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Complementing scholarship addressing everyday development, we invite empirical, methodological, and theoretical papers that rethink climate politics, sustainable development, & participation, with a particular focus on capabilities & the limits participatory development places upon climate politics.
With the multiple crises brought about by COVID, the concerns of climate and development politics have become increasingly aligned around issues of systemic uncertainty, risk, and the politics of participation. In both fields these questions of governance resonate with notions of adaptation, mitigation, resilience, and vulnerability. Such agendas are frequently deployed by academics and practitioners as a way to frame and position the climate as an object or threat external to society - rather than as a constitutive and disruptive feature of human development processes. In practice this often leads to a disavowal of the messy power relations underlying the global sustainability project. This apolitical rendering is perhaps not surprising if we consider the liberal hegemony at the heart of adaptation orientated approaches to climate change. For some this is a contested legacy insofar as it proposes participation as the means through which to address global inequalities related to climate change. Yet developments in both fields have questioned the transformative potential of such agendas. They urge us to take seriously the political capabilities, as well as democratic deficits, constitutive of not only participation but also recognition. Complementing scholarship addressing bottom-up and everyday political development, we invite empirical, methodological, and theoretical papers that will rethink climate politics, sustainable development, and participation. Scholars and practitioners of climate change and development can draw important lessons from each other in order to critically address marginalisation and subjectivity and also reveal the longstanding conceptual and practical limits that participatory development has placed upon climate politics.