Environmental Politics Section at the ECPR General Conference 2020

With the decision to hold the conference as a virtual event this year, we are happy to be able to have 10 panels – the time table will soon be published on the conference website – consider joining us there!

Panel title: Political parties and sustainability policies
Chairs: Lars Berker (University of Magdeburg), Aron Buzogány (BOKU Vienna/Free University Berlin)
Description: The goal of this panel is to bridging the party politics scholarship with the literature on the politics of sustainability. It is interested in papers answering, e.g., how specific party families address the challenges of sustainable development – on an ideological as well as a policy instrumental basis; how party systems change in the face of debates around sustainable development; and if sustainability policies are creating new cleavages.

Panel title: Private governance, corporate power and environmental politics in Europe
Chairs: Sandra Eckert (Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies/Goethe University Frankfurt), Andrea Lenschow (University of Osnabruck), Jan Pollex (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)
Description: This panel aims to address the present-day developments and implications of private governance and business power for environmental politics in the European Union. Its focus is on the role of private actors in the field of European environmental policy in light of multiple contrasting contexts.

Panel title: The politics of low carbon transformations: Exploring state and non-state relations in the post-Paris climate policy landscape
Chairs: Naghmeh Nasiritousi (Stockholm University), Jens Marquardt (Stockholm University)
Description: This panel seeks to explore opportunities for critical social science interventions examining the interplay between domestic and transnational climate initiatives in the quest for de-carbonization. It invites contributions conceptualizing the relationship between state and non-state climate action involving public and private actors; assessing the effectiveness and legitimacy of non-state climate action, and critically appraising the political impacts and transformative potential of transnational climate action.

Panel title: Climate change adaptation and the diffusion of innovative policies
Chairs: Jonas Schoenefeld, Kai Schulze (both Technische Universität Darmstadt & Institute for Housing and Environment)
Description: This panel will consider the conceptual and empirical nature of innovative adaptation policies, as well as the specific motivations and mechanisms of their diffusion and the context dependency of relevant drivers. It specifically focuses on actors and institutions, including their embeddedness in multi-level contexts (national, local, regional levels).

Panel title: ‘Green’ public = ‘green’ policies or vice versa?
Chairs: Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen (University of Berne), Christina Eder (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Description: This panel aims at better understanding the link between policies and public opinion. It welcomes comparative as well as one-country analyses on the congruence between and the change of public opinion and public policy on environmental issues, e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, recycling, energy, infrastructure, or transport. It particularly welcomes papers that contribute to the methodological challenges related to the endogenous relationship between public policies and public opinion.

Panel title: Illegal use of natural resources: conflicts, governance settings and policy response
Chairs: Daniela Kleinschmit, Sylvia Kruse (both University of Freiburg)
Description: This panel aims to provide an analysis of conflicts, governance settings and policy responses related to diverse forms of illegal use of natural resources, including illegal logging, fishing, mining or use of water. Presentations may take an international relations, public policy or environmental governance perspective covering diverse theoretical and conceptual schools of thoughts and methods.

Panel title: Environmental Struggles in the Global South Africa
Chair: Daniel Hausknost (Vienna University of of Economics and Business)
Description: This panel casts light on the role of the Global South in contexts of ecological struggles and climate change. The contributions study dynamics that occur within single countries or local communities, as well as relationships and power dynamics between countries from the Global South and North. More specific questions addressed include, under what conditions and how local communities mobilize around ecological issues; which actors are in what ways involved in dealing with environmental changes and resource conflicts; and what tensions seem to be arising from commonly used frames and vocabularies (such as growth as progress or colonial legacy). A crucial aspect discussed as well is the role of power asymmetries, e.g. of minorities versus powerful private or public actors, and of private or public actors from the Global South versus Global North.

Panel title: Politics for Catastrophic Times: How to Find the Terrestrial
Chair: Louise Knops (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Description: The Anthropocene is the geo-epoch in which we find ourselves today, a period of history that is characterized by the transformative impact of human activities on the global scale of geology. In recent years, the body of literature exploring the political consequences of this new historical reality has expanded tremendously. This opens a number of paths for reflection, some of which this panel is interested in investigating further. In particular, we have welcomed contributions that go beyond traditional approaches in social sciences by front-staging the Anthropocene as decisive contextual factor and considering “nature” no longer as décor of politics but as political actor in its own right. To this end, the panel gathers theoretical contributions which revisit democratic theory to re-imagine politics in the Anthropocene, and empirical contributions that present cases of movements prefiguring a terrestrial kind of politics.

Panel title: The diffusion (and preclusion) of environmental ideas, attitudes and actions
Chair: Kai Schulze (Technische Universität Darmstadt & Institute for Housing and Environment) Description: This panel explores various ways in which ideas, attitudes and actions with regard to climate change and environmental pollution develop and spread among individuals, organizations and general publics. Besides to the study of drivers and preventive factors, a particular focus is put on the role of connections and communication between different actors involved for climate change and environmental actions to spread.

Panel title: The Scope of and Limits to Social-Ecological Change through Grassroots Participation
Chairs: Mundo Yang (University of Siegen), Margaret Haderer (Vienna University of Economics & Business)
Description: The panel asks for theoretically and/or empirically grounded analyses of expected and unexpected outcomes of various forms of grassroots participation. The goal is to identify larger societal contexts and mechanisms that make, unmake, reconfigure, and block socio-ecological change pursued through grassroots participation. We also welcome reflections on which switch of gears in conception and strategy may help overcoming identified limits and barriers.