» Posts tagged: ‘climate change

A brief report highlighting research ouputs and other activities by researchers attached to the ISS Research Group on Governance, Globalisation and Social Justice (GGSJ) has just been released.

The report can be downloaded here.

ISSWith regards,

GGSJ Management Team (Des, Karin and Jeff).

GGSJ Visiting Scholar (2015) and renowned lawyer, Antonio Oposa and Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Handmaker were both interviewed in a 10-column feature article of the Dutch magazine De Groene Amsterdammer.

Oposa described his many decades of work as a lawyer, social mobiliser and environmental rights advocate. Oposa brought numerous, ground-breaking cases in the Philippines is credited with establishing what has become known as “The Oposa Doctrine”, namely the right of children to initiate legal actions on their behalf and on behalf of generations yet unborn. Oposa was quoted:

The law can be a powerful force for social change.

Handmaker, who used to practice law and now conducts research at ISS on legal mobilisation, explained how lawyers need to grapple with the political side of their work, in order to better understand the strategic potential of legal advocacy. Making a distinction between the political and the tendency of some to politicise legitimate legal claims, he was quoted:

Law is inherently political, although some lawyers would prefer not to face up to this.


On 25 November 2015, GGSJ Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Handmaker moderated a Hague Talks event at the Museon in The Hague.

hague-talksEntitled Ecocide: the Fifth International Crime against Peace?, speakers in this event included Humberto Piaguaje, Chief of Ecuador’s Secoya indigenous tribe; Pablo Fajardo Mendoza, Attorney and recipient of the Goldman Prize and CNN Heroes Award; Daniela Palacios, an International dispute resolution lawyer and Michael Baumgartner of Greenpeace Switzerland.


This column by GGSJ Senior Researcher, Professor Des Gasper, entitled ‘Climate Change Analyses: Precautionary? Principled?‘ is part of a Global Policy e-book


Entitled Climate Change and Human Rights: The 2015 Paris Conference and the Task of Protecting People on a Warming Planet, the e-book is edited by Marcello Di Paola and Daanika and will be released in November 2015.

Find out more here or join the debate on Twitter using #GPclimatechange

Public Seminar at ISS, co-sponsored by ISS-GGSJ and Greenpeace

oposaDate: Wed, 7 October 2015
Time: 16.15 – 17.30 hrs.
Venue: ISS (The Hague)

Tony Oposa, who joins the ISS GGSJ Research Group as a short-term visiting scholar in 2015, is a well-known environmental law activist from the Philippines. His work is internationally noted for the cases he fought to protect the Philippines’ natural patrimony. In 1990, he initiated a case to seek protection of his country’s tropical rainforests. The Oposa case was brought on behalf of both current and future generations of children. It challenged the Philippines’ government practice of issuing massive timber logging concessions licenses, which had among others resulted in rapid deforestation, floods and displacement of indigenous people. Ultimately, Tony won the case and made the Supreme Court of the Philippines formulate the concept of inter-generational responsibility, the right to a balanced and healthful ecology and the notion of inter-generational responsibility to preserve that ecology. The fact that the children involved were recognized in their right to sue, on their own behalf and on behalf of generations yet unborn, was a major achievement for environmental law and legal action. Various other cases and courses of action followed since. At present Tony is among others involved in initiatives to persuade the UN General Assembly to request an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (based in The Hague) that would clarify the obligations of states in relation to climate change.

In this seminar Tony will share his stories and experiences in standing up for climate justice for future generations with you. If you are interested in environmental action, legal mobilization and/or children’s rights, please join in!

Contact person: Professor Karin Arts.

Dr. Matt Bishop has joined the GGSJ Research Programme as a visiting researcher, courtesy of the Mundus MAPP programme co-ordinated by Dr. Karim Knio.

mbishopWe asked him to introduce himself and his work to us:

“I am a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. I teach courses on small states, international relations theory, and international politics; I co-ordinate our MPhil/PhD programme; and I’m also the managing editor of the Caribbean Journal of International Relations & Diplomacy.

