Human caused climate change is an existential problem for modern society. Preventing catastrophic and widespread harm will require not only technological innovation and creative engineering, but will also necessitate effective economic, social and political innovation. Decarbonization will be disruptive of political economies and societies around the world, with disorienting psychological and political effects. It will be difficult but imperative for societies to understand these disruptions and anticipate barriers to progress and political backlash.
In the field of political science the lack of depth in studying climate change is emblematic of a broader lack of attention by the discipline. The situation is worsened by the fact that few current and recent PhD students are currently studying climate change politics at many major research universities. A similar challenge exists for the field of sociology, and to some extent economics.
The Climate Pipeline Project seeks to address this problem by fostering younger scholars, from graduate students to untenured professors. By spotlighting their work, and helping them develop connections with senior scholars, we hope to encourage rapid growth in attention to the social science study of climate change.
We are a group of scholars who have come together to try to turbo-charge the field by enlisting the energy and creativity of younger scholars, and to build networks between us and them, and among them. A research cluster supported by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is supporting pipeline activities in political science, sociology, and economics.
In political science, scholarship from any sub-field of political science, including Comparative, IR, American Politics, Political Theory, and combinations thereof, is encouraged. We also encourage interdisciplinary presentations linking political science with other social sciences, humanities, or other natural sciences studying climate change. Breadth is also encouraged for sociology and economics.
This effort was initially supported by Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Brown's Watson Center Climate Solutions Lab, as well as faculty. In political science the partnership continues with Brown's fantastic Climate Solutions Lab.