Suggest a thesis source

April 5, 2012

in Geek stuff, Internet matters, PhD thesis, Writing

As with my M.Phil thesis, I plan on using various technological tools to help with the creation of my doctoral thesis.

Here’s a simple one I am trying: a web form that allows people to suggest thesis sources.

If you come across something that you think would be interesting and useful to me, please put the details in the form and submit it. Google Docs will automatically compile the responses into a spreadsheet for me.

If you have suggestions about how the form could be improved, let me know through the ‘Notes’ field or leave a comment here.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Padraic April 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

What’s your topic?

Milan April 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

My preliminary research proposal:

While doing my M.Phil in Oxford, I studied the emerging literature on the normative theory of climate change. This is a relatively new field with many opportunities for significant original contributions to scholarship. In my doctoral research, I want to build on this literature and previous work in political theory to examine how our growing knowledge about climate change affects our moral responsibilities. In particular, I want to examine the moral relevance of uncertainty. This includes the vital question of how uncertainty about the timing and severity of climate change impacts affects the ethics of present-day decision-making, as well as the practical and ethical questions that arise from overlapping uncertainties about climate change, future trends in energy production and use, and global economic development. The long-term character of climate change expands the scope of whose interests need to be considered when making policy. It also challenges traditional notions of democratic legitimacy, given how the choices made by governments today affect many unborn generations who are unrepresented in the political process. The political and moral dimensions of climate change, rather than the technical ones, are those which have been least thoroughly explored. A great deal of work remains to be done on the subject within the discipline of political science and political theory.

In addition to working on theoretical aspects of the global politics of climate change, I want to conduct empirical research on the climate change activist community: examining their motivations, their ethical arguments, and the ways in which they have influenced the wider political discussion in North America. This community includes both long-standing organizations like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club and newer organizations focused exclusively on climate, such as 350.org.

The practical aim of this research would be to better understand how ethical arguments about climate change can be translated into changes in policy and to explore the ideas latent within public debate, particularly within a North American context. I have had personal exposure to the climate change activist movement, most recently in the context of recent efforts by 350.org and others to block presidential approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. I think it would be feasible to examine such campaigns for evidence of moral arguments being put into practice, to improve the state of scholarly understanding of how such movements relate to previous efforts at morally-motivated political reforms at the societal level (such as the civil rights movement, used as an explicit model by the climate change activist community), and to investigate the effect of the arguments of these groups on political decision-making. I hope to remain involved in the work being done on climate change by non-governmental organizations while I am working on my doctorate. The real-world political project of incorporating a reasonable treatment of the ethical claims of future generations into current political structures ties together the practical and theoretical sides of this research project.

. May 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Theme Issue ‘Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications’ compiled and edited by Mark G. New, Diana M. Liverman, Richard A. Betts, Kevin L. Anderson and Chris C. West

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