Climate Responsibility as a Normative Cornerstone of Multilateral Cooperation?
International attention is increasingly turned toward great power struggles. Yet, the most significant challenges of our times, such as climate change, cannot be solved without multilateral global cooperation and politics that respect planetary boundaries.
This project will develop International Relations theorisation that will take the norm of climate responsibility at the centre of politics. Drawing insights from an Arctic case study with a backcasting scenario approach of Futures Studies, the project aims to identify what kind of development trajectories would plausibly bring climate responsibility as the 'grund norm' of the international society by 2035.
The Arctic case is chosen due to the region's uniqueness: the post-Cold War Arctic cooperation was based on the shared vision of environmental protection and disarmament in the Northern hemisphere. Climate change has been the focus of the Arctic political dialogue for years because the region is warming notably faster than other parts of the globe. If climate responsibility developed into a cornerstone of multilateral cooperation, the Arctic would most likely be the stage where the process would begin. The medium-term perspective of the project provides a realistic time frame for the described change to realise: Within ten years, the norm of climate responsibility could plausibly become one of the key norms of international cooperation. In addition, due to the 10-year time frame, the research findings are more approachable since envisioning the year 2035 is cognitively not too challenging.
Comic art is utilised in all stages of the research process to enable this mental time travel. Furthermore, the project results are popularised by publishing a webcomic. The webcomic presents alternative futures understandably and concretely, thus stimulating public discussion and inspiring foreign policy actors to advance new development trajectories in Arctic cooperation.
Picture and logo are design by project artist Tuuli Hypén.