Critical Reflections on Crisis and Emergency Framings: A Panel Discussion


Critical Reflections on Crisis and Emergency Framings: A Panel Discussion

Theatre A (G06)
Elisabeth Murdoch Building

Parkville campus

Spencer Road

Booking not required

There is increasing realisation and concern that foundational systems for life are being stretched to breaking point. In this context, narratives of escalating global crisis or emergency are becoming commonplace and there is pressure on key institutions to adopt this framing.

This seminar begins from the premise that global crisis and emergency narratives can both drive and distract from important processes of change. On the one hand, crisis framings can be used to produce moments of disruption and accountability that expose failures of governance, institutional contradictions and raise ambition on decarbonisation efforts. This in turn can multiply possibilities for change, new forms of agency, and rethinking of environment-society relations. On the other hand, crisis or emergency framings can also highlight and multiply risks, producing unintended consequences and license previously unpalatable strategies through new modes of authoritarianism and technocratic rule.

In this panel discussion, we ask three climate change researchers and thought leaders to reflect on the potential and pitfalls of crisis or emergency framings. They will critically interrogate who is deploying the language of crisis and emergency and to what end; what are the new opportunities and risks emerging and at what scale; and what concepts and framings we need to develop to promote action on climate change and achieve positive socio-environmental transformation.

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