Teilprojekt 2

Subproject 2

Climate knowledge as cultural practice and its translation into politics of transformation

Prof. Dr. Jörn Ahrens

Elisabeth Alm (Student Research Assistant)


Societal knowledge about climate change is, firstly, produced by scientific data (climate science, Umweltbundesamt, IPCC, etc.) to which politics refer. Secondly, it emerges through discourses on climate change in the respective societies that are opening up margins for political decision making. Both variants do not need to be congruent. Science does not necessarily impact the public debate on climate change. Vice versa, the public debate only partially refers to scientific criteria, but much more to the (media) communication of further variables like economic stability, social security, cultural ontologies, etc. Especially in developing and emerging countries, such variables that are defining the social realities of every-day-life might also marginalize the perception of climate change when it is addressed as a more abstract problem and not closely related to problems of everyday-life. Thus, although it is possible, it is not necessary to relate extreme weather like drought or cyclones to climate change. The sub-project examines societal struggles and discourses about climate change in South Africa and Botswana.