CEP Divisional Webinar 4

Shaping our collective futures: Radical political imagination towards climate justice. 

About this Webinar

Date: 27 June 2024

Time: 12h00-13h00

Platform: Teams

The climate crisis requires us to imagine alternative ways of living and relating grounded in climate justice principles. But what type of imagination do we need to respond to the multiple challenges associated with climate change? How does imagination shape political agency and collective action? What are the existing barriers to our imagination, and how can they be overcome? In this talk, I will address these questions by focusing on the concept of radical political imagination – which highlights the importance of recognising the role of social structures and broader systems of oppression in reproducing existing social injustices. I will make the case that radical political imagination, as a collective and political process, can be a tool for shaping our collective futures towards more just and sustainable ways. Drawing on empirical research with youth and their political imaginaries, I will also explore barriers to political imagination and how imagination might shape collective action towards collective futures. Findings suggest multiple barriers to agency and political imagination and the need to rethink how we look at power and participation in the era of the climate crisis. I will conclude by arguing that it is critical to highlight existing radical imaginings among climate justice movements.

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Meet Our Presenter

Maria Fernandes-Jesus (PhD, University of Porto) is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. She is also an associate researcher at the Center for Social Research and Intervention at Iscte-Institute University of Lisbon and an honorary research fellow at the University of Johannesburg. She currently teaches mainly qualitative research methods. Her scholarly work focuses on collective action, climate justice, youth participation, community-led initiatives, and political imagination. She is interested in researching these topics using mixed methods and following applied, participatory, and transdisciplinary approaches. She is currently the leader of the working group ‘Social Networks and Social Inclusion’, which is part of the European Rural Youth Observatory.  She is an associate editor of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology (JSPP) and the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology (JCASP). Maria has published more than 50 scientific outputs (for a full list of publications, see here or here) and was guest editor in several special issues, including: ‘Communities reclaiming power and social justice in the face of climate change’ published at the Community Psychology in Global Perspective’ (CPGP).

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