Professor Andy Pratt was very pleased to attend a recent lecture at the LSE on 24 October 2012, given by one of his former PhD students: Christian Parenti. Andy supervised Christian’s PhD on crime control and urban governance in San Francisco in the late 1990s. A few years later Christian widened his focus somewhat and wrote a book – Lockdown America – about the increasing incarceration of America, and the new institutions that sustain it.
Christian Parenti is now a professor at the School for International Training Graduate institute. He has had a career as a campaigning journalist and his articles have appeared in Fortune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Middle East Report, London Review of Books, and The Nation (where he is a contributing editor). He has written several books, the latest of which – Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence – he was talking about in the lecture.
The book is a copiously documented exploration of how climate change is creating a toxic blend of poverty, farming crises, and homelessness leading to violence as it interacts with the social legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism across conflict zones of the Global South. Christian makes a cogent argument that we are seeing the real outcome of climate change in the social and economic real now: and why it is imperative to attend to them.
You can see a video feed of the lecture here: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=1615