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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

Call for Papers: Journal of Global Ethics special issue

Climate Justice and the Global Development Crisis

Guest Co-editors: Anna Malavisi (Western Connecticut State University, USA), Tom Hilde (University of Maryland, USA), Krushil Watene (Massey University, NZ)

Proposal submission deadline: September 1, 2022

The wellbeing of all life on our planet is under major threat and poses serious challenges for political systems and the geopolitical context at a global level. Climate change disrupts the social-ecological systems in which human communities are embedded and on which they are dependent, and challenges human communities’ social, economic, and political capacities and resources to cope with environmental change. Climate change introduces challenges to inherited concepts and norms, models and methods, and strategies of development, at least as historically conceived. The climate situation is a development crisis. Moreover, addressing climate justice requires drastic changes in national and global policies; and, thus, reimagined, transformative development pathways or systems. Indeed, climate change poses challenges to/for the very idea of development.

Communities in the global south are particularly vulnerable to the problems caused by climate change in multiple and intersecting ways, due to radically lower access to material resources, long-standing injustices and marginalization, and increasing exposure to climate impacts such as desertification, water stress, floods, fires, extreme weather conditions, diminishing soil fertility, loss of important species, and threatened food systems. These vulnerabilities are rooted in a structurally unjust global order. At the same time, governments face the growing vulnerability and precarity of entire populations. Migration of large populations in the face of environmental change, including across national boundaries, challenges institutions of governance and assistance, if not the conceptual foundations of the nation-state.

Examining the ethical dimensions of the climate-development nexus generates a space to explore the responsibilities and obligations of individuals, organizations, governments, corporations and other actors in addressing both climate justice and ethical development, as well as means to achieve better futures for both near-term and distant generations.

The aim of this special issue is to explore transformative possibilities at the intersection of climate justice and global development. Development in the form of economic growth, propelled by carbon-based energy and expanding land conversion, has been and remains the key driver of climate injustice. The expansion of production, infrastructure, and services has often ignored consideration of the broader ecosystem in which it occurs, under assumptions about an earth with endless resources and capacity to absorb human waste. One of the first and foremost connections between climate change and global development is that both involve a strong anthropocentric worldview; this has limited human understanding of the environment and ecosystems but has also influenced the norms and principles of development practice. Global development as a driver of climate injustice is also offered as an answer to climate justice, but in what form? Thinking about the nexus between climate justice and global development demands a more critical analysis of the role and purpose of development in the 21st century.

We welcome contributions from community and environmental activists, development practitioners, scholars, and policymakers that share practices, and address questions, issues, and challenges at the nexus of climate change and development, such as the following or other relevant topics:

Reimagining Global Development

  • The contributions of local communities for reimagining global development
  • Implications of climate migration for development and conflict
  • What is the role of non-human nature or “nature-based solutions” at the climate-development nexus?
  • Roles and responsibilities of NGOs, business and social entrepreneurs

Rethinking Global Responsibilities

  • Sustainable Development Goals: questions, limitations, challenges, etc. in the context of climate change
  • Responsibilities to present and future generations
  • Ethical dimensions of scaling local and global climate-development responses
  • Epistemic justice and non-Western or indigenous ecological and climate knowledge
  • Energy justice and global development
  • Who pays? Development commitments in light of environmental debt and accumulated benefit
  • Limitarianism: challenges, possibilities, limitations

Pursuing transformative socio-environmental change

  • Is climate adaptation “development”?
  • Decolonial and indigenous responses to the climate crisis
  • Feminist and anarchist approaches to the climate-development nexus
  • Is the role of the state in development compatible with climate action
  • Transformative, integrative development: theoretical and practical questions
  • Individualism, nationalism, and their decelerating effects on international commitments
  • How ethical frameworks in development address climate change

This is not an exhaustive list; prospective contributors may suggest additional topics.

Contributions from scholars based in the Global South are particularly encouraged.

Proposals of up to 500 words, plus reference list, are invited. Proposals and articles in English are requested. Proposals received after the deadline noted below may also be considered (please direct inquiries to the email below.)

Manuscripts (of 6,000-8,000 words) should be compiled in the following order:

Author name(s) and title on first page; title, abstract (200 words), and five keywords on second page; main text (set for anonymous review); acknowledgments; references; appendices (if appropriate). Manuscripts will be subject to anonymous review by referees. Authors should expect that manuscripts will proceed through at least one round of revision before final decision by Co-Editors. Publication of the special issue is anticipated for December 2023 or soon thereafter.

Style guidelines:

Submission of proposals: September 1, 2022

Notification regarding proposals communicated to authors by Co-Editors: October 1, 2022

Submission of papers: April 1, 2023

Direct inquiries and submissions to:



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