The Remarque Institute is delighted to announce Technology, the Environment, and the Future of Europe, a new Initiative that we are undertaking thanks to a generous grant from the Open Society Foundations.
The Technology, the Environment, and the Future of Europe (TEFE) Initiative aims to reboot and foreground the study of European politics in the Anthropocene. It is devoted to the multidisciplinary, intersectional study of technology and the environment and its profound effects now and well into the future on Europe, both in the domestic and international spheres. Of particular interest to us are the often-conjoined opportunities and challenges of technology and the environment as these determine the future of democracy as well as the transformation of civil society, work, the public sphere, and the decision-making of electorates.
Technology and the environment operate in constant, complex feedback loops with politics, society, and policy. And our lives are ridden with paradoxes around both issues. Technology and the human manipulation of nature sustain a modern quality of life and enable democratic societies. Yet climate change, itself caused by human industry and consumption, poses an existential threat to all planetary life on Earth and to our very definition of what it means to be human. Today, environmental factors and technological differentials set the stage for what policies are possible and at what cost; what electorates are willing to accept; what hopes and futures people imagine; what social pressures and mass population movements will follow from them. It is hardly excessive to say that technological and environmental anxieties are a critical issue for Europe’s social, democratic, and geopolitical future.
Over the past decade, war, forced migration, automation, economic crisis, and the ongoing climate catastrophe have played and continue to play an increasingly powerful role in shaping and driving European affairs. Many European countries boast robust social programs, including retraining schemes and ecologically impactful regulations—but these are sure to come under intense pressure as environmental devastation and technological saturation guide political decisions, political competition, and the protection of some segments of society at the expense of others. As leaders, political parties, cities, bureaucracies, and electorates make decisions on how to address these often-new and poorly understood issues (Artificial Intelligence not least among them), the diverging situations within and between countries, combined with the marginalization of Europe in global affairs, is bound to lead to growing tensions given their different capacities to absorb change and their differing levels of poverty and inequality.
From climate change to COVID-19, from the automation of labor to the role of social media in elections, from A.I. to the ongoing refugee crisis, the Anthropocene is reorganizing even how Europeans perceive politics and their place in society.
Visiting Fellowships and Graduate Fellowships are semester-long, corresponding to NYU's academic calendar. All four fellows would receive an office at Remarque and visiting scholar status to use NYU’s libraries, databases, facilities, and privileges; all four would also receive a stipend. Visiting Fellows also receive an apartment at no cost or an equivalent housing stipend.
TEFE Fellows at Remarque have time to pursue their own research while also contributing to (and drawing on) the intellectual and public-facing operations of the Institute. Essential to the TEFE Initiative is the establishment of a vibrant intellectual space in which each semester’s cohort of scholars can work both alone and together, building on their distinctive disciplines and shared interests. Moreover, fellows will curate together an invited speakers and work-in-progress discussion series, a podcast, and an annual conference.
We seek scholars of the highest caliber who embody the diversity of the United States as well as the global society in which we live. We strongly encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, and other individuals who are under-represented in the profession, across color, creed, race, ethnic and national origin, physical ability, gender, and sexual identity, or any other legally protected basis. NYU affirms the value of differing perspectives on the world as we strive to build the strongest possible university with the widest reach. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.