AAS Past International Conference


Association of Asia Scholars

International Virtual Conference


Political Economy of Climate Change

(With two distinct strands for two volumes)

A. Politics of Climate Change: Convergences and Divergences in Asia

Conference Chair and Co-Chair: Theme A: Prof. Swaran Singh and Dr. Reena Marwah

B. Economics of Climate Change: Convergences and Divergences in Asia

Conference Chair and Co-Chair: Theme B: Prof. Lakhwinder Singh and Prof. Sukhpal Singh

• Abstracts by 25 July 2021

• Notification of Selected Abstracts: 15 August, 2021

• Full Papers by 10 October 2021

• Workshop with contributors of selected Abstracts 22-23 October 2021

Final International Conference 26, 27, 28 November 2021

Abstract word limit: 300 words   

Send your abstract @

Email: aas.intlconference@gmail.com

Theme A: Politics of Climate Change: Convergences and Divergences in Asia


The year 2020 was a watershed event in the history of climate change politics. It marked the end of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the beginning of the ambitious Paris Agreement, a non-binding instrument that reflects the key shifts and balances in global politics of climate change. It was also the year of the pandemic, which scourged the world and continues to ravage many parts of the world. The disruption caused by the pandemic carries severe implications on a global scale, which range from the return of hunger, poverty, and food insecurity to the return of geopolitics and mistrust. The pandemic also brought before the world the severity and scale of the transboundary challenges in a globally interconnected world. It exposed the weaknesses of the global institutions and governance structures to tackle the complex and imminent threat of climate change.

As the states begin to prepare for the future of global climate change negotiations at the upcoming COP26 event, there has been a significant shift in the politics of climate change at all levels. The negotiations will take place in the shadows of the pandemic which has managed to challenge the political lethargy and non-committal attitudes of states on the climate change question, or what the sociologist Anthony Giddens has described as the central paradox of climate change politics which states that, “since the dangers posed by global warming aren’t tangible, immediate or visible in the course of day to day life, however awesome they appear, many will sit on their hands and do nothing of a concrete nature about them. Yet waiting until they become visible and acute before taking serious action will, by definition, be too late.”

Climate change, unlike in the past, is now a hot issue on the political high tables. It has also spilled outside these negotiating spaces and into the public sphere. The politics of climate change, which was limited to the UNFCCC and COP events, is now a far wider concern. Whether it is the school strikes led by children or the indigenous struggles of marginalised populations, the politics of climate change today is far more diverse, representative and active. At the same time, we can witness the shifts in the state’s understanding of the problem as well, which are actively inquiring about its security and geopolitical dimensions. The boundaries between traditional and non-traditional threats to security are getting blurred as climate change and its myriad impacts wreak havoc on ecosystem resilience, state’s welfare capacity and everyday lives of people.

Therefore, it is critical to pose the question about the nature of global climate change politics in the post-pandemic and climate insecure world. Who will be its main actors, main stakeholders and losers? How will questions of equity, sustainability and finance interplay at the COP26 event and thereafter? How will developing and poor countries engage with the issue in the next phase of climate politics? Finally, how will the ambition of the Paris Agreement, which is reflected in the language of net-zero targets and the two degrees Celsius temperature goals, be brought to action.

Sub-themes ( tentative)

  • Global Governance and Climate Change post-pandemic
  • Global Commons and Climate Change: National and regional responses
  • Accords and Discord: Common but Differentiated Responsibilities
  • Littoral States and the politics of climate change
  • Multilateralism and Climate Change
  • Role of UN Agencies
  • Role of International Non-Governmental Organizations and other international Non-State Actors

Theme B: Economics of Climate Change


Climate change has become an overriding developmental concern as it affects all spheres of economic and social activity globally and within national economies. There is an awareness at the policy and development agency or civil society level to assess its magnitude, impacts and mechanisms to deal with it guided by SDGs and other global fora level targets. Asia is a distinctive partner in the global growth process and any adverse impact of climate change will have a far-reaching consequence for its economies. Asian nations have recognized the responsibilities of the planet earth and accordingly are making changes in the institutions, processes, and human behavior to become climate resilient. They are also making appropriate investments to develop safe and sustainable processes and innovations for making the economic development process sustainable and at the same time, more inclusive. However, given the relatively underdeveloped and developing state of economies in Asia, there are concerns about the trade-off which may be needed to tackle climate change challenges. Since the Asian economies themselves are highly differentiated, there are national and local level measures and strategies which seem more relevant and practical. Also, there are various perspectives within economic and development studies which include simple economic measures whether fiscal or monetary to achieve the purpose, the political economy perspective, and the institutional perspective which need equal attention in the socio-cultural and economic and environmental resource context of Asia. In this context, the major themes for research contributions would be:

  • Global and regional climate commitments and their political economy
  • Impact of climate change on production and productivity across countries and industries/sectors
  • National level policies and strategies for climate change management and cross country comparisons within Asia, including their political economy
  • Sector specific climate change issues and policy needs
  • Climate change and agricultural sector and food security issues
  • Green measures for climate change management and their effectiveness
  • Assessment of sector specific policy mechanisms and their effectiveness
  • Local level impacts of climate change, community response and their perceptions o Marginalised communities and regions and impact of climate change
  • Climate change finance and carbon trading mechanisms and their adequacy
  • SDGs and climate change interface and ways to enhance the convergence
  • Role of various institutions and organisations in combating climate change e.g. NGOs, government agencies and the private sector
  • Gender dimension of climate change impact and gendered solutions o Climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies
  • Technology, equity, inclusion, and climate change
  • Innovations in Energy production, consumption and distribution
  • Cost of delayed or non-action on climate change
  • 4th industrial revolution and climate change dynamics
  • Covid-19 pandemic and implications for climate change

Objective of the Conference:

The central objective of this conference is to explore the relevant themes and aspects embedded in the climate change discourses, both in theory and practice. The organizers hope to engage with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.

