Disasters as Political Tipping Points: Between Socioecologically Transformative Approaches to IPE and Militarizing Postliberalism

IPW-Lecture ONLINE with Johannes Waldmüller, Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna / Research Network Latin America

Johannes Waldmüller, University of Vienna / Research Network Latin America
Moderation: Valerie Lenikus, University of Vienna / Research Network Latin America

At the moment of writing, the war, the encompassing militarization, between Russia and the Ukraine/West has started, right at the peak of humankind’s worst pandemic so far. While representing a long-standing yet still marginal field of interest, disaster researchers (e.g. Pelling and Dill, 2010) have discussed tipping points, i.e. the protracted, non-linear effects of societal and political change, as possible consequences of disasters, both in terms of opportunity for strengthening, as well as threatening transparency, rule of law, and liberal democratic orders. In the wake of disaster impact, postliberal and outright authoritarian forms of social (and media) control are somewhat common, themselves being frequently part of the need for major economic upheavals and therefore threats to long-standing elites.

Drawing from selected recent cases of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic risks and disasters, and subsequent militarization in Latin America, as well as the ongoing pandemic in Europe, I explore some of the key tipping point theories from the vantage point of international political economy (IPE). In the era of accelerated climate change, the intensified scramble for resources and the shift from unipolar to a multipolar world order, I argue that global society is currently at an existential crossroads: further militarization of deepened social conflict, particularly between rural/urban spaces and classes, or massively scaling-up of subaltern approaches towards a socio-ecologically sustainable reorientation of our global trade, production and finance system.

Johannes M. Waldmüller is Visiting Professor of International Politics at the IPW – Research Network Latin America/University of Vienna (2021-2022) and a PhD Committee Member and Guest Lecturer at the Escuela Politécnica Nacional (EPN) of Ecuador, Faculty of Management Studies. Between 2016 and 2021, he has been Research Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the Universidad de Las Américas, Quito.
He holds a PhD in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and MAs in Philosophy and International Studies from the University of Vienna.

Valerie Lenikus is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her research deals with resource politics and (agrarian) extractivism in the food sector in Bolivia and Ecuador, international political ecology and economy, and social-ecological conflicts. Together with three colleagues she is a recipient of a DOC-team-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, concerning the social-ecological crisis in the Andean-Amazon region. She participates in the Research Network Latin America at the Department of Political Science.

Zoom-link zur Veranstaltung:
Meeting-ID: 688 6191 4930
Kenncode: 674085

Kategorie: Veranstaltungen
Datum: 11. Mai 2022, 17:00–18:30
Ort: ONLINE / Universität Wien, Institut für Politikwissenschaft