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The Disruption Nexus

Roman Krznaric explores the conditions in which crises lead to transformative societal change. He finds that transformative responses are most common in conditions of war, disaster, revolution, and disruption. The latter refers to “a moment of system instability that provides opportunities for rapid transformation” which is created by the “disruption nexus” of crisis events (typically […]

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Polycrisis in the Anthropocene as a Key Research Agenda for Geography: Ontological Delineation and the Shift to a Postdisciplinary Approach

Motivated by a desire to strengthen the social relevance of geography in the quest for global sustainability, Matlovic and Matlovicova discuss how the subdisciplines of geography and the rich heritage they present, as well as other related disciplines, can be integrated into the geographical study of polycrisis in the Anthropocene epoch. The authors identify polycrisis

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A Polycrisis Q&A with Malte Brosig

In an interview with CIVIS (Europe’s Civic University Alliance), University of the Witwatersrand International Relations Professor Malte Brosig shares his definition of polycrisis (“multiple interlinked crises, which condition each other creating a system in their own right. A strong emphasis is placed on crisis interconnection cross cutting many spaces and policy fields”) and responds to

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‘Pre-Polycrisis’ Hazard Mitigation

Nick King argues that industrial civilization has created many persistent and severe hazards (such as nuclear waste, methane leaking hydrocarbon infrastructure, contaminated sites, landfills, and deforested land), polycrises in the near future may significantly constrict humanity’s ability to manage these hazards, and therefore societies should prioritize long-term remedial actions now, while they still have the

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Polycrisis in the Anthropocene: An Invitation to Contributions and Debates

This commentary introduces “Polycrisis in the Anthropocene,” a special issue of Global Sustainability journal. It elaborates upon three major contributions of the issue’s lead article, “Global Polycrisis: The Causal Mechanisms of Crisis Entanglement,” and it explores three key debates surrounding the polycrisis concept: Are we in a polycrisis, at risk of a polycrisis, or neither?

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The Terrible Twenties? The Assholocene? What to Call Our Chaotic Era

Kyle Chayka considers different possible labels for “our chaotic historical moment, a term that we can use when we want to evoke the panicky incoherence of our lives of late.” Contenders include artist and author James Biddle’s “New Dark Age,” which emphasizes the dangers and disappointments of the internet era; social strategist Liz Lenkinski’s “Age

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Why So Much is Going Wrong at the Same Time

Addressing critiques of the polycrisis concept from the political right and left, Thomas Homer-Dixon argues that the world is in a polycrisis generated by novel and unprecedented conditions, as measured by total human energy consumption, Earth’s energy imbalance, the human population’s total biomass, and global connectivity. He then highlights the interconnected nature of contemporary problems

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Understanding Polycrisis: Definitions, Applications, and Responses

This paper compares conceptualizations of the term “polycrisis,” raising questions about the key aspects of different definitions while stressing a convergence in critical features. It conceives a polycrisis as a state in which multiple, macroregional, ecologically embedded, and inexorably interconnected systems face high – and advancing – risk across socioeconomic, political, and other dimensions. After

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The Polycrisis: An Introduction

This webinar addresses the origin and definition of the term ‘Polycrisis’; the environmental, social, political and economic factors contributing to the Polycrisis; and the risks arising from the accumulation, interaction, and worsening of those contributory factors. It also considers the ways in which complexity, uncertainty and conflicting priorities are contributing to the Polycrisis, how the

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