Nico Stehr (Friedrichshafen): The Atmosphere of Democracy. Will Climate Change Trump Democratic Governance?
17 Bloomsbury Square
This lecture series will explore new approaches to the history of knowledge from a wide geographical and thematic angle. Addressing knowledge production in contexts ranging from medieval European societies and colonial settings to the modern challenges of climate change and the digital humanities, the talks will exemplify how these methods can be applied in a variety of disciplines.
Talk 3: This talk focuses on what climate change discussions may call an ‘inconvenient democracy’. This refers to the huge gap that exists between the claims of scientific knowledge and good policy. The resulting sense of political futility leads to a disenchantment with democracy and the conclusion that the state, led by experts, should be a source of security for society in the face of extreme risk and danger from climate change. The talk argues that these gloomy views about the efficacy of democracy are mistaken.
Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany. His recent books include Knowledge (with Marian Adolf; London, 2014); Understanding Inequality: Social Costs and Benefits (with Amanda Machin; Wiesbaden, 2016); Information, Power and Democracy (Cambridge, 2016); and Is Knowledge Power? (with Marian Adolf; London, 2017).
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