studies approach might help tackle such issues. Speakers will reflect upon how a justice-centred approach can be fruitfully integrated into research design and practice, analysis, and knowledge transfer beyond academic audiences.