Paper Sessions 1 – 3B

Paper Session 1: State and Environmental Politics

Thursday, May 20: 3:00 AM PDT / 11:00 AM BST / 3:30 PM IST

Chair: Maruška Svašek, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Constitutional Climate Litigation in the United States” | Valentina Dotto, Birmingham City University, UK

Abstract: The paper analyses the recent phenomenon of grassroots constitutional climate litigation to limit and redress the socio-ecological harm and disasters caused by climate change. In particular, it looks at how nonviolent civil resistance using adversarial legal tools can attain the articulation of new rights. Then it uses the history of the NAACP as a paradigmatic example of using constitutional litigation to achieve social and political change. Finally, it provides an in-depth analysis, using the case study of Juliana v. the United States, of constitutional legal actions from grassroots organizations protesting governments’ inaction on climate change.

    • “Recurrent Floods and Un/predictable Futures: Exploring Livelihood Issues in Flood affected areas of Eastern Uttar Pradesh” | Prashant Khattri, University of Allahabad, India

Abstract: The administrative and legal vocabulary of the state gives an impression that livelihood is a bureaucratic issue capable of being addressed through the state machinery involved in employment generation. On the ground however, Livelihood in disaster context is conceptualized within the social matrix of a village community. Securing livelihoods in disaster context becomes a function of traditional caste hierarchies and gender roles. This paper tries to examine the technocratic and bureaucratic arrangements vis-à-vis livelihoods, in the light of ethnographic data from the ground zero.

    • “Bookending Growth: Empire, Ecocide and Ireland” | John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Abstract: Sir William Petty, the 17th a century colonial administrator in Cromwell’s army in Ireland, was the first to articulate what we now can ‘economic growth’ as state policy. In this way, economic growth, ‘the greatest story never told’ in terms of its ubiquity and capacity to be a form of ideological ‘commonsense’, has its origins in colonial Ireland. Inextricably linked to empire, extractivism and capitalism, over the centuries economic growth has been a ‘core state imperative’, especially in the post-world war II cold war context. This paper surveys the historical and Irish roots and evolution of this concept, together with contemporary green critiques of economic growth.


Paper Session 2: Environment and Agency

Thursday, May 20: 4:30 AM PDT / 12:30 PM BST / 5:00 PM IST

Chair: John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Climate Change Action and Corporate Responsibility: An Opportunity in Crisis” | Samiksha Kanuajia and Vasudha Singh, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

Abstract: The response to climate change- from science and policy to action is taking many forms worth an inquiry.This paper evaluates how the politics of climate change have taken shape within the ambit of CSR and in what ways it provides opportunities to the corporate houses to re-position themselves in the face of ecological crisis and consequent socio-economic uncertainties to preserve self-interest and profit motive. Such an inquiry is important to deliberate on the deliverance of substantial and real improvements to the environment, people and communities and guiding appropriate strategies that aim at the root causes of the existing environmental issues.

    • “Understanding Un/Predictability through Urban Environmental Activism in Delhi, India” | Fizala Tayebulla, Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, Ambedkar University Delhi, India

Abstract: Across the global south the idea of a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant to manage waste is promoted by scientists as a win-win solution which handles the unwanted materials of cities while producing energy at the same time. Paying attention to the operations of a WtE plant in Delhi, this paper shows its unpredictable trajectories and unintended consequences. Not only does it create an environmental and public hazard, it also takes away the access to waste from the informal sector. This study explores the official narratives and competing visions that shape urban environmental advocacy within a wider context of a changing urban economy.

    • “Blue Revolution and the Politics of Resource Conflict: An Anthropological Study of Risk, Uncertainty and Livelihood Security of the Artisanal Fishers in Palk Bay Strait, Tamil Nadu, India” | Nidhi Rao, TERI School of Advanced Studies, India

Abstract: Blue revolution was a forceful attempt to modernize the Indian capture fisheries with an objective to uplift the poor fishing community and has led to emergence of different livelihood user group in fishery sector. The over exploitation of fish stocks concerns the accessibility and resource conflict among various user groups. This paper examines the risks and uncertainty involved in resource accessibility for artisanal community in Palk Bay, an area preponderated by trawlers. The study intends to analyze how power relations, politics and economic growth-centric development played a substantial role in marginalization of the artisanal fishing community of Palk Bay Strait.


