Overline: Democratic governance
Headline: Podcast Explores Carbon’s Role in Politics

In a new podcast series, IASS researchers discuss the role of carbon in climate and sustainability politics. They talk to academics, activists and artists whose work has influenced their own research on the transformations of our carbon-dependent society. In the first episode, political scientist Cara New Daggett of Virginia Tech offers an innovative, feminist and critical look at energy.

Carbon Critique Podcast

The podcast is produced by the IASS research group Democratic Governance for Ecopolitical Transformations (Ecopol) and forms part of the group’s larger mission to develop new cartographies and approaches to thinking about climate politics and ecopolitical transformations. The researchers want to explore the problems associated with the governance of carbon, and whether and how decarbonization practice and rhetoric can go beyond “carbon rationality” – a system of thinking and governing that is based on a political economy of carbon emissions.  They will discuss the political meanings and implications of carbon and the ways it has shaped our society and planet.

A platform for lively exchange

Their transdisciplinary research, which includes representatives from politics, arts, and civil society and a multiplicity of disciplines, has impelled the researchers to experiment with different aesthetics and modes of communication. Through their podcast project, they aim to build a platform for science communication and knowledge production. The podcast serves as a digital arena, designed to open up conversations between hosts, guests, and listeners.

In the first episode of the Carbon Critique podcast series, IASS researchers M. Cecilia Oliveira and Alexandra Tost talk to Cara New Daggett, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech, about her book “The Birth of Energy: Fossil Fuels, Thermodynamics, and the Politics of Work.” In this book, Daggett traces the genealogy of energy and demonstrates how the term has been socio-historically constructed in ways that connect energy and labor.

Available on multiple platforms

Other guests in the first season will be Timothy Mitchell (Columbia University), Maurizio Lazzarato (Pantheon-Sorbonne University) and Julia Dehm (La Trobe Law School). A written version of the interviews will also be available in both English and German as the episodes are released. You can find the episodes on the IASS website and streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes and Soundcloud.