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Christopher Pavenstädt, AICGS Visiting Fellow

Christopher Pavenstädt

AICGS Visiting Fellow

Christopher Pavenstädt is a research associate in the cluster of excellency Climate, Climatic Change and Society (CLICCS) and the Department of Sociology at the University of Hamburg. He is a member of the interdisciplinary project group Social Constructions of Climate Futures. This project aims to explore how climate futures are imagined in different social arenas such as science, activism, local discourses, and media and how these future imaginations travel beyond and between these arenas. In his PhD project, Mr. Pavenstädt is comparing the role of narratives in climate activism and science in Germany and the United States, and how these imaginations re-shape discourses about political responses to the climate crisis.

Since 2018, new climate movements such as Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and the Sunrise Movement have elevated the need for climate action in broader political and societal concern. Yet political progress on climate action remains limited and activists as well as scientists are beginning to rethink their strategies. Therefore, there is a need to identify the broader beliefs and perceptions behind communication strategies as well as their potential to challenge dominant perceptions and to introduce alternative imaginations of climate futures that provide a basis for novel policy options. Building on theory of framing, narratives, and discursive agency, it is therefore not only of interest which climate futures are imagined, but also under which circumstances these imaginations are traveling to other social arenas (such as politics).

During his time at the AICGS, Christopher Pavenstädt will conduct interviews with climate activists and scientists and focus on the recent development of the broader U.S. environmental movement, comparing its trajectory to the German environmental movement.

AICGS is pleased to welcome Christopher Pavenstädt as a Visiting Fellow in June 2022.

Christopher Pavenstädt is a research associate in the cluster of excellency Climate, Climatic Change and Society (CLICCS) and the Department of Sociology at the University of Hamburg. He is a member of the interdisciplinary project group Social Constructions of Climate Futures. This project aims to explore how climate futures are imagined in different social arenas such as science, activism, local discourses, and media and how these future imaginations travel beyond and between these arenas. In his PhD project, Mr. Pavenstädt is comparing the role of narratives in climate activism and science in Germany and the United States, and how these imaginations re-shape discourses about political responses to the climate crisis.

Since 2018, new climate movements such as Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and the Sunrise Movement have elevated the need for climate action in broader political and societal concern. Yet political progress on climate action remains limited and activists as well as scientists are beginning to rethink their strategies. Therefore, there is a need to identify the broader beliefs and perceptions behind communication strategies as well as their potential to challenge dominant perceptions and to introduce alternative imaginations of climate futures that provide a basis for novel policy options. Building on theory of framing, narratives, and discursive agency, it is therefore not only of interest which climate futures are imagined, but also under which circumstances these imaginations are traveling to other social arenas (such as politics).

During his time at AICGS, Christopher Pavenstädt will conduct interviews with climate activists and scientists and focus on the recent development of the broader U.S. environmental movement, comparing its trajectory to the German environmental movement.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.