A narrative account of temporality in climate justice

Authored by: Nejma Tamoudi , Michael Reder

Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138689350
eBook ISBN: 9781315537689
Adobe ISBN:


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Predominant theories of climate ethics face some structural problems due to the time-transcending standpoint supporting their widely abstract moral reasoning. In contrast, a narrative approach explicitly elaborates on the embeddedness of normativity in its social and temporal dimension. By conceiving distant futures as imaginative and shapeable horizons of normative expectations, it implies a meta-ethical dimension ordering present as well as past actions or events in light of possible future states. It thereby entails a constant re-evaluation of habituated validity claims and power structures. Thus, narrative approaches emphasise the historically shaped socio-environmental relationality that concepts of climate justice inevitably entail. Temporality no longer appears as externally limiting our capacity of bringing change to the world. Finally, collectively narrated futures based on a diachronic self-understanding can develop new forms of intergenerational coexistence and transtemporal solidarity, thereby activating deliberative processes that motivate, criticise and transform socio-political realities.

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