Contested Ecologies of Capitalist Democracies
We are currently experiencing a simultaneous increase in global awareness of climate change as an existential threat and in contestations around climate mitigation that concern burden-sharing and cost distribution as well as who determines transition pathways and on what terms. As the stakes for different groups become clearer and more articulate, conflicts come to the fore, as do new opportunities for political and economic actors. The research group investigates the dynamics unleashed by these configurations. What shape do the economic and political conflicts and learning processes take in different settings? How do we explain their different trajectories? What leads to conflict intensification, resolution, or displacement? What mechanisms contribute to learning and innovation, and with what outcomes? The group’s primary interest is thus not in climate policy per se, but the institutional and organizational processes in politics and the economy that are unleashed by decarbonization as a demand, challenge, opportunity, and actual development. Key for the group is the idea that feedback effects and institutional learning re-shape societies’ capacities to solve conflicts over the distribution of resources, power, and values.
Current Research Projects