In the wake of recent developments within Europe and North America including but not limited to the recent Brexit vote in the UK with its uncertainty about the continued mobility of EU citizens to live and work there and the Executive Order by President Trump barring entry to certain nationals, the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) can not and will not remain silent as national policies are enacted that severely compromise the ability of our scholars to work.
ESEH represents teachers and researchers who study and teach environmental history throughout the world, with members currently working in 53 countries. ESEH scholars embrace the task of setting the relationship between humans and the environment in historical perspective. Our research is critical as an analytical lens in our age of global climate change, mounting pressure on natural resources, increasing uncertainty in people’s livelihoods, and escalating species extinction. We therefore believe it is incumbent upon us to speak out on behalf of our members and society writ large.
We strongly affirm the role of mobility in producing quality academic work. University students, researchers, and faculty must be allowed to attend international conferences, cooperate with colleagues as guest researchers, work abroad, and access archives and sites across the world. While we recognize the right of sovereign nations to police their borders, we believe that discriminatory immigration and employment policies based on religion, sexual preference, political opinion, or ethnicity undermine society.
ESEH therefore urges the governments of European nations and North America to craft immigration policies that support the mobility of scholars across international borders; to fund environmental and historical research in such a way that immediate political aims do not overrule good scientific practice; and to avoid discriminatory immigration and employment policies.
Issued by the European Society for Environmental History Board, 3 February 2017
Dolly Jørgensen, President
Marcus Hall, Vice-President
Péter Szabó, Vice-President
Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, Secretary
Ulrich Koppitz, Treasurer
Martin Knoll, Regional Representative German Speaking Countries
Giacomo Parrinello, Regional Representative Italy
Stefan Dorondel, Regional Representative Romania
Adam Izdebski, Regional Representative Poland
Hrvoje Petric, Regional Representative Croatia