Brief Project Overview

EMERSA (Epistemic Mobilities and the Governance of Environmental Risks in Island Southeast Asia) is a project funded by the German Science Association/Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)´s SPP 1889 Sea Level Change and Society initiative (Work Program C). It is implemented by the Leibniz-Center for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen (PI: Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge) and the Sustainability Research Center (artec) at the University of Bremen (PI: Prof. Dr. Michael Flitner).

The study explores how policy interventions and social practices, together with standardized ‘recipes’ and solutions for living with the effects of sea level change in coastal megacities that are often advocated by states, international donors, and civil society organizations are taken up, contextually translated, politically legitimized and at times re-circulated internationally by local actors.

By analyzing coastal megacities as laboratories for anticipatory un/re-learning for risk governance, the project contributes to new currents in transformation research and practice. It does so by exploring how diverse socio-natural knowledges and epistemologies (i.e. ways of sense-making and place-making), together with material infrastructures shape localized forms of perceiving and living with coastal change.

Scientific Partners and Disciplines

With a focus on three Southeast Asian megacities, namely Jakarta, Manila, and Singapore, the project entails close collaboration with local partners crosscutting Universitas Indonesia´s Research Center for Urban and Regional Studies , the University of Asia and the Pacific´s Department of Asia Pacific Studies, and the National University of Singapore´s Department of Sociology.

The interdisciplinary study combines several core conceptual and thematic currents crosscutting the sociology of knowledge, human geography, urban planning, coastal anthropology, Asia Pacific Studies, and political ecology.