AAG 2014 Call For Papers – Climate justice: interrogating an emergent discourse


UPDATE 22 Oct 2013: There are still a few slots remaining to fill a second session. Please get in touch if you are interested!


Session organizers: Gareth Edwards (University of St Andrews, UK) and Sara Fuller (Macquarie University, Australia)

— Sponsored by the Ethics, Human Rights and Justice Specialty Group and the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group —

In both academic and policy circles, climate justice is emerging as an important concept guiding both mitigation and adaptation. While the early academic literature focussed on international and intergenerational questions of distributive justice in the context of intergovernmental climate change negotiations (e.g. Gardiner, 2004; Paavola & Adger, 2006; Parks & Roberts, 2010), more recent engagements have broadened our understanding. This has included research examining climate justice at a range of scales, such as cities (Bulkeley et al., 2013; Steele et al., 2012) geographical or imagined communities (Chatterton et al., 2013; Barrett, 2013) and individuals (Harris, 2010) while also broadening its theoretical bases to include concepts such as participation and recognition. Yet so far these interventions—which have come from disciplines including geography, political science, philosophy, law, development studies and economics—have remained fragmented, even as climate justice has become increasingly prominent in the discursive formulations of social and environmental NGOs and government actors, and has begun entering the mainstream geographical lexicon (Burnham et al., 2013a, 2013b).

As a result, a number of research questions remain open for interrogation. Is climate justice merely an extension of environmental justice, as Schlosberg (2013) suggests, or is it something more? What scale should climate justice be pursued at? Which actors are mobilizing climate justice and why? Why has it risen to prominence? And what would climate justice look like if it were achieved? This session seeks to examine these and related questions in order to open up the geographical debate on climate justice and stimulate a more rounded understanding of this important discourse. We are interested in both theoretical and empirical papers which:

  • Develop the theorization of climate justice and its relationship to related bodies of scholarship (e.g. environmental justice, political ecology)
  • Provide evidence of how climate justice is being mobilized in relation to adaptation/mitigation in different geographical contexts
  • Explore the multiple actors and discourses mobilizing climate justice (e.g. NGOs, governments, communities and corporations)
  • Move beyond North/South binaries to develop a more nuanced approach to theorizing and evaluating climate justice, perhaps drawing on notions such as agency, governmentality, uneven development and power

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Gareth Edwards (gase@st-andrews.ac.uk) and Sara Fuller (sara.fuller@mq.edu.au) by Friday 11th October 2013. Accepted submissions will be contacted by Friday 18th October 2013 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by 23rd October 2013 which is the earlybird registration deadline. Please note that conference registration fees must be paid before the online submission of abstracts.