The idea of climate change adaptation is now applied across rural spaces as a means to identify vulnerabilities and orchestrate new planning and development practices. Drawing on cases from rural India and Mongolia, this talk examines what is at stake in the politics of adaptation. It argues that climate change adaptation has emerged as a new and intrinsically political domain of development practice that operates within a wider spectrum of governmental technologies that represent order and reshape the agrarian world. Using a political ecology perspective opens up new and challenging insights on how discourses of adaptation emerge within the context of the uneven commercialisation of agriculture, changing property relations, forms of capital accumulation, macro-projects of environmental engineering, migratory flows, technological change and the emergence of new rural subjectivities and political movements.
Marcus Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies and the School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. He has written widely on the political economy and political ecology of development. The talk draws upon the speaker’s new book, The Political Ecology of Climate Change Adaptation: Livelihoods, Agrarian Change and the Conflicts of Development (Earthscan/Routledge, 2014)