IAS Fellow, Durham University (October – December 2014)
Andrew Baldwin is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Durham University and Co-Director of the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience also at Durham University. He has also held academic posts at the University of Manchester and Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario). His research is primarily concerned with theorising the ways in which the related categories ‘race’ and ‘whiteness’ operate as key terms of reference in environmental political discourse. This work draws inspiration from critical race theory and postcolonial theory as well as from critical theory more broadly.
Dr Baldwin’s current research focuses squarely on the interrelationships between climate change and human migration. The aim of this work is to pluralise the rapidly expanding debate on climate change and migration with a view to stretching it beyond a narrow policy focus. In particular, it seeks to understand what the discourses and practices of global environmental change and migration can reveal about what it means to be human in the early twenty-first century. This entails tracing how discourses on global environmental change and migration are giving rise to new subjectivities, differences and political contestations and how these shape contemporary practices of liberal government. To date his principle contribution to these debates has been to elaborate a series of related tropes through which the figure of the climate change migrant is racialised. This work appears in Environment and Planning A, Citizenship Studies, and Geography Compass. In support of this work, Dr Baldwin chairs COST Action IS1101 Climate change and migration (www.climatemigration.eu), which is a pan-European network of social scientists researching all aspects of climate change and human migration.
Dr Baldwin’s earlier research was concerned with theorising the interrelationships between nature and race with a particular emphasis on forest conservation discourse and practice in Canada. This work appears in Space and Culture, Antipode, The Canadian Geographer and Environment and Planning A. As part of this project, he also co-edited Rethinking the Great White North: race, nature and the historical geographies of whiteness in Canada (UBC Press 2011) with Audrey Kobayashi and Laura Cameron.
While at the IAS Dr Baldwin will examine how the concept of emergence might be used to reinterpret the category ‘race’ specific to debates about climate change and migration. This will entail critically analysing social-ecological systems theory and techniques of urban resilience and disaster risk reduction through the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. He is especially interested to understand how physical scientists conceptualise molecular and cellular emergence in order to better appreciate how the category ‘race’ structures or is immanent to emergent interspecies relations.