Workshop 2012: Environmental Management as Situated Practice

In 2012, we discuss the topic "How do you manage? Unravelling the situated practice of environmental management", as the Call for Papers coined it, together with twenty scholars. A preparatory session for this workshop has been held in 2011 at the 10th IAS-STS conference at Graz, Austria. For this workshop, we are glad to receive support from Bielefeld University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) and Volkswagen Foundation.

The need for sound environmental management is evident, today more than ever. Public awareness and scientific understanding of environmental problems are steadily expanding, and so are models and strategies to abate them. So far, however, the actual practices of environmental managers, struggling to implement plans and ideas, have not been subject to systematic analysis. This workshop identifies the practice of environmental management as a critically missing aspect in the study of environmental problems and their solutions. The central questions are: how do actors manage environments? And, how are their practices situated, socially and materially? Answering this necessarily requires an interdisciplinary approach: whereas environmental sciences and management provide crucial insights into the relevant material, legal and institutional processes, anthropology, geography, sociology and science and technology studies have developed promising approaches to understand how social and ecological life come into being through practices, performed in particular ideational and material contexts. The central innovation of the workshop is the facilitation of a conversation on environmental management in practice between various disciplines by the novelty of analysing a critical reality, common to all these disciplines but previously neglected, i.e. the doing of environmental management.

At the workshop we will discuss with with Lucy Suchman, Kristin Asdal, Werner Krauss, Isabelle Mauz, Kenneth Olwig and Claire Waterton, expecting exciting keynotes.

Drawing on earlier analyses, this workshop is structured in three themes - ranging from issues of rationalities, performativity to assemblages.

This workshop builds upon our previous workshop at Brandenburg University of Technology in 2008 which resulted in an edited book part, entitled Limits to Managing the Environment, summarised by Ingmar Lippert in a later paper Dimensions of Limits to Environmental Management1.

We are looking forward to a productive workshop!

Organisational Details

Programme of workshop1008.03 KB
List of keynotes160.45 KB