The Tromsø Conference in Ethics and Political Philosophy (TCEPP): Territory and Climate

Starting this year, the TCEPP is intended to become an annual conference that shall gather leading international scholars working within ethics and political philosophy broadly understood. With the explicit aim of sparking interdisciplinary interest, the TCEPP will each year revolve around a theme of significant ethical and political importance.

The 2023 inaugural TCEPP conference focuses on the theme of Territory and Climate. The conference starts with a public lecture by Prof. Cara Nine (University of Nevada, Reno), followed by two days of paper presentations.

2023 CONFERENCE THEME Climate change transforms territory and the environmental and social pressures on it in various ways. Land can be rendered unfit for its former uses, e.g. as agricultural areas, or acquire new, highly important functions, e.g. as carbon sinks or biodiversity hotspots. Inhabitants of these changing territories might lose traditional ways of life or their ways of earning their living as their environment changes.  Under the worse scenarios, territory may become uninhabitable or areas of intense land-based conflict.  Alternatively, some land might gain in value as it is used for new purposes, e.g. enhancing carbon sink capacity, or becomes more accessible for resource exploitation like some Arctic regions. Such changes also heighten internal as well as cross-border migration, posing questions about fair resource sharing and just border regimes in the face of climate refugees, wandering species, and rapidly changing, or even disappearing land-mass.

Climate change thus forces us to rethink the concept and value of territory and the associated territorial rights such as national jurisdiction, exclusive resource rights of the state, and the right to control borders and migration.  Relatedly, concepts such as resource sovereignty, the right to non-interference (with respect to environmental decisions), sustainability, as well as our current understandings of the use and value of land have to undergo a critical evaluation and potential reframing. How can and should these rights, and the underlying concepts, be understood and adapted in a rapidly changing environment?

The inaugural Tromsø Conference in Ethics and Political Philosophy focuses on questions and debates around all issues connected to territory, climate, and its various interconnections.


Monday 11.12

Chair: Kim Angell

16:00-16:15: Coffee and welcome

16:15-18:00: Public Lecture (with Q&A)

Cara Nine (University of Nevada, Reno): Justice and Shared Use of Common Goods

This lecture analyzes how justice applies to rights that people have to a shared resource, like freshwater. Nine discusses an application of the proviso that one must engage with the commons in ways that leave ‘enough and as good’ in common for others. One upshot of her argument is that shared resources, especially shared between different communities or nations, must be carefully managed by all sharing parties. This interpretation of this proviso can have far-reaching implications for environmental and resource development.

18:00-20:00: Reception

Tuesday 12.12

Chair: Clare Heyward

10:00-11:00: Petra Gümplová (Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena): Continental Shelf and the Quiet Ocean Commons Grab

11:10-12:10: Colin Rowe (KU Leuven): Justice, territorial jurisdiction and climate change mitigation

12:10-13:10: Lunch

13:10-14:10: Rita Ezugwu (University of Genova): Territorial rights, climate change, and conservation of natural resources

14:20-15:20: Anna Wienhues (University of Oslo): Sustainability and Habitat Rights

15:20-15:50: Coffee/fruit

15:50-16:50: Linde de Vroey (University of Antwerp): Rewilding between 'green colonisation' and community emancipation: revising land ownership, local knowledge and global narratives in ecological restoration

19:00: Conference dinner (by invitation)


Wednesday 13.12

Chair: Kerstin Reibold

10:00-11:00: David Miller (University of Oxford) and Christine Straehle (University of Ottawa/University of Hamburg): Climate Change, Vulnerability and Cultural Loss

11:10-12:10: Kim Angell (UiT): States, Cities, and Border Control: Do Self-Determining Sub-State Collectives Have a Right to Admit More Refugees?

12:10-13:10: Lunch

13:10-14:10: Virginia De Biasio (University of York): Not Just “Sinking Islands”: Climate Change and Adaptation in Small Island Developing States

14.20-15:20: David Paaske (UiT): The All-Affected Principle and the (extent of) Political Representation of Animals

15:20-15:50: Coffee/fruit

15:50-16:50: Tadhg Ó Laoghaire (Keele University): Stewardship, Sovereignty, and Essential Global Goods

Format: Papers will be pre-circulated by Friday 1 December. While pre-read is strongly encouraged, there will also be a short presentation from each author.

Registration: If you are interested in participating, please write to Kerstin Reibold (, Clare Heyward ( or Kim Angell (

Your registration will ensure that you receive all relevant updates. It will also allow us to calibrate food orders (reception on Monday, lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday), so please indicate which days you will participate, and if you have any food allergies or dietary requirements.

Starter: 11.12.23 kl 16.00
Slutter: 13.12.23 kl 16.50
Hvor: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education (Room E0101)
Sted: Tromsø
Målgruppe: Studenter, Gjester / eksterne, Inviterte, Enhet, Ansatte
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