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Funding for Lena Partzsch through Spotlight Program

As part of the Spotlight Program, the Center of Comparative Politics with a Focus on Environmental and Climate Politics is receiving start-up funding to study the power of municipalities in the climate and energy crisis. The Program supports young female researchers at the FU Berlin.

News from Feb 23, 2023

Humans are dramatically accelerating global climate change, and the effects are becoming increasingly tangible, for example, in the form of heat waves and flood disasters. More than 2,000 municipalities worldwide have therefore declared a "climate emergency," including more than a hundred in Germany. There has been no systematic research on the power of municipalities in the face of new narratives of emergency and crisis yet. With the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, the international community has agreed to make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. However, municipalities are not only policy addressees. Many scholars consider municipalities to be best placed among policy-making levels to deal with complex problems such as climate change. There is hope for a new power "from below" with which local citizens drive transformation processes.

For an article theorizing understandings of power in transformation processes towards more sustainability, Lena Partzsch received the GAIA Best Paper Award. In the context of her research on non-(national) state actors in environmental and climate politics, she has also long been concerned with the power of local governments, but they have not been in her research focus so far. Based on the empirics of current activities regarding narratives on climate and energy crisis, Lena Partzsch can now develop her concepts of power theoretically and methodologically. Furthermore, she wants to do research not only about but together with municipalities and - transdisciplinarily - develop innovative strategies for the local implementation of global goals.

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