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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Ben Campbell

Campbell, B. (2017). Encountering Climate Change: dialogues of human and non-human relationships within Tamang moral ecology and climate policy discourses. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 49: 59-87.

Author(s) from Durham


Climate change is fast becoming a dominant narrative for contemporary understandings of Himalayan societies, and the concerns for the wellbeing of communities situated in varying degrees of vulnerability to extreme climate events. This article questions how climate change discourse translates into lived worlds in such places. It reviews arguments that challenge the easy transfer of knowledge about data and models into contested political ecologies of territorial claims and sovereign powers. Using a longitudinal series of ethnographic vignettes, the theme of human dimensions of climate change is explored to connect debates in critical social theory of the anthropocene with the dialogical remonstrations of communities who experience climate change policies as a new stage in state encroachment on local livelihoods and wellbeing. People in northern Nepal speak of needing to cultivate reciprocal connections to territorial sovereigns, while being aware of not knowing how to act in uncertain political and economic times.