Interdisciplinary and Comparative Workshop

Nature, Object, Subject: Semantics and Politics of Human-Nature-Relationships

(with focus on natural resources)

October 3-4, 2016

CSDS, Delhi

Organising Committee:

Antje Linkenbach (Erfurt, Germany), Vidhu Verma (Delhi, India), Andreas Pettenkofer (Darmstadt, Germany)

group of participants (left) and organisers (right) at CSDS workshop
Concept Note  (see below)                     Programme  (pdf)

During the 20th century nature moved into the focus of attention in local, trans-local and global contexts. Nature, and in particular the relationship between humans and nature, became subject of conflicting normative discourses in philosophy, social and political sciences, and economics. Empirically the issue was approached by means of looking at diverse socio-economic and cultural life-worlds and practices that revealed themselves to be either oriented towards an objectifying and even managerial attitude and behaviour in relation to nature or prefer to follow a more integrative approach, where the interrelatedness and mutual dependency of nature and people is acknowledged.

One focal aspect of the conflicting debates and practices regarding human-nature interrelationship is the right of individuals and groups to access and use natural resources. In historical times as well as in the contemporary period of the modern nation-states, natural resources are heavily contested among different “stakeholders” regarding ownership / stewardship of land and commons, resource management and control, the right to allow commercial use of resources, the right of eminent domain.

As a comparative venture the interdisciplinary workshop intends to explore theoretically and empirically resource rights and resource use in its wider context and regarding its social and political consequences by taking up examples from western and non-western world regions.