Ethics, Policy and Environment 21 (3):396-399 (2018)

Idil Boran
York University
ABSTRACTAs the window of opportunity to limit global average warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels is narrowing, the impacts of climate change are already being experienced around the world. No longer of merely theoretical interest, the issue of ‘loss and damage’ has become central to climate politics. Against this backdrop, old concepts of responsibility and wrongful harm are being revisited. Boran proposed moving away from an interactional conception of harm to an architectural one. The former supports the widely shared view that wrongful harm results from actions. The latter turns the spotlight on complexity and social practices. In response to critical appraisals, this short essay revisits key components of an architectural conception of harm. An architectural approach is not an analytic tool to answer the epistemic challenges in singling out those who are causally responsible as a discrete problem. It is an encompassing theoretical framework drawing a picture of a world where vulnerability is inseparably tied to a complex web of social, political, and institutional interrelations. Wrongful harm resulting from climate impacts is inextricable from the constructed environment and everyday practices forming a complex web of social and political interconnections.
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DOI 10.1080/21550085.2018.1562530
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