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Rudolf Agricola School

More Research Development, Security & Justice

Conflict, Environment & Society

In this research group, we seek to approach debates on climate change and socio-environmental conflicts by foregrounding their socio-political, legal, historical and cultural dimensions.

In doing so, we acknowledge the socially constructed and deeply political nature of the boundaries between the natural and social worlds.

In addition, we emphasize the importance of the historical, symbolic and spiritual meanings of environmental phenomena. Investigating these aspects calls for diverse methods and epistemologies, in order to capture the role of value systems, worldviews, traditional knowledge, religion and spirituality.

Examining these aspects is also crucial for understanding the broader governance, development and security implications of the impacts of climate change and contestations around natural resources. 

Disciplines and focus

Our network breaks disciplinary silos and marries social sciences and humanities with natural sciences, covering, inter alia, political ecology, religious and cultural studies, anthropology, law, peace and security studies, human geography, environmental history, economics and geosciences.

Through this interdisciplinary set-up, we aim to integrate knowledge from disciplines not traditionally part of climate change and environmental research, in this way working towards holistic explanations.

By widening the perspective, we aim to contribute to more effective, just and legitimate policies on climate change and other socio-environmental challenges.

Thematically, we focus on issues such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, natural resource governance, ecological distribution conflicts, climate security, conventional and 'green' extractivism, Indigenous peoples’ rights and faith communities’ engagement with climate change.

Academic leads

  • Joram Tarusarira (Religion, Culture and Society)

    Judith Verweijen (LET)

  • Caitlin Ryan (LET)

  • Vanessa Tünsmeyer (LAW)


Last modified:06 September 2023 2.02 p.m.
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