Conference organised jointly by Pondicherry University, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Ruhr University Bochum and Justus-Liebig University Giessen of Germany

Comparative studies in social sciences aim at understanding the comparative advantage and to explore the feasibility of adopting the factors contributing to the advantage. Contemporary developments in the global system reflect a shift from convergence development to the theory of multiple stages of attaining modernity. As such countries especially the liberal democracies have adapted and acclimatised globalisation and consequently reforming and restructuring their societies and social values accordingly. Regardless of this level of gradation in the absorption of modernity and shaping collectivism, the increasing global environmental problems such as global warming and climate change has compelled states to tackle environmental problems in a concerted manner. The states address the issue of climate change and environmental conservation through their respective public policies and approaches. It is at this juncture; it becomes imperative to identify how the countries perceive global problems through their native or local perspectives. This might exhibit a skewed manner in which the countries strategize their initiatives for addressing climate change and environmental protection. For example, a comparison between western developed countries such as Switzerland or the United States or countries in the global north and south such as Germany and India may adopt different approaches. While India with its largest milch cattle population contributes to the lowest greenhouse gas such as methane, the situation in Europe is different. On the other front such as green initiatives such as encouraging recycling of plastics, levy of green tax and having a concise green action plan the situation of the Global North could be totally different than that of the south. Accordingly, significant gaps exist and are reflected in the current state of scientific knowledge, in the literature on the situation and history of the environment in both countries and in the way in which environmental problems are interpreted and assimilated by the media and thus by politics. 

So far, only the basics of Indian environmental history are known, often only through impulses from outside the country. These laws were a by-product of colonial rule enforced by the British through a flawed understanding of the prevailing Indian economy, thus contributing widely to the impoverishment of the ordinary masses. More concrete and substantial environmental policies relevant to India in the form of combined ideas of life reform have been attributed to mass movements like Sarvodaya, Chipko Movement and also to leaders like Gandhi and his struggle to overcome rural misery. On a pragmatic assessment the position of Germany compared to the rest of the countries of Global North, state of research, public policy making and awareness for ensuring climate change and justice is considered to be considerably more advanced.

It is in this context, this three-day International Conference on Politics, Media and Environment” is organised jointly by the University of Giessen, Germany and Pondicherry University during 4th to 6th March 2020 in Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India with an aim of establishing a research network between a research network will be established between Pondicherry University, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Ruhr University Bochum and Justus-Liebig University Giessen of Germany.

The subthemes of the International Conference are as under but not limited to 

  • Environmental Issues, Mass media and Communication 
  • The role of mass media and their policy advocacy role
  • Critique of Indian Media
  • The importance of promoting social values and ethics towards Environmental Conservation
  • National Governance and Global Mediation
  • Environmental Management of Global Commons, Common Property Resources 
  • Public Policy and Environment
  • Environmental Politics
  • The linkages between Gender, Politics and Environment
  • Judicial Activism and Environmental Protection
  • Civil Societies, Non State Actors in the Conservation of Environment
  • Political Culture, participation related to Environmental Issues
  • Vulnerable population and their livelihood related linkages with Environmental Protection
  • Traditional Wisdom, Indigenous Knowledge System in Environmental Protection 
  • Culture, Identity, livelihood and survival of the Commons

Eminent social scientists from India, Germany, India and from South and South East Asia will be presenting their ideas and deliberate upon the theme of the International Conference. This collaborative initiative between German Universities and Pondicherry University aims at examining and re-examining the linkages between Politics, Media and Environment.