2011-2012 Climate & Society Seminars
The 2011-2012 Climate & Society Seminars featured Jesse Ribot (U-Illinois), Gal Hochman (Rutgers), Amy Lerner (Rutgers), and Phaedra Daipha (Rutgers).
Jesse Ribot, professor of Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
What are the local democracy effects of climate change interventions? Many natural resource reforms have ostensibly decentralized functions and powers to elected local governments. In implementation of these decentralizations, however, governments, international development agencies and large non-governmental organizations are avoiding democratic local government. While calling their projects participatory, decentralized or even democratic, they are instead choosing to transfer powers to a wide range of other local institutions, including deconcentrated agents, private bodies, customary authorities, committees, and NGOs. Choosing, and therefore recognizing, these other local institutions means that fledgling local governments are receiving few public powers and face competition for legitimacy. So, when do the institutional choices of intervening agents foster local democratic consolidation? When do they result in fragmented forms of local authority and belonging? This talk will draw a few illustrations from among cases on Benin, Brazil, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Russia, Senegal, and South Africa to explore effects of institutional choices and recognition on three dimensions of democracy: 1) representation, 2) citizenship, and 3) the public domain. The talk will finish by describing a new research program using the choice and recognition approach to study the effects of *REDD+ and adaptation interventions on local democracy in Africa.
For an overview of his work, read Dr. Ribot's editorial in Global Enironmental Change or his pdf working paper on democracy and decentralization.
Gal Hochman (Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics) - Climate change: who will take the heat?
March 9, 2012
Research on distributional effects of climate change mitigation. Read his working paper on the topic here.
Amy Lerner (postdoc, Geography) - Food security in the face of urbanization,livelihood shifts, and climate change: the example of Mexican maize
April 4, 2012 (cosponsored with Human Ecology)
Maize in Mexico is a basic staple and national cultural icon, despite shifting diets and widespread urbanization. Amy's talk will focus on factors affecting the persistence and demise of smallholder maize production in an expanding urban area outside of Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. The example of the Mexican maize system sheds light into the reconciliation of urban-ization, climate change, and food security which is increasingly gaining international attention.
Phaedra Daipha (Sociology) - Whose weather is it anyway? Communicating risk at the National Weather Service
April 20, 2012