Conference & Summit:
Land governance and the politics of fair transitions:
Deepening the search for social justice
IoS Fair Transitions Platform & LANDac
Utrecht, the Netherlands | 3-5 July 2024
Building on the successful collaboration in last year’s Annual Conference, the IoS Fair Transitions Platform (UU) and LANDac are pleased to host a second joint Conference, which will have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We welcome your suggestions for panel sessions and round tables for the first two days. Building on your input, we will conclude on the last day with an experiment of democracy – a more-than human Summit. There will be limited hybrid options for participation in the Conference and the Summit.
The starting point for the Conference and Summit is the recognition that ongoing transitions in the name of climate change and clean energy are deeply unfair in multiple ways. The challenges involved in making these transitions ‘fair’ are enormous and some would say we are ‘beyond justice’ and can only limit damage. The picture is clear enough: climate policies and so-called green investments place huge burdens on people and spaces in the Global South as well as on areas inhabited by marginalized populations in countries of the Global North. Their rights are put under pressure, safeguards are lacking or not enforced, and the room to defend their lands, forests, pastures, and territories is constrained. Existing inequities are deepened.
In view of these challenges, how to do and think justice? Laws, regulations, and institutions that claim to make policies and investments more ‘inclusive’ often fail to do so. Instead, they may be instrumentalised by elites, facilitate resource capture, and ‘green wash’ extractivism. The land grab debate has shown that technical and managerial approaches alone, without a commitment to justice, risk feeding into procedural dispossession rather than fair outcomes. And as ‘climate justice’ is becoming part of global transition parlance, it risks being stripped of its emancipatory potential.
A first challenge is to uphold rights in view of the new wave of land and resource grabbing. For this, we can build on the experiences of those who have exposed land grabbing in its many guises and have protected and defended rights through land tenure reforms, advocacy, and grassroots activism. But how to think of social justice in the face of the high levels of destruction we are currently witnessing and how to face the issue of ‘extinguished’ rights? Can we extend our approach to justice to include not only protection but also restoration/regeneration and the reclaiming of vital spaces?
A second challenge is therefore to extend and deepen our understandings of social justice. There are interesting developments exploring more-than-human perspectives in debates on fair transitions. It is of particular urgency to strengthen solidarities and re-think justice in relation to past and future generations or along the lines of multispecies justice, which brings the moral obligation to consider the interests of those who cannot represent themselves in political deliberation. We propose to explore new narratives of more-than-human democracy, involving human connections with lands, natures, and their aspirations, and discuss how these could strengthen and deepen social justice. The Conference and Summit will explore both theoretical and practical implications from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Themes of the Conference & Summit
We welcome empirical, theoretical, and philosophical contributions as well practical and impact-oriented ones, in the Global South as well as North. We have formulated the following themes:
The conference & Summit take place on 3, 4 and 5 July 2024. The Call for sessions will open on January 16 and close on February 15, 2024. Accepted sessions will be published and call for abstracts for papers will open on February 28 and close on March 15, 2024. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by April 1.
The Annual Summer School will take place from 8 to 19 July 2024.
Please note: Visa application procedures to the EU are lengthy. We strongly advise to start booking an appointment well ahead of time.
The conference will be concentrated on-site, in Utrecht city centre. We aim to stream keynote sessions. We will have the possibility to host a limited number of sessions in hybrid format.
The first two days of the conference will include plenary keynote sessions and a range of parallel sessions in 1,5 hour slots. As in previous editions of the conference, we welcome a variety of formats: paper presentations, panel discussions, round tables. The sessions of the first two days will contribute to the Summit of the last day.
Regular updates on keynote speakers, accepted sessions, and other details on the programme will be shared through the LANDac and IoS Fair Transitions websites.
Registration and fees
Registration for the conference will open in March and closes end of June 2024.
Fees: Early Bird fee: 175 Euro (before May 15); Fee after May 15: 225 Euro. Details about student rate and the conference dinner will be communicated shortly.
Updates on the programme and the Summer School will be published through the LANDac and IOS Fair Transitions websites.