Paper Session 3A: Environment in the Anthropocene

Thursday, May 20: 6:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM BST / 6:30 PM IST

Chair: Niamh Small, Queen’s University Belfast, UK


    • “Inclusive Horizon Scanning for Preventing Green Crime in Northern Ireland after Brexit” | Junesco Hwang, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Abstract: Fear has grown among environmentalists that Northern Ireland’s environment will become more vulnerable to criminal gangs who benefit from weak environmental regulations and enforcement after Brexit. Although detecting early signs of environmental crime – horizon scanning – plays a significant role in preventing large-scale environmental harms, Northern Ireland has in general failed to do so. To innovate environmental enforcement in Northern Ireland, one has to question why communities are left behind the scene of horizon scanning. This study aims to provoke ideas for ‘inclusive’ horizon scanning by emphasising the role of community participation in post-normal science.

    • “Impact of Climate Change and Human Activities on Socio-ecology of Gaddi Tribe of Western Himalayas” | Shivanshi Nehria and Abhik Ghosh, Panjab University Chandigarh, India

Abstract: Mountain regions are most affected by climate change. The present study assesses environmental changes due to human activities in tehsil Dharamshala and tehsil Chamba of Himachal Pradesh. The regions are fragile and prone to disasters. Concrete adaptive action has been taken in mountainous areas. Both the tehsil have Gaddi tribal population. The tribe is progressing with time but the region they are residing in is facing environmental changes. Human negligence concluded in various changes in their surroundings. The temperature has risen for the past decade.If the trend of disturbing the environment goes on then the area could face destruction in the coming years.

    • “Speculative Ecologies of Marine Change and Pollution as Emergent Matters of Care” | Sven Bergmann, Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum – German Maritime Museum, Leibniz Institute for Maritime History, Germany

Abstract: Studies of marine environmental change and pollution are concerned with uncertainty, speculative effects, and unpredictable (often slow) temporal impacts. Knowledge production is therefore complicated and raises questions of responsibility and environmental justice. For my presentation, I will use examples from ethnographic fieldwork, collaboration in research projects and museum exhibitions about marine pollution and transformation (e.g. input of microplastics and warfare agents in the ocean, effects of aquaculture, and transport of species via shipping). Thus, when unpredictability and the speculative are problematised, new matters of concern and care emerge.


Paper Session 3B: Environment and Society

Thursday, May 20: 6:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM BST / 6:30 PM IST

Chair: Prashant Khattri, University of Allahabad, India


    • “Locating ‘Unpredictability’ and ‘Environmental disaster’ in the Himalayas: Anthropological Reflections on Flash Floods of 2010 in Leh Ladakh” | Urfat Anjem Mir, Dr. Ambedkar University Delhi, and Sonar Joldan, Ladakh University, India

Abstract: This paper will present the anthropological reflections on flash floods of 2010 in Leh Ladkah, India. The main arguments of the paper are based on an ethnographic field study carried out by the authors in the immediate aftermath of flash floods in Leh Ladkah in the year 2010. While doing the analysis, the notion of “unpredictability” will be discussed in the context of Himalayan region of Ladakh and especially, how this environmental disaster in the high altitude cold desert region was understood by the local natives-directly affected by this event and the other stake holders? Precisely, the role of local anthropogenic causes in the devastation caused by flash floods will be discussed.

    • “Predicting Unpredictability: Examining Climate-induced Threats to Social Cohesion and Conflict Prevention in the Sahel” | Stephen Murray, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Abstract: Predictability is not a panacea for ensuring that climate related vulnerabilities can or will in any meaningful way be addressed. Focusing on climate induced threats to conflict prevention and social cohesion in the Sahel region this paper explores (un) predictability in complex crises with particular attention paid to inter-communal relations between transhumance-pastoralists and farming communities. The Sahel sits at the intersection of numerous mutually-exacerbating crises from terrorism, poor governance, famine, broad unemployment to climate threats, better understandings of (un)predictable in this environment and its populations represents a vital step towards addressing such crises.

    • Socio-material bricolage: co-design of institutions by materialities and society in Turkey | Adnan Mirhanoğlu, KU Leuven, Belgium

Abstract: Drip irrigation is often considered a compound technological solution for diverse problems in agriculture. However, little attention has been paid to the socio-material processes that play around the implementation of drip irrigation in community managed systems. Based on data collected through an ethnographic research on the introduction of drip irrigation in Ağlasun, a rural town in south-west of Turkey, the aim of this paper is to examine the socio-material effects in irrigation systems.
We investigate how the switch from surface irrigation to drip irrigation influences institutional arrangements, materialities and people’s practices.