What we can learn from Corona and existential risks: a plea for planetary politics

Morin expert Werner Wintersteiner, retired University Professor at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, working in Peace Pedagogy and Global Citizenship Education, Affiliate of the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution and active in the campaign “Homeland Earth”, published recently a book devoted to French philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin who will celebrate his centenary in July 2021. Morin is member of the GSIS Advisory Committee.

The title of the book is “Die Welt neu denken lernen” – learning to rethink the world. Wintersteiner draws on Morin’s work from the start to the appendix that represents the campaign’s appeal for homeland earth. In 15 thought-provoking impulses he revolves around the multi-crisis besetting the social, the political, the economic, the ecological world humanity is living in today as a factual community of destiny that is still lacking insight into, and acknowledgement of, that fact through the advent of planetary awareness, consciousness and conscience. Those impulses bring together experiences during the COVID pandemic with a plentitude of academic sources. The conclusion is clear: there is no way back to the normality before the pandemic and, thus, we should not try to aim at it. Rather, the time is ripe for finding ways to another normality – one that is compatible with a profound transformation of civilisation to cope with existential risks.

Helga Kromp-Kolb, renown Austrian climate researcher, wrote an afterword.

The book is open access and can be downloaded from here.


The book will be presented on Thursday, 27 May, at 18:00, at an hybrid event in Klagenfurt (click here).


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