Building Justice into Sustainability Transitions: Strategies from Engaged Climate Justice Scholarship with Sonja Klinsky

When and Where

Monday, March 28, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm


Dr. Sonja Klinsky


About the Lecture
The depth of injustice embedded in our current political, social, economic, and ecological systems means that questions of justice must be central to any effort to create a more sustainable future. Nevertheless, despite the growing recognition of this claim, identifying strategies for “building justice into” real-world transition processes requires explicit consideration. In this talk I argue that building justice into sustainability transitions requires attention to on-the-ground political and material dimensions of specific transitions, technologies of policy analysis, and rationales of resistance emerging from those who do or have benefitted from the status quo. Using examples from over a decade of attempting to build justice into climate transitions, I illustrate how inter and transdisciplinary scholarship can contribute to each of these components. Key strategies for building justice in through these components include making justice considerations visible in decision-processes, working closely with actors embedded in real-world decision-contexts, using analogous and cross-disciplinary thinking to open deliberations in politically contentious or stalemated contexts, and purposeful, relational engagement with the social-psychology of resistance. I will end with a few reflections about the utility of solidarity as a guiding principle for engaged scholarship that takes the notion of justice in sustainability transitions seriously.

About the Speaker
Dr. Sonja Klinsky is an Associate Professor at the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University. Her research and teaching practice centers around the justice dilemmas presented by climate change and climate change policy design at multiple scales. As an engaged scholar she has prioritized inter and transdisciplinary collaborations that are focused on the real-world challenges of building justice into sustainability transitions.

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