Assistant Professor Stephen Milder has received a fellowship from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) to conduct research on the politicization of climate change in Germany during the late 1980s and 1990s. Stephen is assistant Professor of the course European Politics and Cultures at the Faculty of Arts.
His research project, “Making Green Germany,” will study how the end of the Cold War and German Reunification shaped way in which climate change emerged as a political issue, but also examines the influence that climate politics’ growing importance had on reunified Germany. He uses a set of case studies ranging from the efforts of local solar clubs to change municipal energy regulations to German “climate diplomacy” within European and the UN. Besides he will observe changes in the way that research on new energy sources was conducted after the Cold War. The project will reveal the particular circumstances in which climate change became a salient political issue in Germany during the 1990s.
The project is aimed at helping to understand the context within which we have come to understand climate change as a problem—and thus the reasons we seek to “solve” climate change in particular ways. It is also intended to reveal the close links between environmental concerns and “mainstream” social and political problems, showing how the history of environmental concerns ought to be perceived as part of political history writ large.
The support of the German Research Foundation will allow Milder to conduct research at archives in Bonn, Koblenz, and Berlin, and also to work on the project with colleagues at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, where he will be based during the grant period.
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