Sunday, April 4, 2010

Call for Papers:: Between Mainstream and the Fringe: Environmental Activism in a Globalised World: International Conference

Between Mainstream and the Fringe: Environmental Activism in a Globalised World: International Conference

9-10 December 2010

Venue: Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Organised by University of Heidelberg in collaboration with Centre for Culture,Media and Governance, JMI

Environmental activism entered the political domain in the 1980s. The demand for rights and justice pitched activists against their adversaries: the state, business corporations, corporate media and the judiciary. Over the next 20 years, however, these mainstream actors slowly colonised the environmental agenda. It is important therefore, to understand the effectivity and nature of mainstream concern around environment as well as the renegotiated charter for the fringe activists who have assumed a new dimension in a globalised world.
The continuous push of globalisation brings with it other changes. Emerging transnational networks, the entry of Northeren NGOs into South and their collaborations with local partners and the corporatisation of the green agenda are changing the scope and nature of environmental politics. New financial arrangements are emerging with increased transnational funding giving rise to flows of ideas and knowledge that transcend national boundaries and change the relationship between both state and non-state actors. The contested terrains of control over natural resources are "glocally" renegotiated between various agents.

It is to map the changes within the sphere of environmental activism and shifting transnational engagements that Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe', is organising a two day conference in Delhi on Decemebr 9th and 10th, 2010 at the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) in New Delhi. The conference is being held in collaboration with the Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, JMI.

The conference lays a strong emphasis on practitioner experience and case studies and aims to facilitate a conversation between both activists and academics. (While the emphasis of the conference is on India and South Asian case studies, relevant papers from other parts of the world are welcome.) Keeping our broad concerns in mind, the conference invites papers around the following themes (but not restricted to):

1) Media Discourse on the environment

Mainstream media narrative of environment and its politics. Communication strategy of the fringe in the mainstream media clutter.
2) Transnational donors and environmental agenda
Guiding principles for funding actions/research in the South and donor expectations.
Compliance and subversion of donor agenda by Southern civil society.
3) Business imperatives in new 'environment'
Corporate sponsorship of green movement and its business benefits.
Business leadership through financing clean technology.
Public relations and the politics of reputational advantage.
4) Warfare in hyper-reality
Determinants of successful activism in New Media/Social networking and politics of new technology
5) Youth movements on environment
Staking claims for the future and relevance of 'immature politicians'
6) Political Parties, state and the superstructure of environmental administration
Appealing to the electorate with the green agenda.
The bureaucratisation of people's movements.
7) The grassroots in global networks
Retaining local identity in global resistance movements.
8) Judiciary, rights and wrongs
Can judicial activism restore environmental justice or does it bypass the democratic process?

The deadlines for abstracts is May 30th. Abstracts are to be sent to batabyal[at] and somras[at]
You will be notified by June 30th if your abstract is successful and you will have to submit a full paper (between 7,000 to 10,000 words) by October end for dissemination to other participants and paper discussants. Submission of a full paper is essential as a book is planned around the conference.

For those who do not wish to present a paper but would like to lead the discussion of papers in their areas of interest, do let us know at the same email ids regarding your areas of work, publications, etc and we will notify you regarding submissions.

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