Workshop on:
Politics of Adaptation to Environmental
Challenges in South Asia in the 21st Century

Organised by: Prof. Pamela Gwynne Price, Dept. of Archaeology, Conservation and History (IAKH), University of Oslo &
                      Prof. Arild Engelsen Ruud, Dept. of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo

Date: 7-9 November 2008

Venue: Soria Moria Hotel and Conference Center in a woods on the edge of Oslo, Norway

In the spring 2008 there was a review in the New York Times Book Review of a recent book by the renown economist Jeffrey Sachs: Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (Penguin 2006). The reviewer, Daniel Gross pointed out that the book provides no way for thinking about ”irrational” human behavior in the context of the current challenges.
Sachs seems to think that ”rational” pleas encompassed in knowledge will have necessary results.

The intent of this workshop is encourage discussion about possible methods and approaches for dealing with the unpredictable, political aspects of adaptation to climate change.

* * *

The workshop will bring together between 12–15 persons to present their ideas on this topic and discuss them with the group. Those who have completed research which they think fits criteria of relevance are invited to present a paper (30 pages or less). Others are asked to write between 3–10 pages for distribution to the group. There is also the possibility of presenting a project which one has worked up.

Some main points of departure for the workshop are: a) adaptation to environmental challenges requires both conventional and innovational forms of cooperation; b) our interest is in the politics of cooperation, at both local and state levels.

Some of the questions to be raised here are: a) does the issue of relevance encompass new types of topics in studies of political actions, structures and values? b) perhaps a task here is to publish and/or speak in some different arenas than are the usual scholarly targets?

Most of the participants in the workshop will be from the Nordic area (with the thought that the workshop could contribute to the formation of a Nordic Network on Environmental Challenges in South Asia).

At this point, persons who are planning to present in the workshop include:

From Uppsala University: Hans Blomkvist (political scientist)

From Lund University: Staffan Lindberg (sociologist), Pernille Gooch (human ecology), Sidsel Hansson (history of religions)

From Stockholm Resilience Centre: Jenny Grönwall (water and environmental studies)

From the University of Oslo: Arild Ruud, Pamela Price (anthropological historians); Karen O’Brien (human geography), Hal Wilhite (anthropology).

From the University of Bergen: Tor Aase (human geography)

From Lancaster University: Graham Chapman (political geographer)

From Cornell University: Ron Herring (political science)

From the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore: K.V. Raju

From Lokniti, Bangalore: Sandeep Shastri (political scientist)

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Last updated 2008-10-01