Tag Archives: Political Science

PhD studentship in Political Science at Stockholm University

Are you looking for a PhD studentship in political science, linked to the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and focusing on participation and learning in ecosystem management? Then have a look at the ad below. The student will be based at the Department of Political Science (Stockholm university), supervised by Andreas Duit, and will be embedded in a research team that consists of Lisen Schultz (systems ecologist at the SRC), Örjan Bodin (systems ecologist at the SRC), Cecilia Lundholm (educational scientist), Matthew Plowey (GIS student) and Simon West (PhD student in Natural Resource Management).

Applications are due on December 1st.

The Department of Political Science, Stockholm university, announces an externally funded PhD studentship in comparative ecosystem governance.

Project title
GLEAN — A Global Survey of Learning, Participation and Ecosystem Management (http://www.statsvet.su.se/English/Research/glean.htm)

Project description
The PhD-position is funded by the research programe GLEAN — A Global Survey of Learning, Participation and Ecosystem Management, which is financed by the National Science Council and directed by Associate Professor Andreas Duit.

The programme is hosted by the Department of Political Science in collaboration with Stockholm Resilience Centre and is carried out by a cross-disciplinary research team during the period 2012—2016.

The GLEAN project, in which the PhD project will be embedded, aims to analyse the effect of stakeholder participation in natural resource management programmes on outcomes in ecosystems and learning processes.

By combining a cross-national panel survey of BR-areas in 55 countries, longitudinal biodiversity mapping using satellite imagery, and context-sensitive field work in strategically selected cases studies, the contested role of stakeholder participation in natural resource management will be examined in with a much higher degree of precision and generalizability than previously possible.

Criteria for selection
Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- analytical ability (scientific reports, papers, or degree project thesis)

- practical experience and knowledge related to the project

- knowledge of scientific theory and method

- personal references and gender equality aspects

Eligibility requirements
- completed academic degree at advanced level

- completed courses equivalent to 240 Swedish university credits (of which at least 60 credits at advanced level), or have acquired the equivalent knowledge in another way in Sweden or elsewhere. There are some regulations regarding transition.

For further information on eligibility criteria, application process etc please see http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/about-us/vacancies/phd-studentship-in-political-science.html

Does an increased awareness of catastrophic “tipping points”, really trigger political action?

This critical question relates to a suite of resilience related research fields, ranging from early warnings of catastrophic shifts in ecosystems, non-linear planetary boundaries, and the role of perceived crisis as triggers of transformations towards more adaptive forms of ecosystem governance.

The answer might seem quite straight-forward: “yes!”. Why wouldn’t political actors try to steer away from potentially devastating tipping points? Political philosopher Stephen M. Gardiner elaborates the opposite position in a very thought-provoking article in the Journal of Social Philosophy (2009) about the moral implications of abrupt climate change.

Planetary Boundaries

Planetary Boundaries

According to Gardiner, several economical, psychological and intergenerational dilemmas make it likely that an increased awareness of devastating “tipping points”, undermine political actors’ work towards effective climate change mitigation. Instead, it induces them to focus on adaptation measures, and involve in what Gardiner denotes an “Intergenerational Arms Race”.

Suppose, for example, that a given generation knew that it would be hit with a catastrophic abrupt change no matter what it did. Might it not be inclined to fatalism? If so, then the temporal proximity of abrupt change would actually enhance political inertia, rather than undercut it. (Why bother?)

In addition, according to Gardiner, in facing abrupt climate change, there will be other more urgent concerns than climate change mitigation, again creating greater risks for future generations.

[T]he proximity of the abrupt change may actually provide an incentive for increasing current emissions above the amount that even a completely self-interested generation would normally choose. What I have in mind is this. Suppose that a generation could increase its own ability to cope with an impending abrupt change by increasing its emissions beyond their existing level. (For example, suppose that it could boost economic output to enhance adaptation efforts by relaxing existing emissions standards.) Then, it would have a generation-relative reason to do so, and it would have this even if the net costs of the additional emissions to future generations far exceed the short-term benefits. Given this, it is conceivable that the impending presence of a given abrupt change may actually exacerbate the PIBP “the problem of intergenerational buck passing”], leaving future generations worse off than under the gradualist paradigm.

So what are the ways to get out of this dilemma? Gardiner suggests:

In my view, if we are to solve this problem, we will need to look beyond people’s generation-relative preferences. Moreover, the prevalence of the intergenerational problem suggests that one set of motivations that we need to think hard about engaging is those connected to moral beliefs about our obligations to those only recently, or not yet, born. This leaves us with one final question. Can the abrupt paradigm assist us in this last task? Perhaps so: for one intriguing possibility is that abrupt change will help us to engage intergenerational motivations.

(Thanks to Simon Birnbaum for passing on Gardiner’s article.)

Prof and Phd Environmental Political Science jobs at Lund in Sweden

Lund University invites applicants to

1) a tenure track position (Associate Senior Research Lecturer) on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate, and

2) a PhD position on international climate policy focusing on REDD and carbon accounting (4 year).

Both positions are placed at the Department of Political Science (http://www.svet.lu.se) and are part of the strategic research program Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate (BECC) at the Center for Environment and Climate (http://www.cec.lu.se) at the Faculty of Science.

More information (in English and Swedish) on the Associate Senior Research Lecturer can be found here:
http://www3.lu.se/info/lediga/admin/document/PA2010-2073engny.pdf (English)
http://www.sam.lu.se/lediga-tjaenster (Swedish)

More information (in English and Swedish) on the PhD position can be found here:
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24914&Dnr=363076&Type=EU (English)
http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=22598&Dnr=363076&Type=S (Swedish)

Come and join a thriving research group in environmental politics!

http://tinyurl.com/EPRG-LUND

Should Political Science Be Relevant?

This article might be of interest for all political scientists doing sustainability research. After decades of being dominated by quantitative models and theory-driven research, a panel of prominent scholars at the American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting, discussed whether  political science at all, was relevant for policy-makers trying to solve real-world problems. The Inside Higher Ed reports:

Gerry Stoker shared “a wicked thought” […]. What if he called as many senior figures in political science as he could reach and asked them “if they had ever said anything relevant in their entire careers”?

[...]

[…] Stoker also said that the discipline doesn’t reward relevance. A young scholar is more likely to be promoted for “the novelty of methodological contribution” than for “research that actually has an impact.”

The panel included very interesting interventions from prominent political scientists Sven Steinmo (University of Colorado at Boulder), Bo Rothstein (Göteborg Universty, Sweden) and Elinor Ostrom (Indiana University/Arizona State University). Prof. Bo Rothstein provided an interesting  observation:

Rothstein, […], said that maybe the problem to discuss isn’t whether political science is relevant, but whether American political science is relevant.

“If you want to be relevant as a discipline,” he said, “you have to recruit people who want to be relevant.” And in this respect, he said, American political science departments are not doing well.

Read the full article here.

PhD position at Stockholm Resilience Centre

The research program “Governance of the Baltic Sea – a response to ecological regime shifts” at the Baltic Nest Institute and Stockholm Resilience Center is looking for a Political Science PhD student.

The project runs from 2009-2012, andaims to develop guidelines for adaptive  management of both coastal and marine environments (with special focus on the Baltic Sea). The application deadline is very soon – Feb 14th, 2009.

The project is run by associate Professor Christoph Humborg and Professor Carl Folke.  For more information about the research project and information on the position contact
Associate Professor Christoph Humborg (christoph.humborg @ itm.su.se).

More information on training at postgraduate level in science and application procedure are available on

http://www.statsvet.su.se/Student/ansokan_forskarutb.htm

The project is described below:

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