Environmental Justice, ‘Collapse’ and the Question of Evidence

Brack Hale, Ph.D., Franklin University SwitzerlandChristoph Kueffer, Ph.D., ETH Zürich & University of Applied Sciences Eastern SwitzerlandSara Steinert-Borella, Ph.D., Franklin University SwitzerlandCaroline Wiedmer, Ph.D., Franklin University Switzerland

The papers assembled here represent the culmination of a recent workshop hosted at Franklin University Switzerland entitled Environmental Justice, ‘Collapse’ and the Question of Evidence. The interdisciplinary parameters for the workshop allowed us to include a broad range of contributions from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences with the explicit goal of establishing potential overlaps between environmental justice and notions of collapse. The workshop aimed to explore the many forms of evidence that surface as scholars and scientists go about making claims on behalf of both justice and collapse. Most importantly, the workshop served to highlight what thinking across disciplinary lines could yield as it becomes increasingly obvious that single disciplines like politics, law or even science have failed to find the kinds of solutions we need to ward off disaster. During the workshop, several participants asked specifically what constitutes evidence for imminent collapse and how that evidence is produced for analysis. Others pointed to the enduring need to redress the profound inequities that surround environmental hazards and destruction in an effort to provide potential solutions to this complex set of questions.

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