Climate change and the likelihood of genocide in the 21st century
Mark Levene's presentation in the line of eminent researchers presenting at HL-senteret, will look into how genocide mostly occurs when a state responds to extreme crisis by assaulting a communal group which the state perceives to be in some way responsible for that crisis. In an age of acute and accelerating anthropogenic climate change this talk seeks -with some trepidation- to stare into the abyss and consider what may be its parallel trajectory of genocide in coming decades. It will especially focus on two linked issues, food security and environmental refugees, using the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh as one key example. In sober conclusion, it will propose that only a process of social transformation - against the grain of current globalisation - can avert our entire species descending into the abyss.
Mark Levene is reader in comparative history at the University of Southampton and the Parkes Centre for Jewish/non-Jewish relations. He is also co-founder of Crisis Forum which seeks to galvanise academics to respond purposefully and holistically to the dysfunctional nature of our international system. His most recent work is (with David Cromwell co-editor) Surviving Climate Change, The Struggle to Avert Global Catastrophe (Pluto Press, 2007)