CBS climate project awarded Velux HUMpraxis grant
Society faces a number of major challenges that require cross-disciplinary knowledge. So, each year the Velux HUMpraxis programme offers researchers grants for projects that build on equal collaboration between research and practice environments in the context of humanities research.
Professor Robin Holt and PhD Fellow Christina Juhlin from the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy explain more about their three-year project.
What is the project about?
CLIMATE-PART addresses the nature of the challenges and solutions to citizens’ participation in democratic processes related to climate change. It explores the shortcomings of top-down deliberative democracy experiments within the field of climate change policies and asks how citizens’ self-organised and everyday climate participation can spark the renewal of public participation as a democratic practice.
Why is this project important?
There is a gap between the political wish to formally involve citizens in climate politics and the way in which many citizens engage in climate issues: Through activism, in their everyday life and by organising in local communities. There is a need to understand the tensions that arise from citizens who are deeply engaged in climate politics, and the tools and strategies with which politicians and planners involve citizens in climate politics through urban planning.
How will this grant help move the project forward?
The grant gives us the opportunity to do basic research within the humanities aspects of green transition. The Velux HUMpraxis grant is unique because it funds humanities research dedicated to close collaboration with practitioners. With this project we can work closely with two central actors and experts in public participation in green transition – the Danish Climate Movement (Klimabevægelsen) and the Danish Council of Technology (Teknologirådet) – not ‘only’ as research informants but as close collaborators in the process of problematising as well as seeking solutions to the issue of climate participation.
What are you hoping to achieve?
The aim of the project is to expand current understandings and practices of participation in light of the climate crisis. With the first national Climate Citizens’ Assembly in 2019 and new research in democratic innovations, a renewal of traditional methods for participation is already underway. CLIMATE-PART – a collaboration between CBS, Teknologirådet and Klimabevægelsen – contributes to this movement by developing new methods for citizens’ participation in climate issues that build on citizens’ self-organised and everyday forms of climate participation. We draw on experiences with participatory formats such as living labs and theatre to explore other forms of political dialogue that are more accommodating to the kinds of affective reactions climate crises often evoke.
How will this project help contribute to the green transition?
The project adds an important social science dimension to research on green transition at CBS by addressing the participatory infrastructure necessary to realise green transition. A key problem for green transition is not the lack of politically engaged citizens, but the conflicts that arise from disputes over what counts as politically legitimate participation.