Sustainability and Development: Global South Debates on the Energy Transition

IPW-Lecture by Pedro Alarcón, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) / Research Network Latin America, University of Vienna

Moderation: Johannes Waldmüller, Research Network Latin America, University of Vienna
Comment: Anna Preiser, Research Network Latina America, University of Vienna

The rapid increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after the lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic further evidences that the only option to curb a major rise in earth’s temperature is to transform the current energy system. Moreover, the war in Ukraine and the growing tensions in many fossil fuel-providing regions of the world push energy sovereignty issues to the top of the geopolitical agenda. The energy transition emerges from this complex settings, as one of the utmost pressing issues of our times as it epitomizes the drive towards global sustainability.

In this context, the pursuit of development, a guiding principle of the Global South since the end of the Second World War emerges as a contested, and context-dependent discourse which is increasingly crashing into the notion of sustainability. In this ipw-lecture, I delve into the multifaceted interactions between the quest for global sustainability and the pursuit of national development in natural resource-rich countries of the Global South within the scenario set by the climate-driven energy transition, on the one hand. On the other hand, I argue that as the political economy of natural resources extraction seems to be reshaping worldwide, there is an emerging gap between the quest for global sustainability and the pursuit of national development.

Pedro Alarcón holds a Visiting Professorship in Latin American Studies / Research Network Latin America at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Department of Political Science of the University of Vienna during the summer term 2024. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, Económicas, Políticas y Antropológicas (CISEPA) of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and also a visiting professor (non-tenured) at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). Dr. Alarcón has undertaken postdoctoral research at the University of Kassel and the Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen. He studied energy sciences and environmental humanities at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, the University of Oslo and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Socio-environmental Studies and a Ph.D. in Development Economics from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). His research interests include development theories and alternatives, natural resource extractivism and rentier states, and the relationship between energy, climate change and society.

Anna Preiser is University Assistant (Prae-Doc) at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her PhD project focuses – from a political ecology perspective – on socio-ecological conflicts and environmental policy in Peru’s mining sector.

Johannes M. Waldmüller is Assistant Professor of International Politics in the Department of Political Sciene, University of Vienna, and Climate Change Advisor and Project Manager at Brot für die Welt/Diakonie-ACT, Austria. He has formerly held research and visiting professorships in international environmental politics at the Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA) and FLACSO, Ecuador (2016-2021), as well as FLACSO Argentina, and is a current visiting scholar and committee member in the PhD programm of Science and Technology at the Ecuadorian Polytechnical University (EPN).

Kategorie: Veranstaltungen
Datum: 25. April 2024, 17:00–18:30
Ort: Universität Wien, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, NIG, Konferenzraum IPW (A222), 2. St.