Assistant Professor, 'Head of CEVES'
Øster Farimagsgade 5, Postboks 2099, 1014 København K, CSS - Bygning 16, Opgang i, Building: 16.1.58
1353 København K
Title: Common ground in risk society?
- Sociological perspectives on global climate change, risk communities and trans-local solidarity
It is now commonly accepted that the world is facing a range of serious environmental challenges of global reach. Global warming in particular, projected to lead to future treats against nature and society, is already causing widespread concern, political conflicts, and changes in social norms. This challenges the natural as well as the social sciences. So far, however, the contributions of sociology to understanding the social dynamics of global climate change have been sparse.
This research project explores the idea that global climate changes may be analyzed in sociological terms of risk and solidarity. As such, they embody what German sociologist Ulrich Beck has dubbed 'risk society': the world finds itself confronted by the unwanted side-effects of industrial society. The research focuses on changes in social norms, practices and 'imagined communities' in the wake of climate change. Will climate change give rise to new risk- and solidarity-based communities between people living at great distances from each other, geographically as well as socially?
As a socio-political problematique, climate change may lead to widespread conflicts in the future. At the same time, however, it opens up horizons of new 'cosmopolitan' identities, as citizens of the world carrying responsibilies towards humans and environments. This project investigates the possibilities of emergence for new 'climate risk communities'. Empirically, it focuses on how cities and urban communities address global climatic concerns in the shared designs of everyday inhabitation. As such, the project seeks to further theories of 'world risk society' in the direction of socio-material transitions towards sustainability.
Primary fields of research
Sociology of knowledge
Science and technology studies (STS)
Theory of science in sociology
French pragmatic sociology
Science and technology studies
Sociology of environment and climate
Urban and architectural sociology