Earlier Activities

The Special Issue Anthropocene Mobilities has been published in the Journal Mobilities (Vol. 14, Issue 3).​

The Special Issue Anthropocene Mobilities has been published in the Journal Mobilities (Vol. 14, Issue 3).​

Christiane Fröhlich, Andrew Baldwin and Delf Rothe co-edited the issue, which seeks to develop a new perspective on environmental change and migration in an age of increased mobility. The five research articles and four forum contributions discuss mobility as a key ontological feature of the Anthropocene, scrutinize the entanglement of human and non-human forms of mobility and thereby trouble the existing discourse on climate refugees.

Presentation at the EPSE Summer School

Presentation on Violent Imagineries of Climate Change at the Eurasian Peace Network (EPSE) Summer School

Ann-Kathrin Benner gave a presentation on „Violent Imagineries of Climate Change“ at the 2019 Summer School of the Eurasien Peace Exchange Network. Funded by the Norwegian research council, this summer school took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from 3rd until 9th June 2019.

In the discussion following the presentation, participants pointed out the ambiguity of violence as a concept from an anthropological point of view and confronted the imagineries in the presentation with collected stories about future (non-)impacts of climate change from their professional backgrounds and everyday lives. 

Violent Climate Imaginaries (VICTIM)

Researchers from the University of Hamburg and University of Lund meet at the IFSH in Hamburg to discuss research grant proposal on violent climate imagineries.

The workshop „violent imaginaries of climate change“ (VICTIM) took place on February 11th-12th 2019 at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy in Hamburg. Criminologists, peace researchers, linguists, science fiction writers and social scientists discussed the empirical finding that social impacts of climate change are often portrayed as violent in literature, film and science and how this lack of imagination impacts current climate politics.  The University of Hamburg seed-funded the workshop. It serves as the point of departure for drafting a larger research grant proposal on imaginaries of violent climate change.

Essay on The summer of extremes 2018

Delf Rothe participates in public panel at the artspace Âme Nue in Hamburg

The panel, which took place on June 13, 2019, was part of an exhibition on environmental change in the Suwalki Corridor by the Hamburg-based photographer Robin Hinsch. The Suwalki Corridor is a 65-kilometer-wide strip of territory linking Poland with Lithuania and considered as NATO’s most vulnerable choke point along its eastern flank. Robin Hinsch visited this potential conflict zone, to find a region that was shaped not so much by its geopolitical position but  by intense agriculture, droughts and a changing  climate. Delf discussed with the artist and Wolfgang Wopperer-Beholz from Extinction Rebellion, London, about the role of art in making sense of climate change and its local manifestations.

ISA Annual Convention 2019

From 26-30 March Delf Rothe attended the 60th annual convention of the International Studies Association in Toronto.

Delf was part of a roundtable on „Critical International Relations (IR) and the Politics of Climate Change“ including Stefanie Fishel, Eva Lövbrand, Anthony Burke, Robyn Eckersley, Scott Hamilton. Organized by Matt McDonald the roundtable discussed the contribution of critical IR to the current debate on the Anthropocene.

Delf furthermore presented a paper on the relation of visuality, technology and security in the Anthropocene on the panel „World Political Compositions“ and a paper on the genealogy of the Anthropocene on panel on „Genealogies of bio-technical worlds“.

Essay on The summer of extremes 2018

On December 30, the German newspaper "Die Tageszeitung" published Delf Rothe's long-read on the 2018 summer heatwaves [in German]

The article reflects upon the impact of the extreme summer on the public discourse on climate change in Germany. It argues that it challenged the ways dominant ways of seeing climate change. Rather than as a distant threat, global warming would increasingly be perceived as a catastrophe, which is already happening.

Radio Interview with NDR Info

Delf Rothe spoke on NDR Info about the potential security implications of climate change [in German].

Delf warned against a securitization of climate change and stressed the complexities and uncertainties of climate change and security links. The interview was broadcasted within the NDR’s „Strategien & Streitkräfte“ show, which provides critical analyses of contemporary peace and security issues.

Scenario Workshop on Geoengineering Risks

Workshop on „Future Security Risks of Geoengineering”, Peace and Security Studies (M.A.)

Members of the Anthropocene-Security-Projekt Team carried out a scenario planning exercise on future security risks of geoengineering with postgraduate students of Peace and Security Studies at IFSH Hamburg on November 29th/30th.  A brief documentation can be found here.

Earth System Governance 2018

Ann-Kathrin Benner and Delf Rothe presented their research on legacies of the Cold War in contemporary Anthropocene thinking at the Earth System Governance Conference in Utrecht on November 6th 2018.

The paper was part of a double-panel on the ethics of future-making in the Anthropocene organized by Eva Lövbrand, Silke Beck, Alejandro Esguerra and Henrike Knappe.

The paper abstract can be accessed here.

Paper Jellyfish Encounters

Delf Rothe presented the paper Jellyfish Encounters: The Paradox of Security in the Anthropocene at the Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Prague, September 12th-15th 2018.

The paper uses the example of a recent rise of jellyfish that threaten to take over the oceans to rethink the notion of security in the Anthropocene. It describes how jellyfish emerge as a posthuman security threat that is literally ungovernable. As jellyfish blooms can neither be mapped nor predicted, humanity increasingly relies upon extreme measures, such as jellyfish killer robots, to cope with the risks of the Anthropocene.

The draft paper is available upon request.

Conference Section Anthropocene Politics

Co-convened with David Chandler at the Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Prague, September 12th-15th. 2018.

