PhD : Soil carbon, a new asset for territories. A sociological analysis of the politics of soil...

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: 17 May 2019

The global aim of restraining global warming under 2 °C increase of

average global temperature (resulting from COP21 negotiations) seems

feasible to many experts only if we manage to harness the natural

capacities of carbon sequestration of natural carbon wells, such as

ocean or soil. Today, France plays a pilot role in the development of

new soil carbon sequestration technologies both through the

international Initiative of “4 per 1000: soils for climate and food

security” and the recent publication of a new obligation for French

territories of assessing their carbon stock in order to manage and

improve it (Plan Climat Air Energie Territorial: PCAET).

The PhD thesis aims to analyze the rise of new socio-political logics of

climate anticipation, based on soil and soil carbon, through developing

a sociological investigation into the on-going implementation of those

two political devices (4 per 1000 and PCAET). It includes two sets of

research questions that will contribute to:

- political sociology scholarship on the new politics of climate change

and their focus on “negative emission technologies” as well as

anticipation and adaptation at the territorial level

- the sociology of measurement scholarship and the literature on the

biopolitics of nature (role of soil carbon measurement techniques in

making soils knowledgeable and governable as a whole)

- environmental humanities: relations of society to soil and focus on the climatic services rendered by soil.

The investigation of two on-going devices of public action is very

promising regarding the innovation of the PhD thesis. The PhD thesis

will participate in the Territories department Leading Axis “Adaptation

of Territories to climate change”. It involves a pluridisciplinary

supervision through C. Granjou (research director in sociology) and

Lauric Cécillon (research fellow in soil biogeochemistry) and a steering

committee including competencies in political sciences (especially the

politics of climate anticipation) and science, technology and innovation

and studies.

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