Unruly landscapes of environmental change: imagining a future Himalaya
Attempts at governing ecological crises are just that: attempts. Life is far too unruly to quietly acquiesce to control and management raising uncomfortable questions about how to respond to current anxieties about anticipating the future. By starting from the unruliness and uncontrollability of life, this paper explores the continuous (re)configurations of humans and non-humans required to accomplish governing through conceptual ideas of boundary making. A focus on boundary making helps create new insights into the complex, often unpredictable political, social, cultural and ecological terrains that result in order to contribute towards a posthuman ethics of environmental governance. Drawing from scholars of science and political ecologists who have long pointed out that knowing is not somehow separate from the worlds we create, and feminist work on power and recognition, the paper looks at how boundary making reflects the operation of power across scales. It shows how environmental change programs are caught up in the riotous, inadvertent contradictions of environmental governance. Action, imagination, naming, and everyday practices create lasting connections; they bring the world into being in a continuous and dynamic manner demanding that we develop a more than human ethics. Using a case study of Nepal, the paper works through the entanglements of forests, user-groups, geopolitics and efforts at responding to predictions of calamitous change to show how they are complicit in producing the dilemmas we face.
This event is part of the Social Life of Climate Change Seminar Series.
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