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Climate Urgency and Just Transition

Temporalities of Post-Carbon Democracy in Germany

My research project centers around the energy transition in the Middle German Coal District and follows the regional and EU policy actions taken as part of the Just Transition Mechanism. I will study empirically what concepts of justice different actors such as policy makers, coal workers, and activists employ in this political discurs. Acknowledging the transition as a process, a particularly important angle for my investigation is the procedural dimension of justice, such as modes of decision-making and participation. I approach and analyze this dimension through the notion of post-carbon democracy, drawing on theoretical frameworks which conceptualize the mutual interplay of energy or matter and politics. Beyond empirical and conceptual analysis, a central aspiration of my project is transdisciplinarity: In line with recent methodological developments in ethnographic research, I want to co-shape interventions into this political energy transition together with societal stakeholders by formulating and advocating emancipatory visions of just transitions and post-carbon democracy.

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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