I find shadow places to be radical concept because it forces us to look at the whole (of practices, of narratives, of processes etc.). In a world where people and things compete for the spotlight, it is the shadows that give us fuller, more complete, holistic answers. Shadow places hold the more-than-human communities that are affected by the political, social, and economic discourses and practices. I expect them to prove to be a site for the answers to some of the most difficult questions of our enlightened civilizations ask today about how to survive the coming ages.
My work as Associate Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University explores the discourses of radical democracy, critiques of development, and emergent narratives in global environmental politics (especially transnational governance and public-private cooperation). I use mixed and/or interpretive methods (particularly post-structuralist discourse theory and ecocriticism) while drawing on political theory and philosophy to better understand global governance institutions and contemporary perceptions of naturecultures. I spend a lot of my time thinking about possibilities of an anti-essentialist ontology, political storytelling, an epistemology that engages with the phantasmal, particularly fantasies around Nature and Self, and democracy in the Anthropocene. Some of these thoughts have been published in my book Environmental Governance through Partnerships: A discourse theoretical study (2015, Edward Elgar) and the more recent articles listed below.
Mert A. (in review, 2019) Logics of development: From colonial to sustainable developmentalism, in “African Literature and (Post-)Development Thought” M. Kopf (ed.) SI in Journal of Commonwealth Literature.
Mert, A. (fc. 2019) “Democracy in the Anthropocene,” in Doris Fuchs, Agni Kalfagianni, and Anders Hayden (eds) Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance, Routledge.
Mert, A. (2019) “Democracy in the Anthropocene: A new scale,” in E. Lövbrand and F. Biermann (eds) Anthropocene Encounters: New Directions in Green Political Thinking, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 107-122.
Patterson, J. and T. Thaler, M. Hoffmann, S. Hughes, A. Oels, E. Chu, A. Mert, D. Huitema, S. Burch, A. Jordan (2018) “Political feasibility of 1.5°C societal transformations: the role of social justice,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 31 (1): 1-9, Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2017.11.002
Mert, A. (2013) “Discursive Interplay and Co-constitution: Carbonification of Environmental Discourses,” in C. Methmann, D. Rothe and B. Stephan (eds.), Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance: (De)constructing the Greenhouse, Routledge, pp. 23-39.