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The Rise of Global Environmental Governance - A View from Stockholm

Photo: Wikicommons, Per A.J. Andersson

Professor of Environmental History, Sverker Sörlin, is invited to speak at one of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study seminars this fall.

Time: Tue 2022-09-27 14.15

Video link: Zoom Webinar

Language: English

Lecturer: Sverker Sörlin, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environmnet


Since the emergence of the modern understanding of 'the environment' in the immediate post-WW II period, attempts have been made to organize a reformed human-earth relationship. This has grown to a massive global effort demonstrated in conferences, organizations, regulation, and a lot of policy instruments, now encompassing hundreds of international agreements, 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the IPCC, and countless other tools and measures, including a range of concepts and ideas including 'Sustainable Development', 'Planetary Boundaries', and 'the Anthropocene'.

In an ongoing ERC Advanced Grant Project, SPHERE -- Study of the Planetary Human-Earth Relationship, I am researching the history of this rising phenomenon, sometimes called 'Global Environmental Governance'. In this seminar I will present a part of SPHERE which is a book-length study on the relative contribution of Sweden and Stockholm to this large global enterprise by myself and my KTH colleague Eric Paglia. Sweden hosted the Stockholm UN 1972 conference on the human environment and it has contributed, we argue, way above expectation for a long period of time both before and after 1972. In contrast to much environmental history, this is a progressivist rather than declensionist version of a prominent feature of the modern world. It is also a book focusing on the urban, institutional, scientific, and policy dimensions of the modern environment. The book, The Human Environment: Stockholm and the Rise of Global Environmental Governance is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Sverker Sörlin, Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes on Environmental Humanities, SCAS.
Professor of Environmental History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Belongs to: Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment
Last changed: Sep 19, 2022