Padova converge

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Dr. Lucy Ford of Oxford Brookes University slides from the IACR Conference, Padova, 19-20 July 2010:

Policy contradictions and potential synergies for CONVERGE – a critical realist political ecology approach?

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Padova converge

  1. 1. Policy contradictions and potential synergies for CONVERGE – a critical realist political ecology approach? <ul><li>Dr. Lucy Ford, Oxford Brookes University </li></ul><ul><li>IACR Conference, Padova, 19-20 July 2010 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>1. Aims of CONVERGE and the importance of Critical Realism (CR) </li></ul><ul><li>2. International Relations (IR) – integrating CR and political ecology (PE) </li></ul><ul><li>3. CRPE and CONVERGE </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Aims of CONVERGE and the importance of CR <ul><li>Contraction and convergence as a conceptual tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables us to address both sustainability and social justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘international’/’global’ – International Relations (IR) insights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Re-thinking globalisation across social, economic and political dimensions of sustainability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary approach working with stakeholders from civil society, to government to business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore convergent sustainability relationships across different scales from local, national, global-regional, to global. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability and social justice issues are twin pillars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CR as a tool: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies ontological relations of emergence and dependence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables the creation of conditions of non-reductive interdisciplinarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scales – emergent and dependent yet irreducible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transformational agency: understanding possibilities for and obstacles to change – relationship between structure and agency </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 2. IR, CR and PE <ul><li>Ontological Limitations of orthodox IR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separation of spheres (politicist) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key problem in the orthodox study of IR has been the tendency to separate politics from other spheres and it has only looked at ‘the political’ – i.e. the politics amongst nation-states, ignoring, for example ‘political economy’ or sociological accounts, and thus fundamentally disabling any holistic understanding of change at the global level. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separation of scales (internationalist) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similarly, orthodox IR has separated the international from the national: i.e. it has focused on international politics as relatively discrete from national politics. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level of Analysis problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similarly, they see the political sphere as being carved up into three discrete levels of analysis: the system (the outside, international realm), the state (the unit of analysis) and the individual. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Overcoming the limitations <ul><li>Critical realism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a theory, but a philosophy that produces second-order conceptual and metatheoretical claims (Joseph). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasises the importance of the empirical world and the relationship between theory and practice (non-separation). Enables interdisciplinary, holistic analysis. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables a critique of the separation of domestic and international and levels of analysis problem and an overcoming of these false separations (Patomaki) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. International Political Economy (IPE) / Global Political Economy (GPE) <ul><li>Growing “sub-discipline” of IPE/GPE in IR that (re)-introduces the study of political economy into IR (including Marxist and critical theorist strands) </li></ul><ul><li>IPE/GPE disrupts and challenges the ontological separations outlined above </li></ul><ul><li>IPE/GPE opens the way for more holistic, interdisciplinary analyses of IR </li></ul><ul><li>More needs to be done in IPE/GPE to integrate political ecology and questions of sustainability </li></ul>
  7. 7. Political Ecology <ul><li>Ecology teaches us the need for a holistic approach/systems approach </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an important synthesis of ‘the political’/’political economic’ and ‘the ecological’ in an holistic way – e.g. economy and ecology both stem from ‘oikos’ </li></ul><ul><li>However, political ecology still needs to be integrated with critical IR/IPE in order to have an analysis of global hegemony </li></ul>
  8. 8. Towards a CRPE of IR <ul><li>- Need to critically integrate Critical Realism, IPE/GPE and Political Ecology to enable an holistic analysis of global issues of sustainability and social justice </li></ul>
  9. 9. 3. CRPE and CONVERGE <ul><li>CRPE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables a deeper, real, investigation of the different spheres and scales – local-national-international-global – looking at their emergent and dependent qualities without falling into reductionist traps (Non-reductive interdisciplinarity) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><ul><li>As a tool it can be employed to analyse contemporary practices, relations and processes of different agents involved in the politics of sustainability (e.g. states, international organisations, civil society, business) without separating spheres and scales of influence, taking seriously their causal powers, whether or not they are actualised (transformational agency). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They will usefully contribute to CONVERGE’s development of a convergence frame for understanding and development in civil society and policy communities. </li></ul></ul>

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