I’m originally from the UK, and spent my entire student life at the University of Sheffield, where I also did my PhD, the focus of which was a comparative analysis of development in the tiny islands of the Anglophone and Francophone Eastern Caribbean. This later became my book The Political Economy of Caribbean Development, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. I remain attached to SPERI and manage a blog.


ju_sajhr_coverGGSJ researcher Professor Des Gasper has published an article in the South African Journal on Human Rights with co-authors Ana Victoria Portocarrero and Asucion Lera St. Clair.

Entitled ‘An analysis of the Human Development Report 2011 : sustainability and equity : a better future for all’, the article explores the 2011 report regarding aspects of climate change and development.

Gasper and his co-authors argue that the report reveals “a markedly technocratic direction, largely apolitical and insensitive to human rights issues and justice, giving a diluted successor to the HDR 2007/2008 and now close in perspective to the World Bank”.

© cfnhri.org, NASA, Flickr Creative Commons

© cfnhri.org, NASA, Flickr Creative Commons

GGSJ research in the area of climate change addresses its causes and effects, and especially the politics, legal contours and ethics of possibilities for reducing and modifying such change and for adapting to the changes which are now underway.

Click here for further details of GGSJ research in this area.



The National Science Foundation-supported Central African Forests and Institutions (CAFI) program of the University of Michigan¹s School of Natural Resources and Environment seeks paper and poster submissions for its workshop on Central African Forests in Paris on September 19 and 20, 2013. The workshop will focus on some of the most critical issues in the region related to forests, governance, climate change, local livelihoods, and driving concerns about power, inequality, and institutions.

The Central African Forests and Institutions (CAFI) Project is an interdisciplinary, multi-year study at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor funded by the National Science Foundation. The workshop will feature thematically organized presentations based on recent research in the region and invites researchers with an interest in social and ecological outcomes and methods relevant to the analysis of such outcomes in forest landscapes. We encourage submissions in particular from graduate students and younger researchers, professionals, NGOs, and activists that address the following five themes relevant to the tropical forests of the Congo Basin: More

2013 DSA Annual Conference

Category: Events

25 Mar 2013

Saturday 16th November 2013 

Venue: University of Birmingham

The DSA Annual Conference 2013 will be co-hosted by the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department and will also be celebrating their 50th Anniversary. It will take the form of a one day Conference with an open call for panels and papers, reflecting a more democratic process of bringing together current research and thinking on development related issues.

The International Development Department is delighted to be hosting the DSA conference on the eve of its 50th anniversary in January 2014. As IDD marks this anniversary, many other development studies departments in the UK have also, or are about to, celebrate similar anniversaries. It is hoped that you’ll join us in marking this occasion by coming along to the key note address on Friday 15th November and for dinner after that. The conference provides a further occasion as we consider post-2015 deliberations to reflect on the direction and contribution of the UK development studies sector to international development theory and practice. Attendance is free for this Keynote Lecture but there will be a charge for dinner and you will need to arrange your own accommodation if you are staying on for the DSA Conference on Saturday.

Whilst the Conference is based on an open call for papers, we expect that DSA Colleagues and Panel Convenors will bring forward new ideas which may:

  • Analyze the changing global context of development – including the weak global recovery, continuing  differentiation of the South, new forms of international interdependence and patterns of vulnerability, new actors and development  partnerships and blocked international multilateralism – and address its implications for international development cooperation and national development policy;
  • Link development thinking and practice with wider debates on economic crisis, climate change, sustainability transitions, inequality, human rights, social movements, democratization, security, technological change and new forms of governance;
  • Provide inputs for a post-2015 development agenda, including: assessing the process of formulating post-2015 development goals; lessons from MDG implementation; poverty, inequality and global justice; and the nature of sustainable development goals.


International Institute of Social Studies

The Governance, Globalization and Social Justice research programme aims to produce internationally leading, socially committed and societally relevant research outcomes on issues of governance from an explicitly social justice perspective. This blog is a forum on which to share and discuss themes and issues which fall within the broad framework of the programme.