Lecture | Doctoral Programme «Territory, Risk and Public Policies»

Ontologies of the Anthropocene in Portugal: climate crisis, socio-political responses and emerging technologies

António Carvalho (CES/FEUC)

October 1, 2021, 17h00 (GMT+1)

Keynes Hall, Faculty of Economics - UC + Zoom

Link ZOOM> https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/83767587717  |  ID: 837 6758 7717


In this presentation I will reflect on how the climate crisis is articulated with governance devices that encompass a heterogeneous set of dimensions and actors, including social movements, bodies, national carbon neutrality strategies and emerging technologies. This paper results from research work carried out within the TROPO project, currently running at the Centre for Social Studies, and will explore three case studies: the Transition Movement (TM) in Portugal; The Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality 2050 (RNC2050) and Geoengineering. The empirical data includes 20 semi-structured interviews with members of the TM; six focus groups and one deliberative forum on Geoengineering; 20 semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders involved in the preparation, implementation and public reception of the RNC2050.

Drawing on literature in the field of science and technology studies, and based on the characterization of various climate crisis response models, instruments and their characteristics, I will reflect on the multiple ontological politics of the Anthropocene, arguing that this controversial geological epoch can be interpreted as a governance device that aims to reconfigure multiple spheres of the relationship between humans, non-humans and Planet.

Keywords: Anthropocene; Climate Change; Ontology; Science and Technology Studies

Bio note 

António Carvalho completed his PhD in Sociology in 2014 at the University of Exeter, under supervision of Andrew Pickering. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at the department of Sociology of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra and researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, where he coordinates the project TROPO: Ontologies of the Anthropocene in Portugal - Social Movements, Public Policies and Emerging Technologies. He has conducted research on the history and social dimensions of nuclear energy, public engagement with emerging technologies, global health partnerships and social studies of meditation. His research interests include biopolitics, Anthropocene, Mindfulness, posthumanist theory and affect. His work is published in journals including Public Understanding of Science, Subjectivity, Nanoethics, Minerva, Globalization and Health and The Sociological Review.


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