What is 'Cosmic' about Urban Climate Politics?

On Hesitantly Re-staging the Latour-Beck Debate for STS

  • Anders Blok

Abstract

While Bruno Latour's criticism of Ulrich Beck's cosmopolitanism helped set the stage 15 years ago for the highly productive research approach of cosmopolitics, including as concerns urban ecological politics, a nagging doubt remains that more blood was spilled than necessary in the exchange. In this short discussion piece, I re-stage the Latour-Beck debate as part of on-going inquiries into the more-than-human politics of climate adaptation in Copenhagen, exploring what exact senses of 'cosmos' might be helpful in making sense of this increasingly common-place situation. At issue, I suggest, is the question of what it means to say that ‘natures’, in the plural, are put at stake in such settings. Far from any synthesis, in turn, I conclude that scholars in STS and beyond might do well to extend a shared hesitation towards both sides of the debate - cosmopolitics, cosmopolitanism - and thus take the opportunity to share unresolved conceptual tensions in the service of posing better problems. 

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Section
Discussion Paper
Published
Dec 15, 2020
How to Cite
Blok, A. (2020) “What is ’Cosmic’ about Urban Climate Politics? On Hesitantly Re-staging the Latour-Beck Debate for STS”, Science & Technology Studies, 33(4), pp. 50-59. doi: 10.23987/sts.84500.