What is 'Cosmic' about Urban Climate Politics? On Hesitantly Re-staging the Latour-Beck Debate for STS

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


While Bruno Latour’s criticism of Ulrich Beck’s cosmopolitanism helped set the stage 15 years ago for the highly productive research approach of cosmopolitics, including as concerns urban ecological politics, a nagging doubt remains that more blood was spilled than necessary in the exchange. In this short discussion piece, I re-stage the Latour-Beck debate as part of on-going inquiries into the morethan-human politics of climate adaptation in Copenhagen, exploring what exact senses of ‘cosmos’ might be helpful in making sense of this increasingly common-place situation. At issue, I suggest, is the question of what it means to say that ‘natures’, in the plural, are put at stake in such settings. Far from any synthesis, in turn, I conclude that scholars in STS and beyond might do well to extend a shared hesitation towards both sides of the debate - cosmopolitics, cosmopolitanism - and thus take the opportunity to share unresolved conceptual tensions in the service of posing better problems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience & Technology Studies
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)50-59
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 237511003