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Vulnerability and resistance: Islanding climate change politics

  • Weatherill, Charlotte Kate
Publication Date
Jul 19, 2023
Manchester eScholar
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My thesis engages critical feminist theory and Pacific studies literature to explore the concept of vulnerability in climate change politics from a historical and decolonial perspective. My thesis argues that climate change vulnerability is a racialised and gendered concept that builds on historical imaginative geographies that have a colonial history and a paternalistic and developmental politics. This conceptualisation enables First World fantasies of invulnerability, diminishing the importance of climate action and mitigation in particular. This argument is developed through an analysis of how vulnerability has been framed in key sites of climate politics, notably the IPCC and the UNFCCC, the origins of those framings, and their discursive effects. It also engages closely with the discursive strategies of islander discourse through texts including poetry, and satirical short fiction. I also seek to develop a new conceptualisation of vulnerability through the ‘islanding’ concept, drawing on the work of decolonial island feminists, artists and activists.

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