“Many Causes of Natural Disasters are Political and Social”: Q&A with David Alexander

The growing world population, climate change, rapid urbanisation, and the international interdependence of economies are all increasing our vulnerability to natural hazards. Such major global challenges are the focus of the second international Potsdam Summer School on “Facing Natural Hazards”, which is taking place from 14 to 23 September. One of the most well-known researchers...
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Climate Change and the Imagination: Q&A with Manjana Milkoreit

The IASS recently hosted a presentation titled Imagination in World Politics – Climate Change, the Mind and the Future by Manjana Milkoreit, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University. In a ‘flash fiction’ exercise after the talk, participants collectively developed very short fictional stories about the future, in which climate change impacts have become a...
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The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement – UN Climate Conference in Bonn Brings Clarity for Legal Architecture

The eleven-day UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn drew to a close last Thursday and with it the deliberations among international climate law experts in which I myself participated. The main aim of the Bonn meeting was to work on a draft text for the long-awaited climate change agreement. This agreement is due to be...
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Economic Expertise: A Historical Perspective on a Topical Issue

In late 2013 the IASS held a workshop on “Political Economy”, which focused on the transfer of economic knowledge into politics. I had been following discussions on this subject ever since the 2008 financial crisis. While economics has been in for particularly strong criticism since then, from within the discipline and beyond it, demands for...
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Air Pollution and Climate Change: Fostering Better Decisions

A fireplace in the living room – some pay a premium for the cosy atmosphere, others consider it an irresponsible luxury. From an environmental point of view, wood-burning for residential heating isn’t the best option. While CO2 emissions are lower than those from gas and oil heating, it often results in greater emissions of air...
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