CAS SEE Fellowship Application: Spring/Summer 2020 – Autumn/Winter 2020-2021

Following the implementation of the previous generations of CAS SEE Fellows starting in 2014, CAS SEE is announcing a new annual Call for Fellowships for Spring/Summer 2020 and Autumn/Winter 2020/2021. This call is organized along one thematic focus.

The CAS SEE Fellowship Program for Spring 2020 – Autumn 2020-2021 will host 14 Junior Fellows.

The Call for Applications closes on December 15th, 2019.

The 11th generation of fellows will assume their positions by March 1st 2020, while the 12th generation will assume their positions by October 1st, 2020.

Inspired by the excellent cooperation of the previous generations of CAS SEE Fellows and their work that has created thematic synergies among researchers, new CAS SEE Fellowship will stimulate fellows to present their work in Rijeka or other regional centers and will engage more intensively in research in the wider region of South East Europe. Fellows will participate in specific events according to their research interests, while also attending the regular CAS SEE regional conferences and seminars. By implementing flexible regional approach while maintaining the spirit of CAS SEE Collegium, Fellows will be able to pursue their research within wide networks of other scholars and partner institutions in the region designed to enrich their work.

Even though CAS SEE would be willing to take into account excellent proposals that are not strictly related to the main topic, we encourage candidates to focus particularly on:

After Nature: Where are we heading in our Politics?

Human society and nature, intrinsically bound but yet always in a tense relationship. Even Karl Marx, who knew nothing of climate science, thought and theorized the question of conflicts once you have a mode of production based on the unlimited search for growth and productivity. As there are no environmental limits to capitalism, the whole relationship between human society and nature has to be radically reframed. Therefore, man-made climate change does represent an absolute limit to capitalism, and it does change the fundamentals of our understanding of the world-society relations, thus in the end changing the political.

How do we (re)phrase the problem today? Current relationship between human society and nature is in the process of fundamental and critical remaking. Friday for Future movement, singled out of all the efforts to problematize the climate change, has already managed to change the parameter of the political. This bodily and performative form of new assembly, a diffuse network of humans concerned about the future, reframes the problem, makes it virulent, present, as it propels it into the heart of the public. The simplicity of the message has made the movement and the issue impossible to ignore, creating new sense of urgency. But what this new sense of urgency is changing? Only our ways of hoping or fighting? Or on the bottom line, our way of being political?

We assume that the climate change debate and the ecological crisis in its different dimensions are interlinked with other societal crisis, e.g. the crisis of representative democracy, crisis of capitalist economy, or the crisis of the nation-state. Social and political ecology have gained recognition for broadening our understanding of these transformative and problematic processes and of the socially and spatially/geographically uneven distribution of its consequences. In this context, the role of the state has been in the remaking too. State is not any more assumed as a problem-solver but rather a central driving force of the ecological crisis. In an ambiguous way, the state manages to maintain the existing industrialist, fossilist, and capitalist way of living.

Furthermore, the massive and complex reform of our political and social realities required to face the threat of climate breakdown, both in terms of managing to avoid some of its developments and in terms of coping with some of its inevitable effects, is neither trivial nor purely technical – it is a political problem. The fact of the necessity of change invites a variety of responses from across the political spectrum, and calls for a radically new political, economic, institutional and social thinking. At the same time, eco-fascisms and other totalitarian tendencies, only partially glimpsed through the greatest contemporary breakdown of moral and civilizational values that is the immigration crisis, are more than ready to take over when the catastrophes begin to spread. How are our societies, institutions and systems ready for these dangers? What new political and economic paradigms are there to institute substantial robustness against the totalitarian impulses and to foster progress?

The next two generations of CAS SEE fellows aim at contributing to these debates on:

  • the inter-linkages between human society and nature
  • on the role of political ecology today
  • on new forms of mobilization, the (un)changed role of the state, and overall on the changed horizons of the political.

This Fellowship lasts for five months with the option of renewal for additional months in accordance with university politics of research.

Further information and details about the application procedure: FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION 2019-2020