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Climate Urgency and Just Transition

Temporalities of Post-Carbon Democracy in Germany

My research project is set around the energy transition in the Central German Coal District necessitated by the climate crises. It is premised on the insights from the energy humanities that rapid climate or energy transition not only urgently require values such as democracy or justice, but these critical political concepts themselves must be transformed. I approach this pressing double-blind of social-ecological transformations through the transdisciplinary methodology of field-philosophy. Field-philosophy bridges the empirical and fieldwork-based disciplines of anthropology with the conceptual and normative approach of philosophy to engage concepts in their lived context together with stakeholders. In this project, I collaborate with the civil society initiative Pödelwitz hat Zukunft which advocates for climate justice, democracy, and a social-ecological Transformation of the village Pödelwitz in Saxony, after successfully resisting the expansion of the neighboring lignite mine. Together, we investigate what can be learned from Pödelwitz about democracy and justice in social-ecological transformations while actively transforming it towards these ideals. 

Doctoral Candidate: Jonny Grünsch

I am a PhD candidate at the institute for social and cultural anthropology of the Martin-Luther University of Halle, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Asta Vonderau (MLU) and Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Sciacca (University of Catania). My academic background is interdisciplinary: I received a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Freiburg and a M.Sc. in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society from the University of Twente. By combining empirical analysis with philosophical theorizing, I try to bring this interdisciplinary training into my research. For instance, in my master thesis I have investigated the philosophy of the circular economy in EU policy. Currently, I am interested in the fields of climate justice and degrowth, both from a scholarly as well as an activist perspective. From this dual engagement arises the methodological question, how to navigate diverging demands in transdisciplinary research, with which I grapple at the moment and love to think and chat about!

Meet The Team

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Jonny Grünsch

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg


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Asta Vonderau

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

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Fabrizio Sciacca

PhD Candidate



Ferropolis GmbH

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