G08 - Workshop: Political Economy of/and/in a Hotter World (1)
Date: Jun 5 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 108
Chair/Président/Présidente : Andrew Biro (Acadia University)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Andrew Biro (Acadia University)
Climate Change and Aviation: A Global Ecological Political Economy: Ryan Katz-Rosene (University of Ottawa)
Abstract: Over the last twenty years the number of passenger and freight flights have nearly doubled, and projections expect the global aviation sector to double again over the next two decades. Unfortunately, despite some social and economic benefits offered by increased physical connectivity, this growth spells serious trouble for Earth’s climate. Aviation is already responsible for approximately 3.5% of anthropogenic global warming, and with the expected growth in the sector some analyses suggest aviation alone could eat up over a quarter of the global carbon budget available under the Paris Climate Agreement. This paper confronts this dilemma by asking what a Global Ecological Political Economy (or GEPE) approach to the global aviation sector’s plan to minimize its carbon footprint – a plan known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA – might inform us about CORSIA’s general prospects for success. As such, the paper seeks to accomplish the following: a) it problematizes the ‘banality of growth’ in the sector; b) it examines the material ecological dynamics involved in global aviation growth; c) it considers the inequities, injustices, winners, losers, and points of political contestation involved in the plan (along with a brief description of efforts to counteract said injustices); and d) it critically considers the forces of co-optation which underlie CORSIA’s rhetoric of sustainability.
Climate Change and Catastrophe: Insurance-Linked Securities and the (Re)production of Risk: Korey Pasch (Queen's University)
Abstract: Through an explicit focus on power and structure, political economy helps us understand change within the contemporary global political economy (GPE) by historically contextualizing it. Climate change is redefining the relationship between the environment and society. Events like Hurricanes Maria and Michael demonstrate how these relations are being transformed and the consequences of those changes. Global institutions, including the United Nations and the World Bank, are responding to these changing patterns of catastrophic risk by advocating new strategies to address risk, including pushing for greater insurance coverage for those most vulnerable. However, these strategies are part of the same structures that have produced these changes and vulnerabilities. My paper argues that, by harnessing the theoretical tools of political economy, insurance can be understood as the exemplification of neoliberal technologies that confront climate change and risk by reproducing an unchanging and indeterminate horizon of limitless growth as well as reproducing the present dominate processes of production and accumulation. My paper’s theoretical framework is informed by the work of scholars such as Brian Elliott (2016) on the neoliberal colonization of conceptions of nature and the erasure of possible alternatives to neoliberal-led capitalism as well as Claudia Aradau and Rens van Munster (2013) on the role insurance plays in reproducing the present and colonizing the future. My paper explores how novel hybrid insurance and finance technologies known as Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) have been positioned by powerful actors, including the United Nations and World Bank, within the contemporary GPE to assist this neoliberal project.
Explaining Variation in Contentious Energy Infrastructure Project Outcomes in Canada: Amy Janzwood (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Several recent major oil and gas pipeline projects in Canada – including the Northern Gateway Pipelines, the Energy East Pipeline and the revived Mackenzie Valley Pipeline – have been cancelled. This string of major infrastructure project failures is surprising given strong federal support for these projects, and represents a shift from a period of relatively expeditious project development beginning in the 1950s. In all of these cases, a range of stakeholders have launched campaigns with a number of elements including demonstrations, blockades, divestment, policy advocacy and court cases. The recent wave of infrastructure failures raises a host of questions about contested infrastructure projects, or cases where there is opposition from stakeholders (e.g., governments, landholders, Indigenous communities or NGOs). The central question this paper will answer is: what explains outcomes in contested energy infrastructure projects (i.e., whether a project is approved, rejected and/or ultimately built)? Existing explanations in political science literature fail to account for this empirical variation. This paper develops an analytical framework to understand variation in transboundary oil and gas pipeline projects in Canada that have attracted concern from stakeholders. I use fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to understand the relationships between sets of factors – namely market conditions, regulatory uncertainty, and stakeholder opposition – and the project outcome. This paper provides the first systematic national comparative study of contentious, transboundary energy infrastructure projects.