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Yesterday, the papal encyclical “Laudato Sii” was finally released. Environmentally engaged members of the Roman Catholic Church have awaited this day with cautious excitement since January 2014, when it was first announced that Pope Francis prepares such a document on “the ecology of mankind”. Over the last months, the event has also received remarkable attention in the wider public all over the globe.

The release of the encyclical exemplifies how religious actors can influence regulatory processes. Short-term, it may affect current political events with judgments about concrete political choices, influencing their (il)legitimacy. For instance, the papal encyclical calls the final document of the Conference of the United Nations on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, “ineffective”. Further,

the strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. […] it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors (Laudato Sii).

The release may also create a new momentum of debate and hope in the year of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP11) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol in Paris during which parties aim for a new, legally binding agreement.

Long-term, it is a significant theological document meant to give direction to contemporary Catholicism and 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. Even if we cannot know how it will be interpreted in thirty years from now, its effect is likely to last longer than the next international climate agreement. But despite or especially because of its character, it enfolds its dynamic only with its reception by an audience willing and eager to engage with it. At least three factors have helped to turn the publication of the encyclical into a widely received event which is likely to deserve all the hope that is attached to it.

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The Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, invites PhD candidates and Postdoc scholars to discuss the idea of “multiple modernities” based on course literature, morning lectures by accomplished scholars, as well as participants’ papers in Göttingen from September 1 to 5, 2014.

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The Brock Review – an online, open-access, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal – has extended the deadline for academic articles and creative contributions engaging with “Sovereignty, Transnationalism, (Im)Mobility, and Desire”. The corresponding issue is going to address

the excesses, assemblages, resistances, and desires that circulate, coagulate, and shatter in the current global climate in which sovereign power (re)emerges in the fields of the biopolitical (CfP)

or, in my words: how (national) borders are constructed and challenged in light of current discourses of migration. While the call draws on a feminist vocabulary, it also invites proposals which take other theoretical positions or which oppose the perpective taken in the CfP.

The new deadline is 15 December, 2013. Manuscripts shall be complemented by an abstract and a short biography of the author.

(jiska)

The conference “Access and Allocation in the Anthropocene” addresses questions of equity, justice, and fairness in environmental governance as well as transformative pathways towards sustainability. The call for papers draws on the analytical concepts of access and allocation, architecture, agency, adaptiveness, and accountability which structure the Earth System Governance Project (ESG). This scientific network is one of the co-organizers next to the University of East Anglia and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

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What does interculturalism mean and imply – in theory, in practice, and politically? The 7th Global Conference of the non-profit network Inter-Disciplinary.Net will target this question with a focus on identity, its construction and reconstruction. Readers of this blog may be particularly interested in themes related to globalization, governance implications of border-crossing identities, and/or struggles over resources.

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In in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, Susquehanna University hosts the Northeast Modern Language Association’s 45th annual convention. The panel on Cinema and Migration in the cluster about Cultural Studies and Film caught my interest as it “aims to explore cinema across borders and in comparative perspective” (cfp).

Maria Catrickes welcomes applications for presentations by September 30, 2013. It is a tempting opportunity to cross disciplinary borders – if anyone would notice a social scientist slipping in?

The date of the event is April 3-6, 2014.

(jiska)

The open-access, peer-reviewed Journal of the Sociology and Theory of Religion asks for contributions for the first issue in 2014. The call aims at papers dealing with religion, environment, diversity and/or justice based on comparative, empirical research.

The papers can be submitted until October 1, 2013, to the special editor Michael Agliardo, SJ, Ph.D. The journal is published in English, Spanish and Chinese.

(Jiska)

At the beginning of this year, the Texas A&M University at Qatar held the First Liberal Arts International Conference to exchange ideas on the “Ethical Engagement with Globalization, Citizenship and Multiculturalism”. Now, the call for the second round is published. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines are invited to “(Re)think[..] Global Connectedness” through “Critical Perspectives on Globalization”.

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It is a sad occasion which currently reminds us of questions about large-distance solidarity, transnational communities and commitment – topics which the workshop Mobility and Civil Society: How Social Commitment Takes Place addresses at the University Freiburg, Germany, in December.

During the last weeks, the second largest industrial tragedy in history has raised public awareness and debate about global inequality of international labor protection once again. The Rana Plaza complex close to Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed on April 24. As the rescue work around the former Tung Hai garment factory is still not completed, the reported death toll moves up to around a thousand people. Yesterday, eight people died in another fire in a garment factory in Dhaka.

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You want to win a prize in a writing contest in social science in which contributions written like an academic paper will not be accepted? Pay attention to the following call for articles: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) invites young scholars to submit texts on Sustainable Development Goals and their human dimension, be it political, technological, economic, or social.

Prizes are US$ 500, US$ 200, and US$ 100 and the three winning pieces will be published in the in-house magazine Dimensions.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to May 15, 2013.

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The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
December 2017
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