Perhaps like many of you, I’m frustrated that the discipline of political science is for the most part sleeping walking/business as usual in the context of a climate emergency that threatens everything we care about. That’s not unique to political science, of course, nor academia. But the disciplinary part is ours to own. And I think especially important for us as a discipline, given that to a large degree the challenges we face are political, rather than scientific or technological.
I am hoping to pull together a panel/roundtable for the 2023 APSA meeting in 2023 on What does the Climate Crisis Mean for Political Science (catchier title ideas welcome). I can imagine lots of possibilities, from rethinking our research topics and teaching, to more professorial forms of engagement (advisory roles, op-eds, media interviews), to political activism of many types. And questions about how much time to devote to engagement, typically at the expense of research.
My plan is to submit as a theme panel (an OK though not perfect fit), in order to speak to folks beyond the environment or even public policy section. And of course I’ll try to balance diversity along many dimensions: subfields, different approaches to the climate crisis as scholars and teachers, diversity of panelists. I hope for an option to include one or more participants virtually, but I don’t know yet where APSA is on that for 2023. (ISA’s decision with respect to its 2023 meeting isn’t encouraging, alas.)
At this point, I welcome feedback. Would you want to participate, and if so what would you want to convey to the audience? Do you have advice on others who should be invited? We all tend to know our own subfields after all – I’m especially keen to identify theorists. And bear in mind, we’re talking APSA in September.
As always, please send ideas to me directly, rather than bombarding the whole group.
Professor of Political Science
University of British Columbia
Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604 822-4922
I work on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh peoples.