“Politics of Nature …. Or the political populism of H2O or CO2” Public Conference on Sept. 22 by Prof. Erik Swyngedouw

Published on
September 13, 2022

On Thursday 22 September, Prof. Erik Swyngedouw (Professor Geography, University of Manchester) will visit Wageningen and (after a PhD-masterclass with WUR’s Riverhood and River Commons projects) he will hold a public conference in Grandcafé Loburg, followed by public debate. The event (15.30-17.30 hrs) will be in-person.

About the theme

Politics of Nature …. Or the political populism of H2O or CO2

In his public conference Prof. Erik Swyngedouw will focus on what he refers to as Climate Populism and how this structures not only many radical climate movements but also the liberal climate consensus. He argues that the architecture of most mainstream as well as more radical climate discourses, practices, and policies is strongly parallel to that of populist discourses and should be understood as an integral part of a pervasive and deepening process of post-politicization. Prof. Swyngedouw argues that the climate discourse produces a particular form of populism that obscures the power relations responsible for the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. In his lecture he will mobilize a broad theoretical perspective that permits accounting for this apparently paradoxical condition of both acknowledging and denying the truth of the climate situation, and the discourses/practices that sustain this. He will also show how this creates a generalized dissonance between “knowing” and “acting”, characteristic of the current climate change deadlock. After his lecture he will engage in public debate with the audience.

About the key-note speaker

Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at Manchester University. His research interests include democracy and political power, environmental politics, and the politics of globalization. Previously, he was professor of geography at Oxford University and held the Vincent Wright Visiting Professorship at Sciences Po, Paris. His books includeSocial Power and the Urbanization of Water; Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities in Twentieth-Century Spain; Promises of the Political: Insurgent Cities in a Post-Political Environment; The Post-Political and its Discontents(co-edited with Japhy Wilson); andUrban Political Ecology in the Anthropo-obscene(co-edited with Henrik Ernstson). He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Erik Swyngedouw is member of the scientific advisory board of WUR’s Riverhood and River Commons projects (