Paper short abstract:
This paper argues for a more equitable and reflexive model of scenario-based forms of adaptation planning by incorporating scholarship from the anthropology of time. Drawing on cases of scenario practice and ethnographic research on time, the paper offers pathways forward for improved co-production
Paper long abstract:
Scenario-based adaptation processes are often initiated not by communities or local actors but rather by academics or governmental and non-governmental practitioners. As such, following Textor et al's (1996) concept of 'tempocentrism', we argue that the dynamic narrative world-building of scenario practice can operate as a kind of 'vortex' (Fairhead and Leach 2003) privileging certain kinds of knowledge and ways of being while eclipsing if not erasing others.
As a response, in this paper, we explore the inherent temporal politics at play in scenario practices and the ways an 'anthropology of time' can contribute to building equity and reflexivity. To do so, this paper draws on various case studies that illustrate key moments in scenario-building practice where an anthropology of time could help practitioners recognize diverse temporalities. In particular we focus on temporal orders and the directionality of time, the temporal effects of social processes and drivers of change, and the ontological and epistemological temporalities of plausibility/probability. By attending to these, we also draw on advances in the anthropology of time, focusing in particular on the ontological and phenomenological components of temporal culture, the narrative and discursive framings of time as place (and vice versa), and the temporalities of politics.
Ultimately, this paper formulates an argument for a more just and equitable model of scenario-based forms of adaptation planning in which local actors and communities can craft meaningful visions of the future and where practitioners can develop the reflexive awareness of how scenario practices work as mechanisms of social change.
Climate Change and the Future: Exploring the 'Social Time' of Transformation through Scenario-based Practice