Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Nation-State and Transnational Environment Conference hosted by Institute

Fri, March 27, 2009

The eminent environmental historian William Cronon has written that there is nothing fundamentally new about the challenges confronting national governments in the twenty-first century. "The rate of change may have accelerated and its scale shifted dramatically, but in fact current environmental problems almost always have historical analogues from which we have much to learn."

The current environmental situation--in which rapidly intensifying transnational flows of people, goods, money, and ideas steadily erode the capacity of national governments to meet global challenges including resource scarcity, mass migration, and environmental degradation--is unquestionably dire, but it is not as unprecedented as much recent commentary might have us believe.

The Nation-State and Transnational Environment (NSTE) Conference is the centerpiece of the Institute for Historical Studies (IHS) global borders theme for the program years 2008-2009 and will be held at the new ATT Executive Education and Conference Center on the UT campus, April 16-18, 2009. The conference is free and open to the public.

The NSTE conference is designed to explore the ways in which nation-states have attempted to find solutions to one crucial set of global problems–namely, environmental problems–that, by their very nature, require international solutions.

The conference, consisting of seven panels over three days, brings together scholars and experts--including John McNeill, professor of history at Georgetown University and one of the world's leading environmental historians, Sierra Club President J. Robert Cox, and Forest Ethics co-founder Tzeporah Berman--to examine the lessons of history for challenges that are too often viewed as fundamentally new in human experience.

Specific panels examine the behavior of nation-states with respect to environmental toxins such as DDT and Agent Orange, migratory wildlife, and water resources.

Prof. Mark Lawrence
IHS Program Coordinator
Professor of History, History Dept.

Related Links:
IHS conferences
ATT Executive Education and Conference Center

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