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Social Anthropology

Noah Walker-Crawford

PhD Thesis Title: Scaling responsibility: Andean responses to climate disaster

Research project

Glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate in the Cordillera Blanca region of the Peruvian Andes. In the short term, residents face a high risk of deadly floods from melting glaciers. In the long term, they face the prospect of droughts exacerbated by receding glaciers and unreliable weather patterns that obstruct agricultural cycles.

While people have extensively studied climate change in the Cordillera Blanca and elsewhere in terms of natural scientific processes, there is limited research on how different social groups apprehend and engage with these shifts. I seek to understand what the environmental changes associated with global warming signify for Quechua-speaking rural farmers and how these perceptions shape their interactions with government authorities, NGOs and other institutional actors.

In this context, I also follow a legal claim for climate justice that Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a farmer and mountain guide from the Cordillera Blanca, is making against a German energy giant RWE, focussing in particular on the production and interplay of knowledges. The lawsuit is currently at the appeals stage in the German court system and has already led to a precedent-setting ruling on emitters’ responsibilities for climate change impacts.

Research interests

  • Environmental anthropology
  • Anthropology of state and infrastructure
  • Engineering and disasters
  • Epistemology
  • Legal and political anthropology
  • Andean studies

Supervisors

  • Prof Penny Harvey
  • Dr Chika Watanabe

Education

2017-ongoing: Affiliated Investigator, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

2016-ongoing: PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

2015-2016: MA Anthropological Research, University of Manchester

2011-2015: MA Anthropology and International Relations, University of Aberdeen

Awards and honours

2016-2020: Economic and Social Research Council North West Doctoral Training Centre Studentship, University of Manchester

2016: Rappaport Prize finalist, Anthropology and Environment Society, American Anthropological Association

2015: Anthropology Most Successful Student Award, University of Aberdeen

Selected publications

Walker-Crawford, N. (2017). Andean Farmer Demands Climate Justice in Germany. (Glacier Hub). Available online

Walker-Crawford, N. (2016) Klimaklage aus Peru: Warum sich RWE für das Flutrisiko in den Hochanden verantworten muss. UfU Themen und Informationen Heft 80, 2/2016. [Climate Lawsuit from Peru: Why RWE must take Responsibility for Flood Risk in the High Andes]

Walker-Crawford, N. (2016) Der Fall Huaraz: Klimagerechtigkeit in den Hochanden. Böll-Thema 2016(1). [The Case of Huaraz: Climate Justice in the Andes]

Walker-Crawford, N. (2016) Justicia Climática: Luchando por los glaciares andinos en la corte alemana. (InfoAndina). Available online.  [Climate Justice: Fighting for the Andean Glaciers in the German Court]

Contact

Email: noah.walker-crawford@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk