Convenors: Anna Triandafyllidou | European University Institute and Andrew Geddes | European
15.00 – 17.00
Chair: Heliodoro Temprano Arroyo | EUI
Displacing Displacement among Syrian Refugees in Mafraq, Jordan
Ann-Christin Wagner | University of Edinburgh
Eritrean and Nigerian Migrants Social Navigation to Europe
Katie Kuschminder | EUI
Pulling Human Rights Back In? Local Authorities, International Law and the
Reception of Undocumented Migrants
Moritz Baumgärtel | Utrecht University
Uncertainties are everywhere: climate change, financial crises, migration flows, infrastructure development, disease outbreaks and more. Yet contemporary institutions and policy processes are poor at responding to and embracing uncertainties, where we don’t know about either the likely outcomes or their probabilities. Too often political, procedural and professional pressures force us to ignore uncertainties, constructing problems and solutions in terms of manageable risk. In this presentation, it will be argued that this is highly problematic, and that we can learn much from those who live daily with uncertainty and make use of it as a productive resource. Pastoralists – people living largely from livestock in dryland, montane and Mediterranean regions – have long experience of responding to intersecting uncertainties. Perceptions, cultures and practices; markets and economic relations; and institutional arrangements and governance systems have co-evolved with environmental, economic and political uncertainties. Can we learn from these experiences for other contexts, where the challenges of responding to uncertainty are real, and growing? Without arguing that lessons are directly transferrable, the presentation will ask what core principles might be relevant for refashioning policies, practices and institutions, across diverse fields, in order to confront heightened uncertainties in today’s world? The presentation launches a new ERC Advanced Grant, involving research on pastoral systems in Chinese Tibet, East Africa and Sardinia, and engaging with those in other fields grappling with uncertainty. The grant is held at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK and involves collaboration with the Global Governance Programme at EUI.
Ian Scoones, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK and Michele Nori, Global Governance Programme, EUI
In his 2013 book The Future as Cultural Fact, Arjun Appadurai was writing that we need to understand better the interactions between three notable human preoccupations: imagination, anticipation, and aspiration. Appadurai pointed out that the capacities to aspire, anticipate and imagine are recognizably universal but culturally defined; they take their force within local systems of value and meaning. In exercising our capacities to imagine, anticipate and aspire, Appadurai argues that we need to adopt an ethics of possibility (of building a better, more equitable world for ourselves and our children) against an ethics of probability (of risk, disaster and privately created security). Thinking about the future of Europe today one wonders what is the balance of forces between a transnational ethics of possibility (and responsibility) and a national or regional ethics of probability. This workshop will critically discuss how the concepts outlined above have played out in recent European crises (the Eurozone crisis, the refugee emergency) and how they can help us rethink the future of Europe.
Arjun Appadurai is the Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. He serves as Honorary Professor in the Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Tata Chair Professor at The Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai and as a Senior Research Partner at the Max-Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen. Appadurai is world renowned expert on the cultural dynamics of globalization, having authored numerous books and scholarly articles. The nature and significance of his contributions throughout his academic career have earned him the reputation as a leading figure in his field.