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Open access

Bridging “green” asymmetries through crises

How a Chinese green bond has landed in Portugal

Giulia Dal Maso

Abstract

 The article examines the first Chinese green bond issued in Europe to explore how a green bond is created and how it can be issued across boundaries. Raising questions of “green” valuation at multiple scales, it follows the way the bond's proceeds hit the ground in Portugal, refinancing wind farms previously built under a Feed in Tariff (FiT) regime. It shows how if on the one hand green bonds are designed as abstract and fungible instruments, then on the other they are spatially situated and predicated upon the larger dynamic of global financial accumulation with its recurrent and contingent crises. In this context, the rush over renewables intersects with expansive Chinese financial monetary policy and the EU austerity process.

Open access

Careers and climates

Becoming and being a climate finance practitioner

Aneil Tripathy

Abstract

 Climate finance has grown rapidly. What does this mean for people who construct careers in finance that leverage expertise to frame sustainability and climate change as investment decisions? What do their identities mean for the markets they create? This article examines how the careers of climate finance professionals impact them both as professionals and as people. I examine what climate action and impact mean in their decision-making. I find that practitioners interpret their careers around pivotal decisions that brought them into climate finance. This moralistic decision-making embedded in practitioner biographies highlights the effect of a particular ethical field in climate finance. In producing climate finance instruments through performative and data work, people transform into climate finance professionals.

Open access

Case Study

The ‘Deep Believer’ 30 Years On, 1926–2008

Reinhold L. Loeffler

In my book Islam in Practice (1988), I showed the great variety of religious beliefs in Sisakht, a village of Luri-speaking tribal people in the province of Kohgiluye/Boir Ahmad in Iran. I gave one of the 21 men I presented, Mr. Husseinkhan Sayadi, the epithet ‘Deep Believer’ to reflect his firm belief in God and Shi'a traditions. We became close friends, and revisiting his life again 14 years after his death, I will continue to use his first name to reflect and honour our friendship.

Restricted access

Irida Tsevreni

Abstract

This article investigates the potential of contemplative learning through mindfulness in the framework of environmental education. Human alienation from the rest of nature and the separation from the more-than-human others are approached under the lens of eco-phenomenology. Fifty undergraduate students at a Pedagogical Department experienced mindfulness techniques in natural places and reflected on their experiences. The research results revealed that mindfulness contributed to the sensorial and embodied experience of nature as well as to their interaction and participation in the more-than-human world. However, difficulties and challenges also emerged. Contemplative environmental learning could contribute to the healing of human alienation from the rest of nature and the establishment of an embodied, sensorial empathy for all living creatures.

Open access

Maria Nerina Boursinou, Pierre Monforte, and Phevos Simeonidis

Abstract

In this interview with Nerina Boursinou and Pierre Monforte, Phevos Simeonidis—cofounder of the Disinfaux Collective—reflects on the role of civil society organizations in the field of refugee support in Greece, in particular through the focus on their relations with public authorities. The interview provides an account of the changing environment in the field of migration and the diversity of the organizations working to support refugees in Greece, while it highlights such organizations’ ambivalent relations with public authorities. Moreover, the interview discusses the impact of the measures taken by the Greek government(s) to control or repress the activities of civil society organizations in recent years, including their criminalization. Finally, it makes reference to the complex ethics that accompany migration research and support practices, especially in relation to the collective's operation and decision-making processes.

Restricted access

The Coronavirus as Nature-Culture

Talking about Agency

Annette Schnabel and Bettina Ülpenich

Abstract

We analyze how the coronavirus is fabricated at the interface between science and the public in order to be addressable by political strategies. By means of a content analysis of Christian Drosten's podcasts, we follow (1) how SARS-CoV-2 is constructed in order to be understood by non-scientists, (2) how the specialist becomes a public expert, and (3) how this co-fabrication takes place. This provides insight into the “fabrication” of meaning and of how uncertainty is transformed into knowledge during times of major risk through focusing on the perception of the virus itself. Out of a perspective of speech act theory-informed assemblage thinking, the analysis emphasizes the role of the known-unknown and of the temporality of developments in formatting both virus and expert.

Open access

Yousif M. Qasmiyeh

Abstract

Returning to the refugee camp, “The Crack Invites” revisits what it means to invite and be invited to a camp. This invitation remains suspended, unanswered, and perhaps unanswerable to this day.

Open access

Creating Spaces of Music Asylum in Ethnically Divided Contexts

Young People’s Accounts from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sri Lanka

Gillian Howell and Solveig Korum

This article explores the ways in which arts experiences in conflicted and territorialized settings may invite a heightened engagement with space, and what this suggests about creative experiences as a vehicle for transforming space and the (re)construction of one’s presence and place in the world. Presenting ethnographic data from two youth music projects established after the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sri Lanka and argued from the perspective of musician-practitioner-researchers, the authors examine how musical interaction, improvisation, and performance creation enabled processes of exploring, reconfiguring, and expanding the participants’ identities and sense of place in the surrounding world. Using Tia DeNora’s conceptualization of “music asylum,” the article shows how strategies of removal and refurnishing created creative and safe spaces in which alternative lives and more complex identities could be rehearsed and conflict narratives could be revised, fostering a temporary transformation of space that is captured in metaphors like bubble, refuge, and sanctuary.

Open access

A culture of informality?

Fragmented solidarities among construction workers in Nepal

Dan V. Hirslund

Abstract

Despite a history of labor militancy in past decades, Nepal's large construction sector remains unorganized and lacks social protection, prompted by high levels of informality. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among construction laborers in Kathmandu, this article argues that labor subsumption to capital in the construction industry takes place through a systemization of expertise through which access to work is negotiated. I show how this “culture of informality” shapes labor relations and creates a semblance of transparency and justice in otherwise chaotic and fiercely competitive labor communities. Drawing on concepts from political and urban anthropology to probe how informality indexes forms of power, I argue that authority and status become distributed through processes of distinction and thereby extend and deepen inequalities permeating contemporary industrial relations.

Restricted access

Jodie Asselin, Gabriel Asselin, and Flavia Egli

Abstract

The term forest can signify many different physical realities. However, discourse analysis of Irish National and European Union forestry-related documents indicates ambiguity around this term is often cultivated rather than clarified. We argue here that policy language often embraces the multiple potential affordances within the term forest as a means of discursively bridging contradictions between economic and conservation goals. While this technique increases the readability and acceptability of such documents by diverse user groups and government bodies, it mutes the on-the-ground tensions of what forests mean for locals. Moreover, cultivating ambiguity favors the status quo through circumventing points of contradiction and shifting the work of interpretation and application of such documents to those on-the-ground, therefore perpetuating existing power differentials. As forests are central to resource management and responses to climate change, addressing this tendency is crucial to finding meaningful and place-specific environmental solutions.