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Automobility and Oil Vulnerability

Unfairness as Critical to Energy Transitions

Ana Horta

Climate policies in the European Union require a substantial reduction in carbon emissions from road transport. However, in the last decades the system of automobility has expanded considerably, establishing a process of path dependence that is very difficult to reverse. Changes in current patterns of automobility may increase oil vulnerability of citizens dependent on the use of the car, aggravating forms of social inequity. Based on an analysis of how television news framed a period of oil price rises in a country highly dependent on car use, the article shows that oil vulnerability may resonate with socially shared sociocultural meanings such as lack of trust in political leaders, which may aggravate the social perception of unfairness and compromise public support for energy transitions toward sustainability.

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Barriers and borders

Human mobility and building inclusive societies

Anthony Turton

Keynote Address of the 2019 International Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC), Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 November 2019.

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Coronavirus with “Nobody in Charge”

An open reflection on leadership, solidarity, and contemporary regional integration

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

The Editors’ Note is a space for us to introduce important themes addressed by the articles in each issue of Regions & Cohesion. We will, of course, complete this task. However, before doing so, we take this opportunity to write about our world during the present coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, this crisis has forced most nation-states to close their borders as a necessary public health measure. Travel restrictions are regrettable but comprehensible.

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Elisabetta Nadalutti

English abstract: This article addresses the importance of understanding the ethical values that underpin cross-border cooperation (CBC). This is done by elaborating a theoretical framework that focuses on the ethical dimension of CBC. A clear distinction is drawn between an ethical and a normative dimension of CBC. The article argues that European CBC policies lack a defined conceptualization of ethical, humanistic, and value-laden bases. By considering three ethical values—rootedness, empathy, and justice—underpinning European governance, this research finds that the operationalization of these values helps to overcome a consumeristic approach, according to which people are passive consumers of CBC. The analysis shows why and how the operationalization of these key ethical values develops a cross-border community where people feel responsible for the territory perceived as a “common good.”

Spanish abstract: Este artículo aborda la importancia de comprender los valores éticos que sustentan las actividades de cooperación transfronteriza (CBC) mediante un marco teórico centrado en explorar la dimensión ética de CBC. Una distinción clara plantea la dimensión ética de la CBC frente a la normativa. El punto ciego de las políticas de CBC europeas yace en la ausencia de una conceptualización definida de las bases éticas y humanísticas. Los valores éticos de arraigo, empatía y justicia sustentan las actividades de CBC, y su operacionalización ayuda a superar la aproximación consumista. El análisis muestra por qué y cómo la operacionalización de estos valores éticos contribuye a desarrollar una comunidad transfronteriza en la que las personas se sientan responsables del territorio percibido como un “bien común”.

French abstract: Pourquoi est-il important de mieux comprendre les valeurs qui sous-tendent les activités de coopération transfrontalière? Cet article aborde cette question à partir d’un cadre théorique centré sur l’exploration de la dimension éthique de la coopération transfrontalière en la distinguant de la dimension normative. Il soutient que la faiblesse des politiques européennes de coopération transfrontalière ne réside pas dans l’absence “normative”, mais dans le manque d’une conceptualisation précise de ses bases éthiques et humanistes. En considérant trois valeurs - l’enracinement, l’empathie et la justice - qui sous-tendent les activités de coopération transfrontalière, cette étude conclut que leur opérationnalisation aide à surmonter une approche consumériste de la coopération transfrontalière, selon laquelle les gens sont des consommateurs passifs. L’analyse montre pourquoi et comment l’opérationnalisation de ces trois valeurs contribue à développer une communauté transfrontalière dans laquelle les personnes se sentent responsables du territoire transfrontalier perçu comme un “bien commun”.

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James Gerber

English abstract: US cities and towns on the border with Mexico tend to have below-average incomes, while Mexican border cities and towns tend to be above the average of Mexico. Social scientists have not explained these differences from national averages in a convincing way. Nor have they described the characteristics of border cities and towns in ways that differentiate them from cities and towns in the interiors of their respective nation. The key to both puzzles is the fact that the institutional environment in the US–Mexico border region is binational in origin. Mexican institutions create externalities in the United States and vice versa. Recognition of this fact is a first step in dealing with the international public goods and common pool resources of the border region.

Spanish abstract: Ciudades y pueblos a ambos lados de la frontera México–EE. UU. comparten características que las hacen diferentes de las comunidades en el interior de sus respectivas naciones. Por ejemplo, las diferencias de ingresos transfronterizos son más pequeñas que las diferencias nacionales y cada lado está fuertemente influenciado por políticas y eventos que se originan en el otro lado. Hay tres razones principales para estos efectos: proximidad, redes y externalidades. Este ensayo utiliza la perspectiva de economía institucional para argumentar que el ambiente institucional de las ciudades y pueblos fronterizos es binacional. El reconocimiento de este hecho es un primer paso en la gestión de los bienes públicos internacionales y los recursos comunes de la región fronteriza.

French abstract: Villes et villages des deux côtés de la frontière américano-mexicaine partagent des caractéristiques qui les différencient des communautés à l’intérieur de leurs nations respectives. Par exemple, les écarts de revenu de part et d’autre de la frontière sont plus réduits que les différences nationales, et chaque côté est fortement influencé par les politiques et les événements qui proviennent de l’autre côté. Trois raisons principales expliquent ces effets : la proximité, les réseaux et les externalités. Cet essai utilise la perspective de l’économie institutionnelle et soutient que l’environnement institutionnel des villes frontalières est binational. Cette reconnaissance est une première étape pour la gestion des biens publics internationaux et des ressources communes de la région frontalière.

