Keynote 4

Embracing Mutual Vulnerability in a Time of Planetary Crisis and Uncertainty

Friday, May 21: 9:30 AM PDT / 5:30 PM BST / 10:00 PM IST

Peter F. Cannavò, Hamilton College, U.S.A.

Bio: Peter F. Cannavò is Professor of Government at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He is the author of TheWorking Landscape: Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place (The MIT Press, 2007), and co-editor, with Joseph H. Lane, Jr., of Engaging Nature: Environmentalism and the Political Theory Canon (TheMIT Press, 2014). He is currently working on To the Thousandth Generation: The Green Civic Republican Tradition in America, under contract with The MIT Press.

Abstract: Climate change and global pandemics are forcing contemporary society to deal with radical uncertainty about the immediate and long-term future. Ongoing changes and crises in our social and physical environment threaten societies’ capacities to organize themselves and build and maintain effective infrastructure. Such crises unfortunately create an opportunity for those with authoritarian ambitions. Alternatively, though, we may draw on our shared vulnerability in the face of crisis and uncertainty to advance a civic republican framework of mutual aid, non-domination, and democratic engagement. Such a society can be more equitable, humane, and resilient in dealing with turbulent times ahead.