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Environmental struggles in North and South: Plurality and politics of justice - Call for papers




Environmental struggles in North and South: Plurality and politics of justice
- Call for papers -

Thomas Sikor, Global Environmental Justice Group, University of East Anglia
Saskia Vermeylen, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

The conference
UEA’s Global Environmental Justice Group and Lancaster Environment Centre will jointly organize a conference on the plurality and politics of environmental justice on 26-27 June 2015 in Norwich, UK. The idea motivating this conference is a simple one: Many of us want our work to serve social justice. In our papers, we commonly invoke the hope that the insights will contribute to the development of just futures. However, we also understand that it is often not clear what justice actually means in a particular context. Moreover, when we listen to people, we realize that justice tends to mean different things to different people. Some notions of justice become influential, whereas others get lost.
This conference will examine the plurality and politics of justice. By plurality, we refer to the multiple meanings of justice in specific contexts. These connotations may differ across the three dimensions of justice – distribution, participation and recognition. They may also vary with regard to the social actors considered to be subjects of justice (e.g. individuals, social groups, generations) and the political-legal institutions expected to realize justice (e.g. nation state, customary leaders, transnational courts). Yet if notions of justice are plural, the question arises about which notions – and whose notions – find traction in public discourse, and how some social actors are able to promote certain notions, whereas other actors and notions are not heard. Some justice conceptions may even get hegemonic in dominant discourses of national development or environmental management or institutionalized in governance arrangements and assemblages, thereby marginalizing others.

Paper proposals
We invite paper proposals that examine the plurality and politics of justice in particular settings from empirical or normative perspectives. We aim to attract contributions covering a wide variety of empirical settings, including studies operating at the local, national and global level, originating from the Global North and South, and analysing a diverse set of environmental and natural resource problems. In addition, we encourage submissions from all related academic disciplines, including but not confined to environmental studies, anthropology, political ecology, geography, science and technology studies, international relations, and international political economy.

Conference format and output
We will restrict the number of paper presentations, invite discussants and circulate draft papers in advance to facilitate in-depth exchange among all participants. Our goal is to produce a special journal issue and/or edited volume from the conference papers.

Keynote speakers

Tor Arve Benjaminsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Ryan Holified, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
David Schlosberg, The University of Sydney
Astrid Ulloa, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Important deadlines
Please send paper proposals (up to 500 words, including the author’s name, affiliation and email address) to by December 19, 2014. We will inform authors about the acceptance of their paper proposals by January 9, 2015. Full papers are to be submitted by May 29, 2015 for circulation to the conference participants.