Event

Managing the unmanageable – when the end of the world is your day job

This presentation explores both the significance of impossible problems for environmental management and what effect ‘managing the unmanageable’ has on those ‘governmental’ workers whose labour involves producing environmental governance.

  • Wed 24 Oct 18

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Colchester Campus

    Essex Business School EBS 2.66

  • Event speaker

    Dr Nicolas Beuret

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Edward Barratt and Professor Phillip Hancock

Taking governance as a complex and contested terrain, this paper seeks to outline how the problem of climate change has shifted the aims of environmental governance away from solutions towards the containment of ecological crises.

Event Abstract

Quietly, behind the so-called frontlines of social and environmental disasters, there are people getting on with the job of trying to manage the slow-moving catastrophe that is the end of the world. Over the past few years scientific articles and reports all suggest we have arrived at the moment where there are no longer any ‘reasonable’ actions we can take to solve climate change. The recent turn to fearful and anxious reporting on climate change reflects the reality of contemporary environmental governance. In which the numerous attempts and ad hoc programs that have emerged to manage or govern the excesses and disruptions produced through climate change fail to actually stop global warming. Taking governance as a complex and contested terrain, this presentation explores both the significance of impossible problems for environmental management and what effect ‘managing the unmanageable’ has on those ‘governmental’ workers whose labour involves producing environmental governance. Working through a liminal space of governance – the campaigns of the environmental Non-Governmental Organization (ENGO) Friends of the Earth in the United Kingdom, I outline how the problem of climate change has shifted the aims of environmental governance away from solutions towards the containment of ecological crises. This shift has produced a sense of cruel optimism amongst ENGO workers, where action is taken on climate change without little hope for the future.

Booking

This is an open event; there is no need to book. Please feel free to attend and bring your colleagues, classmates and friends.

Speaker Bio

Dr Nicholas Beuret is a lecturer at the Essex Business School, University of Essex whose work explores how environmental issues are produced as matters of social and political concern. His research focuses on climate change, energy production and infrastructure, sustainable transitions and materials, extinction, and climate migration. His research has appeared in journals including Antipode, Science as Culture and South Atlantic Quarterly.

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