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Professor Robert O’Brien Awarded Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at University of Southern California

Professor Robert O’Brien will conduct climate politics research at the University of Southern California from January to May 2022.

Sep 22, 2021

Professor Robert O’Brien will be taking up the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Sothern California in Los Angeles from January to May 2022. Based at USC’s Center for Public Diplomacy, O’Brien will be conducting research on two projects. The first is titled ‘Western Internationalism in a Climate Change Era’.  Its objectives are to: i. demonstrate how climate change necessitates an internationalist response; ii. develop a critique of previous Western internationalist projects; iii. advance a proposal for a revised climate sensitive Western internationalism. The second project, ‘Politics of a Dying Planet: Three Climate Scenarios’, argues that with the onset of climate change and mass species extinction humanity faces three possible futures: fascist barbarism, liberal adaption, or social transformation.

Southern California is an ideal venue to conduct research on climate change politics because it has a critical mass of politics and environmental research centers and communities.  The University of Southern California is home to Center for Public Diplomacy, Center for the Political Future and the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. Nearby, UCLA hosts the Institute of Environment and Sustainability, while a little further away the University of California Santa Barbara has a strong Politics of the Environment group and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

With more than 350,000 Fulbright alumni in more than 160 countries, the Fulbright program is the gold standard in academic exchange and a leader in public diplomacy. Fulbright Canada’s mandate is to enhance mutual understanding between the people of Canada and the people of the United States of America by identifying the best and brightest minds in both countries and engaging them in residential academic exchange.