Tuesday, November 10th, 2009...3:40 pm

Call for Papers on Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation

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The Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences

Call for Papers on Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation

Arun Agrawal, Maria Lemos, Benjamin Orlove, Jesse Ribot

Workshops of ICARUS

We invite your participation in two linked ICARUS workshops on vulnerability and adaptation. The first will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Theory and Cases’, to be held 11-13 February 2010 at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. The second will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Methods and Cases’, and will be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 3-5 April 2010.

These workshops follow an initial planning meeting held at SNRE at the University of Michigan in Winter 2010. They are a part of a series of meetings sponsored by the newly established ‘Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences’ – ICARUS.  ICARUS intends to further the conversation and research on the subjects of climate vulnerability and adaptation. We are particularly interested to draw young scholars and advanced graduate students into the discussion, and welcome proposals to write and present theoretical and case-based papers at the workshops. A subset of papers presented at the first workshop will be invited for discussion at the second meeting after they have been revised by their authors in consultation with advanced scholars working on climate change.

Vulnerability and adaptation have emerged as key concepts in the social science literature on climate change. Both concepts have long inter-linked histories. Scholars of development and of crisis working on acute disasters and slowly unfolding hunger, famine and dislocation have contributed insights on the meanings and drivers of vulnerability. Development of systematic ideas about adaptation continues to occur in a variety of fields – in both the ecological and the social sciences. The ways these writings are applicable to understanding and intervening in climate-related stress, crisis and response remains a vigorous arena of discussion. In recent years there have been many calls (by IPCC, NSF, Stern Review and others) for greater social science engagement in climate research. ICARUS responds to these calls.

At the first we propose to hold several panels on “Theorizing Vulnerability and Adaptation” to help improve the understanding of these two inter-related concepts, identify theoretical frontiers, and to build frameworks and approaches that move beyond what is currently available. Panels will also feature empirical cases that help interrogate and illuminate these concepts. Some of the major themes around which we expect papers include:

  • Frameworks for understanding vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Forms, causes, and outcomes of vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Contextual conditions that affect vulnerability or the prospects for successful adaptation, with a particular focus on local particularities,
  • Politics, policies and policy processes relevant to vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Types of private and civic action to reduce vulnerability and support adaptation.

Selected papers from the workshops will be brought together to produce one or more edited volumes and/or special issues of journals. Coherent groupings of papers will also be invited to participate in a series of ICARUS panels at the Second International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions (ICID), a Rio+20 preparatory meeting focusing on climate and vulnerability issues to be held in Fortaleza, Brazil 16 to 20 August 2010.

The ICARUS workshops are sponsored by the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) Initiative of the Department of Geography, School of Earth Society, and Environment and Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and the International Forestry Resources and Institutions research initiative (IFRI) and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) of the University of Michigan. The workshop organizers have a small pool of funds to support participation in the two ICARUS meetings at University of Illinois and University of Michigan. Support will also be available from the ICID organizing committee for participation in the ICID 2010 conference.

Those interested in participating in the workshop and contributing papers on theories, frameworks, and empirical applications of the concepts of vulnerability and adaptation should submit their title, 150 word abstract, and contact information at the ICARUS website. For clarifications, contact icarus@icarus.info Additional information about the workshops will be circulated shortly, and will also become available at the ICARUS website.

Web Page: http://www.icarus.info/

E-Mail: icarus@icarus.info

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