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Wynn Receives Wayne Morse Dissertation Fellowship

The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics is pleased to announce that Shangrila Joshi Wynn will be a 2009-10 Dissertation Fellow. Wynn’s research deepens the upcoming Morse Center inquiry into “Climate Ethics and Climate Equity” by examining issues of equity and justice in climate change policy with a focus on the role of India in negotiations.

Wynn will join the Wayne Morse Center line-up of scholars next year that includes Dale Jamieson as visiting Morse Professor, and Ted Toadvine (Philosophy and Environmental Studies) and Adell Amos (law) as Resident Scholars. The center will sponsor classes, seminars and public events on the theme of Climate Ethics and Climate Equity.

Shangrila Wynn is native of Nepal, fluent in in Nepalese and Hindi, and experienced in international research and reporting. Wynn is a Doctoral Candidate in Geography and Environmental Science, Studies and Policy at the UO.  Professor Shaul Cohen is her dissertation advisor. She received her Masters degree in International Affairs in 2004 from Ohio University.

Wynn’s dissertation is titled “Climate Justice and Geopolitics: Analysis of India’s role as an emerging economy of the global South in International Climate Change Policy Negotiations.”

Ongoing international climate policy debates are plagued by conflicting notions of equity and justice regarding the adaptation and mitigation measures to be taken to deal with climate change. The 1992 principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ that formed the backbone of the Kyoto Protocol, and the categorization of nations into more and less developed nations for the purpose of differentiating responsibility, are increasingly being questioned in post-Kyoto discussions in the context of the rapid ascent of some developing countries that are protected by the current agreement. Not surprisingly, these emerging economies are adamantly resisting such arguments and refuse to curb their growing emissions.

The dynamics of these global negotiations and politics avail an opportunity to ask some important questions for both environmental and social justice at a global scale. How does the geography of a country influence the construction of justice therein? What is the utility of the global South as a meaningful unit of analysis in discussions of environmental justice? To what extent are international environmental agreements influenced by ethical concerns? What are the challenges of reconciling ecological justice and international equity? I hope to answer these questions through the systematic study of India’s position in climate policy negotiations.