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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Friday, November 29 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Environmental and Ecological Politics

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Sam Crawley
Beyond belief: cross-country variation in three dimensions of public opinion on climate change
Previous studies have shown that European countries differ in levels of public belief and concern about climate change, and that demographic, political and value-based factors relate to belief in climate change. However, although single-country studies have shown that examining issue salience and other dimensions leads to a more comprehensive understanding of climate change views, few cross-country studies have moved beyond the dimensions of belief and concern. In this study, we use Eurobarometer data from 28 EU member states to investigate three dimensions of climate opinion: concern, issue salience and support for government action. Using Bayesian multilevel analysis, our results show that the salience of climate change varies substantially across countries and is positively related to GDP per capita. Furthermore, salience is higher among the highly educated, higher status and younger respondents, trends which are similar across countries. There is less cross-country variation in levels of climate change concern or support for government action, although the relationships between these dimensions and the individual-level factors investigated vary by country. Overall, our findings suggest that there are important country-level differences in public opinion on climate change, and that these differences extend to dimensions beyond belief and concern, particularly issue salience.

David Hall
Mending the Web of Life: Producing Value through Reparation Ecology

Moore and Patel (2018) conclude their recent monograph by sketching out a reparation ecology, a world-ecology which acknowledges the embeddedness of political economy within nature, and aims to repair the damage inflicted upon ecosystems and peoples. It is guided by five principles – recognition, reparation, redistribution, reimagination and recreation – which respectively involve recognising the systemic causes of environmental crisis, repairing the harms done to ecosystems and communities, redistributing flows to mitigate further harm, reimagining humanity’s relationships to its environments, and recreating the future of work to enrich social and environmental value. This paper uses Moore and Patel’s framework to ‘make sense’ of the Living Laboratories project, an ecological restoration project in Aotearoa New Zealand which the author and others have established through a partnership between AUT University and indigenous tribe Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. In particular, the reparation ecology framework (REF) will be contrasted with the natural capital framework (NCF), an increasingly popular economic logic for conceiving of the value of ecological restoration (e.g. Helm, 2016; Cohen et al., 2017). I will argue that the REF is more practically useful than NCF for the Living Laboratories case study, which has implications for upscaling such projects nationally and internationally, where partnerships involve indigenous groups or local communities. I will also critically analyse whether the REF fulfils its own commitment to recognition by not displacing tikanga Māori through the imposition of a general framework.

Peter Skilling, Patrick Barrett, Priya Kurian
Evidence, interests and the collective good: community participation in a situation of environmental dispute
This paper explores the interactions between scientific expertise, public opinion and economic interests in a public dispute over an environmental problem. In a small coastal town in New Zealand, the local community had long expressed concern over the degradation of a river-mouth estuary that had been an important recreational and fishing resource. Attempts to resolve the issue since the 1950s had seen the wishes of the community and the advice of scientific reports subordinated to established economic interests further up the catchment. This paper shows how a carefully designed participatory process (2006-2009) facilitated a solution that came closer to meeting the demands of the local community. The data in this paper consists of public documents and interviews with key participants. These data are analysed using the typology of “orders of worth” posted by pragmatic sociology (Boltanski & Thévenot, 2006). This analytical framework allows us to specify with some precision the ways in which the various parties to this dispute sought to render their respective position reasonable and compelling. While the technocratic process followed in earlier moments of dispute reinforced the dominance of established interests and the market order of worth, the participatory process examined here provided a forum in which a wider range of actors could be heard, and in which additional orders of worth (specifically the domestic, civic, and green orders) could be positively valued. This case is instructive in stressing the importance of the institutional containers within which public disputes take place. The participatory process followed here mediated the interaction between scientific expertise, economic interests and a local community. The process provided a way in which competing claims to speak for “the public” and for “the collective good” could be publicly evaluated. At the same time, the findings in this paper offer a theoretical contribution. Specifically, the arguments made in this case by an indigenous community do not fit easily into pragmatic sociology’s typology of how arguments can be effectively made in situations of public dispute.

Pascale Hatcher; Jennifer Lander
Are We Indigenous Peoples? Local Pastoralist Communities, New Identities and Large-Scale Mining in Mongolia

Amidst Mongolia’s fast-pace development of large-scale mining, conflict over land use has increasingly pinned large mining interests, the state and local pastoralist communities living in the vicinity of large-scale mining operations. The latter have recently sought to trigger international grievance mechanisms on the basis of being indigenous people, even though they are not recognized as such by their own government. This paper reflects on the multi-scalar implications of extractive activities on transnational identity formation, political spaces and strategic negotiations with state and corporate power.

Moderators
JM

Julie MacArthur

Julie MacArthur

Speakers
avatar for Sam Crawley

Sam Crawley

Victoria University of Wellington
DH

David Hall

AUT University
avatar for Pascale Hatcher

Pascale Hatcher

University of Canterbury
PS

Peter Skilling

Peter Skilling
PB

Patrick Barrett

University of Waikato
PK

Priya Kurian

University of Waikato


Friday November 29, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
E5 Engineering Core

Attendees (6)