Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN12_04b: Sociology and Climate Change
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Audrone Telešienė, Kaunas University of Technology
Location: BS.3.22
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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How Public Attitudes Toward Climate Change Mitigation Policies Are Measured: A Review and a Construct of Policy Attitudes

Eva Kyselá, Milan Ščasný, Iva Zvěřinová

Charles University Environment Centre, Czech Republic

Research on public responses to climate change policies is proliferating. We reviewed 118 studies published over the last 15 years to investigate how policy support, acceptability, acceptance, and other types of evaluative responses have been measured and operationalized in the area of climate change mitigation policies. We found that conceptual vagueness and weak theoretical embedding are pervasive in the field, which leads to uncertainty of what is being measured, ambiguity of policy recommendations, and difficulties in comparing empirical results. In response to this state, we propose a construct of policy attitudes as an overarching concept comprising the diversity of measures and constructs already in use. The purpose of the construct is to serve as a common basis for operationalisation and survey design, as well as for interpretation and comparison of existing results. In order to inform policy makers, researchers should be clear in formulation of survey items and their adherence to research and policy-making questions of importance.

Identifying the Climate Edge: Categories, Measures and Mixed Data Sources

Filip Mihai Alexandrescu1, Ionuț Anghel1, Anca Mihai2, Alina Pop3, Lucrina Ștefănescu4

1Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Bucharest, Romania; 2University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania; 3Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University, Bucharest, Romania; 4Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania

The article aims to provide a preliminary methodological basis for the concept of climate edge. The latter is the point at which a set of extreme social conditions turn into climate vulnerability in areas that are exposed to extreme weather events. The climate edge concept is inspired by Saskia Sassen’s systemic edge, but connects it to advancing climate threats. The systemic edge is characterized by extreme conditions created by the so-called expulsions effected by neoliberal processes. Expulsions are more or less forceful processes of eviction from cities, especially in areas undergoing gentrification or changing land use, but also social exclusions from rural areas. The outcomes of these processes are segregated communities that are disconnected from the vital links that ensure the resilience of a community. The climate edge is one key locus in which to observe how society moves from a politics of adaptation to a possible post-adaptation regime. The article uses data on compact Roma communities from Romania in an attempt to piece together the empirically recognizable conditions that approach the theoretically postulated climate edge. The data are the result of a quantitative survey of Roma segregated communities (N=2300) and of two case studies of ghettos in large Romanian cities. The central result is a mixed framework that incorporates qualitative and quantitative data on socio-economic and legal expulsions alongside data on vulnerability to extreme weather events. We thus contribute to a sui generis understanding of the social processes that create vulnerabilities to climate risks under conditions of neoliberal governance.

Leadership and Communication: Parameter Setting for Action Against Climate Change

Gabor Sarlos1, Zoltan Ferencz2

1RMIT University Vietnam, Vietnam; 2Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences

The research studies the role of trust in building awareness and bringing shift regarding climate change perception. The research matches successful leadership dimensions with relevant communication tools, and creates a model where an appropriate combination of the two are set as parameters for the mobilization of relevant clusters of the population.

The IPCC report (IPCC, 2018) voices a dramatic call to all: climate change will become irreversible within 12 years. Engagement of the individual is essential in gearing action against climate change. Mobilisation needs to build on 2 factors: leadership and communication. The last 100 years of management and leadership speak of 4 different successful leadership styles (Western, 2005, 2008). The current analysis addresses how the combination of the relevant leadership dimensions with communication can address relevant clusters of the youth population in Hungary and in Vietnam.

The research builds on the further elaboration of the data from a comparative study in 2018 of youth population in Hungary and in Vietnam. Clusters are matched against prevailing leadership dimensions, and against media and communication preferences of the actual clusters.

Findings of the research show that trust is essential for accepting the possibility of action against climate change. Lack of trust in guidance and leadership would eliminate actual participation of the individuals. Finding the optimal combinations of leadership and communication will pose significant challenges in changing climate change perceptions.

Co-producing Climate Adaptation: Insights and Challenges of Participatory Methodologies

Luísa Schmidt, Carla Gomes, Adriana Alves

Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

The idea of co-producing knowledge has become widespread in climate adaptation research and planning over the last few years. It has been presented as intrinsically positive, among research funders, scientists and public institutions. However, its practical implementation is often challenging, and further empirical research is needed to identify which participatory methodologies are most appropriate for co-producing climate adaptation.

The Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon has been involved in a series of interdisciplinary projects focused on climate adaptation in Portugal. These have aimed to involve a wide range of stakeholders in policy and decision-making - from the government to municipalities and the general population - while contributing to develop mechanisms of multi-level governance.

Project “Change” nurtured a process of adaptive governance in three vulnerable coastal areas. The ICS team has also participated in ClimAdaPT.Local, aimed at co-producing adaptation strategies across 26 municipalities, with the direct involvement of local institutions, scientists and stakeholders.

The ICS team has moved on from an interdisciplinary exercise of stakeholder engagement to a hands-on process of co-production, whereby a diversity of local actors is invited to contribute practical solutions for climate change impacts, through a transformative social process. This presentation critically analyses the learnings of these projects, namely: how these contributed to improve participation in decision-making, as well as communication between levels of governance; to raise awareness of climate risks; to promote articulation between climate science and policy; to identify critical factors that constrain adaptation processes; and ultimately help implement innovative solutions.

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