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Dudziro Nhengu

English abstract: This article is a feminist theoretical examination of the nexus between migrants’ health and gender and attempts to fill the gap between existing gendered health and migration policies. Gender-specific challenges faced by female migrants include poor sexual and reproductive health rights, infant mortality, nutritional disorders, and violence. Non-communicable diseases provoke interruption of care in the absence of suitable health care systems and services. As policy makers struggle to develop suitable migration policies, the needs of women often fall through the cracks. Major findings are that migration policy design from micro to macro levels does not align with ratified international protocols on health, resulting in multiple vulnerabilities of female migrants. The study concludes that bilateral migration policy agreements should be comprehensive, binding, gender-sensitive, and participatory.

Spanish abstract: Este es un examen teórico feminista del nexo entre salud de los migrantes y género, e intenta llenar el vacío entre las políticas existentes de salud y migración de género. Las mujeres migrantes enfrentan desafíos específicos de género incluyendo limitados derechos de salud sexual y reproductiva, mortalidad infantil, trastornos nutricionales y violencia. Las necesidades de las mujeres a menudo se quedan atrás en el desarrollo de políticas de migración adecuadas. Los principales hallazgos son que el diseño de la política de migración de los niveles micro a macro no se alinea con los protocolos internacionales de salud ratificados, resultando en múltiples vulnerabilidades de mujeres migrantes. El estudio concluye que los acuerdos de política bilateral de migración deben ser integrales, vinculantes, sensible al género y participativos.

French abstract: Cet article théorique examine, dans une perspective féministe, les liens entre la santé des migrants et le genre et tente de combler le fossé entre les politiques migratoires et de santé. Les défi s spécifiques des femmes migrantes incluent l’accès à la santé sexuelle et reproductive, la mortalité infantile, les troubles nutritionnels et la violence. Leurs besoins sont souvent omis dans l’élaboration des politiques migratoires. Cet article montre que la conception de la politique migratoire à partir d’une échelle micro vers un niveau macro ne correspond pas aux protocoles internationaux ratifiés sur la santé, ce qui entraîne de multiples vulnérabilités des femmes migrantes. Il conclut que les accords bilatéraux en matière de migration doivent être exhaustifs, contraignants, sensibles au genre et participatifs.

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“Litigation Is Our Last Resort”

Addressing Uncertainty, Undone Science, and Bias in Court to Assert Indigenous Rights

Bindu Panikkar

The permitting of large-scale industrial mines is often controversial and litigious. This article examines three legal battles over the exploratory permitting of the Pebble mine in southwestern Alaska to examine the logics and rationalities used to legitimize the permitting, the alternate epistemic arguments made by the resistance movements to redraw state-constructed boundaries, and differing definitions of land-based resources, pollution, and bias. It asks how conflicting knowledge claims and epistemic injustice are debated and settled in court. All three legal cases observed demonstrate conditions of scientific uncertainty, undone science, and bias, failing to hold space for diverse representations within legal claims. Citizen science is partially successful in addressing epistemic injustice, but to effectively mediate justice, law must distinctively question both knowledge construction and phronetic risks, including values, intent, bias, privilege, and agency, and take into consideration the ontological multiplicities and civic epistemologies of the parties within legal claims.

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Overconsumption as Ideology

Implications for Addressing Global Climate Change

Diana Stuart, Ryan Gunderson and Brian Petersen

In response to climate change projections, scientists and concerned citizens are increasingly calling for changes in personal consumption. However, these calls ignore the true relationship between production and consumption and the ongoing propagation of the ideology of overconsumption. In this article, we draw from Western Marxist theorists to explain the ideology of overconsumption and its implications for addressing global climate change. Drawing from Herbert Marcuse and Guy Debord, we illustrate how production drives consumption, how advertising promotes false needs and excess, how these power relations are concealed, and how they undermine social and ecological well-being. Specific to climate change, continued widespread support for increasing levels of production and economic growth will undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Given the relationships between production and carbon emissions, effective mitigation efforts will require significant systemic changes in work, production, consumption, advertising, and social norms.

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Park Spaces and the User Experience

Reconsidering the Body in Park Analysis Tools

Eric A. Stone and Jennifer D. Roberts

As a strategy for combating physical inactivity, obesity, and other health conditions, the apperception of greenspace and importance of human-nature relationships have increased in recent decades. With this raised awareness in greenspace, the development of park auditing tools has been positioned primarily in the material conditions (e.g., physical environmental conditions) of parks. An examination of existing park auditing tools has shown that by focusing on particular material conditions, built environment and active living scholars have set aside other characteristics, namely, those that consider the user (e.g., the active human), as a separate concern from the focus of these tools. We have sought to engage with these tools to examine how they can be more effective in analyzing both the physical and human elements of parks and other natural environments.

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Plastic Packaging, Food Supply, and Everyday Life

Adopting a Social Practice Perspective in Social-Ecological Research

Lukas Sattlegger, Immanuel Stieß, Luca Raschewski and Katharina Reindl

This article presents practice-theoretical conceptions of societal relations to nature as a fruitful alternative to common system approaches in social-ecological research. Via the example of plastic food packaging, two different practice-theoretical approaches to food supply are discussed regarding their suitability for relating the material properties of packaging to their everyday use by producers, retailers, and consumers: (1) the network approach (portraying food supply as a network of practices; these practices include material elements that interrelate with other elements like competence or meaning) and (2) the nexus approach (investigating the interrelation between social practices and material arrangements in which they take place). Depending on the given research interest, both perspectives have their pros and cons: the network approach is stronger in understanding the everyday use of technologies, while the nexus approach encourages the integration of infrastructures and environmental contexts that are not directly observable within the practice.