Delf Rothe co-convened a section on Anthropocene politics: IR after the end of the world together with David Chandler (University of Westminster) during this year’s EISA annual conference in Prague. The section was composed of nine panels and a roundtable discussion devoted to interrogating the claims made for (and against) the Anthropocene as “the end of the world as we know it”. The speakers raised questions about notions of time and critique in the Anthropocene, environmental politics and geopolitics, the possibilities of decolonizing the Anthropocene, its nuclear origins and challenges for IR theory.

Paper Visual Resilience

Delf Rothe presented the paper Between Bending Trees and Standing Rocks: The Visual Politics of Resilience at the European Workshops in International Studies, 6-9 June 2018 in Groningen.


The paper was part of the workshop Doing Visual IR convened by Jonathan Luke Austin and Stephanie Perazzone. The workshop brought together 20 international scholars to discuss the role of visuality and visual methods in the study of world politics. In his contribution, Delf studied how images are used to make sense of resilience and how visual methods such as mapping, drawing or sensing are applied in resilience promotion projects.

The draft paper is available upon request.

New Publication

Rothe, Delf and David Shim. 2018. Sensing the ground: On the global politics of satellite-based activism. Review of International Studies, 44(3), 414-437.

In recent years, satellite imagery, previously restricted to the defence and intelligence communities, has been made available to a range of non-state actors as well. It is often said that the increasing availability and applicability of remote sensing technologies has contributed to the rise of what can be called ‘satellite-based activism’ empowering non-state groups to challenge state practices of seeing and showing. In this article, we argue that NGO activism is not challenging the sovereign gaze of the state but, on the contrary, actually reinforcing it.

Workshop Contribution Anthropocene Compositions

Contribution to the workshop World Political Compositions convened by Jonathan Luke Austin and Anna Leander on the 3rd of April 2018, as a side-event of the 2018 International Studies Association meeting.

The World Political Compositions project draws together contributions around the concept of composition, in the aesthetic sense of the term, and the five traditional senses of human perception, in order to address the question of how we make sense of the international. In his contribution, Delf Rothe took up this question and asked how we make sense of the Anthropocene. He stressed the role of non-human actants, including remote sensors, space infrastructures, computer models, meteorological databases etc., in practices of world-making.

Paper Growing Resilience

Delf Rothe presented the paper “Growing Resilient: Human-plant relations and the ‘hortomentality’ of resilience in the Anthropocene" at the ISA Annual Convention 2018 in San Francisco.

The paper analyzes different policy proposals to increase urban resilience through city forestry and urban gardening. The paper was presented at the panel discussion The Vegetal Moment in Global Politics? Vegetal Ontologies of Presence and Resistance in the Anthropocene that was co-convened by Charlotte Heath-Kelly and David Chandler.

The draft paper is available upon request.


Anthromob Workshop

On June 1st and 2nd 2017, the international workshop “Anthropocene Mobilities – The Politics of Movement in an Age of Change” took place at the University of Hamburg.

The workshop organized by Delf Rothe (IFSH) and Christiane Fröhlich (University of Hamburg) brought together scholars working in the field of environmentally-induced migration with theoretical thinkers of the Anthropocene. The workshop initiated a fruitful dialogue on the implications of the Anthropocene for human and non-human mobilities. A special issue to be published by Mobilities in 2019 as well as an interactive web platform (www.anthromob.space) are the preliminary results of these discussions.

Paper A Tale of Two Camps

Delf Rothe presented the paper A Tale of Two Camps: Remote sensing migration and the securitization of physical disorder in refugee camps at the ISA Annual Convention 2018 in San Francisco.

The paper that Delf co-authored with his colleagues Christiane Fröhlich (GIGA Hamburg) and Miguel Rodriguez-Lopez (University of Hamburg) discusses the merits and pitfalls of remote sensing methodologies in the study of refugee camps. The paper was part of a panel on Sensing the Global: The Role of Satellite Technology in the Making of Global Actors, Practices, and Rules that brought together scholars working on satellite remote sensing with practitioners and satellite image analysts.

The draft paper is available upon request.

New Publication

Global Security in a Posthuman Age? IR and the Anthropocene Challenge.

Delf Rothe published a chapter in the recent edited volume Reflections on the Posthuman in International Relations: The Anthropocene, Security and Ecology edited by Clara Eroukhmanoff and Matt Harker. Rothe’s chapter discusses the implications of the Anthropocene for global security and the discipline of International Relations. The volume is available in paperback and as open access E-book

Violent Climate Imaginaries (VICTIM)

Delf Rothe (IFSH) and Johannes Stripple (University of Lund) receive a seed funding grant by the Universtität Hamburg and the University of Lund

The seed funding was granted to establish an interdisciplinary research network on the topic of Violent Climate Imaginaries: Science – Fiction – Politics. The interdisciplinary project VICTIM studies how ‚violent climate imaginaries‘ are produced and circulated in science, popular culture, and security politics. It asks how stories of dangerous climate change travel between these domains and how they influence policy-makers and practitioners.

A first project-workshop with participants of both universities is going to take place on February 11th-12th 2019 at the IFSH Hamburg.

New Blog Post

Making the Invisible Visible​: Satellites, Visual Technologies and Environmental Security, post by Delf Rothe at the Security Dialogue Author’s Blog, posted December 10, 2017.

The blog post offers a brief and accessible summary of Delf Rothe’s recent article in Security Dialogue, Seeing like a Satellite: Remote Sensing and the Ontological Politics of Environmental Security. It traces how the understanding of environmental security co-evolved in line with technological developments in the field of satellite technologies. The latest stage of this development is the emergence of geospatial big data as a new form of preventing and governing future environmental threats and risks.


Dr. Delf Rothe
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