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New Article: A New Earth Rises

Erik Isberg, PhD-student at the division within the SPHERE-project, has published a new article with the title “A new Earth rises. How did the planet replace the nation-state to become the prime political object of the 21st century?”.

Profile picture of Erik Isberg

You can read and even listen to the full text on the Aeon-Website. Here is a small extract from Erik’s piece:

The recently resurfaced planet, I argue, can be traced back to fantasies like Richardson’s. Contemporary planetary governance relies on a specific trajectory of planetary monitoring. Even though efforts to map and measure global space have a far longer history – not least as a primary vehicle of Western colonialism and imperialism – the efforts to monitor and govern planetary dynamics have also relied on a particular history of knowing, seeing and measuring the planet. Thinking of the planet as an interconnected system required quantified and centralised approaches as well as a wide set of scientific instruments and technologies. A specific kind of planet was able to emerge, not by itself, but through the interconnected histories of geopolitics, technology and grand visions of planetary monitoring.

Working as a doctoral student in the Nuclearwaters-Project (ERC Consolidator Grant, PI Per Högselius), I focus on the nuclear history of Eastern Europe, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Furthermore, I investigate expert cultures in nuclear discourses, with a special interest in water-related issues in nuclear power plant decision-making. In addition, I am intrigued by the entanglement of the commercial, scientific and political interests concerning nuclear technologies, with its sometimes harsh consequences on human societies and the environment. Recently this interest has extended to energy systems as a whole in Eastern Europe, including fossil fuels and renewables. Questions of transition within international energy systems in the face of the climate crisis and recent political developments become more important, as my work progresses.