Who should Participate:

The proposed conference seeks to engage eminent scholars, academicians, analysts, and experts from India and abroad to discuss the various aspects of aspects and dimensions of climate change impacting countries, regions and the world. The Conference also provides a platform for policy practitioners for undertaking serious deliberations on the various sub-themes.



Sanjay Kumar Bhardwaj is Chairperson & Professor Centre for South Asian Studies, School of International Studies, JNU. His Areas of Specialization include India’s Foreign Policy with special reference to its Neighbours (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and China), Bangladesh: Identity, Politics and Foreign Policy issues, South Asia: History of Partition, Identity, Religion, South Asia: Politico-Security, Socio-Cultural Issues. He is the recipient of several awards and fellowships.

Sharad Kumar Soni is a Professor, Centre for Inner Asian Studies, School of International Studies His research interests include Mongolian, Central Asian and Inner Asian Studies with a focus on history, culture, ethnicity, politics and international relations of Mongolia, Kazakhstan as well as Tibet and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions of China, apart from issues concerning Mongol culture areas of Siberian Republics of Tuva and Buryatia. 

Sanjay Sharma is Professor with Ambedkar University, Delhi. He is a historian, translator and media practitioner. He was educated in Allahabad University (B.A.), Jawaharlal Nehru University (M.A.), Delhi University (M.Phil) and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Ph.D). He has researched on aspects of famine, relief, food security, drought, environmental degradation, state welfarism and philanthropy in modern India. He is also interested in issues of poverty, hunger, diet, disease, malnutrition, health and medicine in the colonial period. His wider areas of interest include state formation, popular culture, language and media in northern India. He has been engaged with comparative histories of India, China and Europe.

Reena Marwah is Professor, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, India. Her research interests include international relations, international business and politics of globalization. She was an ICSSR Senior Fellow, MHRD, Govt. of India, from June 2017 to May, 2019 and a Senior Academic Consultant with ICSSR for three years. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships (including the Robert McNamara fellowship of the World Bank in 1999 and the Asian Scholarship Foundation fellowship in 2002. Her latest book (March 2020), Re-imagining India-Thailand Relations: A Multilateral and Bilateral Perspective, has been published by World Scientific Publishers, Singapore.

Sukhpal Singh is with the Centre for Management in Agriculture (CMA), IIM, Ahmedabad. He has eight books including the recent ones on fresh food retail chains in India (2011), Modern food value chains in India (2012), and producer companies (2014),  and has published more than 100 research papers in international/national journals/edited books, and 50 review articles/articles in popular dailies/magazines. He was a visiting fellow at the IDS, Sussex (Brighton), UK, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and the University of Manchester; UK.

Lakhwinder Singh is Professor of Economics and Head, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, and Coordinator, Centre for Development Economics and Innovations Studies (CDEIS), Punjabi University. His research interests include development Economics, Systems of Innovation, Human Development and Knowledge-Economy, Rural-Urban Migration, Area Studies (Punjab, India, South Korea, Asia and BRICS). He is the recipient of several awards and fellowships and has published extensively.

Sangeeta Thapliyal, is a Professor at the Centre for Inner Asian Studies, School of International Studies and is currently an ICCR Chair professor in Spain. She works on strategic issues concerning South Asia with a special reference to Nepal. Her areas of research include Water Security in South Asia and Regional Cooperation. Her previous work experience includes the Director, Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Jammu, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi Policy Group and the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.

B. R. Deepak is a Professor of Chinese and China Studies at the Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He is the recipient of many scholarships and awards and has published extensively. He is the author of India and China 1904-2004: A Century of Peace and Conflict (2005), China: Agriculture, Countryside and Peasantry (2010), and Chinese Poetry: From 11th Century BC to 14th Century AD for which he has won China Special Book Award in 2011; India-China Relations: Civilizational Perspective (2012); India-China Relations: Future Perspectives (2012). 

Swaran Singh is Professor for Diplomacy and Disarmament at Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi). He is President of Association of ASIA Scholars, General Secretary of Indian Association of Asian & Pacific Studies, Guest Professor at Research Institute of Indian Ocean Economies, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (China) and Advisory Board Member of Atlanta-based Communities Without Borders Inc. (United States). He has numerous publications to his credit.

Dr. E. Sridharan is the Academic Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India (UPIASI) in New Delhi. He is a political scientist with research interests in comparative politics and political economy of development, party systems and coalition politics, and international relations theory and conflict resolution in South Asia.

Patricia Uberoi is currently Chairperson and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi. A sociologist by training, Dr Uberoi has taught Sociology at the University of Delhi and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and retired as Professor of Social Change and Development at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research interests centre on aspects of family, kinship, gender, popular culture and social policy in respect to both India and China.

Ambassador (Retd.) Sudhir T. Devare is a former Indian diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service (I.F.S) in 1964. He has worked in several Indian embassies abroad such as Moscow, Washington, Geneva and Myanmar. As Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs (1998-2001) he was closely associated with the evolution and implementation of India’s Look East policy as well as multilateral economic relations with the world. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board in 2002-03. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Centre of East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has held several positions of eminence, including the position of Director-General of the Indian Council of World Affairs from 2009-2012.

Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015). He has published extensively.

Wang Gungwu (b. 9 October 1930, Surabaya, Indonesia–) is an internationally renowned historian famed for his scholarship on the history of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, as well as the history and civilisation of China and Southeast Asia. In his illustrious academic career, Wang has held eminent appointments in various universities and organisations around the world. He is currently a professor emeritus at the Australian National University, and a University Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the highest academic title conferred by NUS. He was the Chairperson of the ASF.