at the University of Melbourne
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2022 Miegunyah Public Lecture Presented by Professor Benjamin Cashore
Professor Cashore will argue that traditional approaches to environmental and resource management are poorly suited for ameliorating ‘super wicked’ policy challenges. This class of pernicious problems, which include the climate, biodiversity and COVID-19 crises, requires careful attention to four key features: time is running out; there is no central authority; those causing the problem also want to solve it; and there is irrational discounting of the future. Cashore will argue that when these features exist, ‘path dependency’ analysis is required to achieve two design imperatives: locking-in durable policy objectives that are under constant short term pressures for change; and the creation of authoritative “thermostatic” institutions capable of producing swift changes in policy settings, calibrations and tools to maintain these objectives (just the way a house’s thermostatic system adapts to changes in the outside temperature to maintain a desired internal temperature). The talk will identify the key features of super wicked problems, discuss the thermostatic imperative, and reflect on the importance of stakeholder engagement for fostering innovative path dependency strategies.
Professor Robyn Eckersley
Robyn Eckersley is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has published widely in the fields of environmental political theory, the greening of states, and International Relations, with a special focus on the ethics, politics and governance of climate change.
This event involves Dr Tania Miletic in conversation with Dr Anouk Ride, exploring violence, protests, and peace in the Solomon Islands. Recognising the need for greater recognition, understanding and imagination for greater peace and justice, The University of Melbourne’s Initiative for Peacebuilding launched a Conversation Series in 2021 to hold spaces for deeper listening to Australian-based peacebuilders and discussion of important dimensions of their peacebuilding work. In 2022 these conversations continue with a fascinating range of peacebuilders connected to the Initiative for Peacebuilding.