Past & Upcoming Events

EPPLE Workshop

20tht of April 2023

As part of the Stockholm University’s Department of Political Science’s Environmental Politics, Policy and Learning (EPPLE) Seminar researchers from EPOC presented their upcoming papers.

Ayṣem Mert presented the article “Global Environmental Politics is fantasmatic: Developing a critical fantasy studies perspective on crisis politics”, which she co-authored with Elise Remling.

Julia Feine presented hers and Ayṣem Merts article “Fantastic oceans – an analysis of ocean fantasies at the start of the Ocean Science Decade”.

31st March 2023


Book launch: The Palgrave Handbook of Global Politics in the 22nd Century

Our researcher Ayşem Mert co-edited alternative imaginaries book “The Palgrave Handbook of Global Politics in the 22nd Century”. Friday the 31st of March 2023 the book launch took place.

In the online launch event moderated by Sonia Lucarelli (Bologna), the book editors Franziska Müller (Hamburg) and Laura Horn (Roskilde) provided a brief outline of book, highlighting what academic science fiction can contribute to IR. Several contributors offered flashtalk presentations of their chapters, and then there was a Q&A.

Part of the book were several artistic illustrations, a few of which you can see down below.

Hiroko Tsuchimoto for Chaper 12 by Peter Christoff & Ayşem Mert
Shades of Democracy in the Post-Anthropocene
Thomas Østergaard Poulsen for Chapter 9 by Jakub Zahora
Ignored Histories, Neglected Regions: Origins of the Genosocial Order and the Normative Change Reconsidered
Thomas Østergaard Poulsen for Chapter 23 by Karim Zakhour
The Origins of AGE: From States and Markets to Scientific Methods
27th-30th March 2023


EPOC 2023 Amsterdam Workshop and Research Co-Creation Sessions

End of March our research team met with the societal participants assembly members, other stakeholders and many more to work on the project. The meeting took place at the UVA Humanities Venture Lab.

In various co-creation workshops the team worked three days on the future of EPOC. We also conducted a shared walks-session.

Research Co-creation Workshops

These aim to establish dialogue and information flow between researchers and stakeholders, who co-produce parts of our research. Key stakeholders to the HLPF and the SDGs as well as activists, thinkers, and citizens from various related networks are invited to provide their input through reflection sessions and focus groups.

  • In the reflection sessions, stakeholders assist researchers to generate and interpret themes, identify priorities and turning points, and reflect on what they think would be a good way to think, explore, and share the research.
  • In the focus groups the priorities of the researchers provide the structure of the agenda, and the stakeholders provide more traditional input.
Shared Walks

Shared Walks is an initiative that opens a playful space for the exploration of the environment and others by walking. Based on this artistic/urban/participatory methodology, Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition* was developed to respond to the climate emergency by walking and exploring urban and rural environments to trace our experiences about the influences of climate change and the relationships between the human psyche and the more-than-human environment. For more information about the methodology go to the website

* Shared Walks was initiated in Vienna in 2018 by Eylem Ertürk and Bernd Rohrauer. Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition was developed in 2020/2021 by Eylem Ertürk in collaboration with Dr. Ayşem Mert, for the EPOC project.

23rd-24th March 2023

Palace of the Academies; Brussels

Discourse Theory: Ways Forward – Colloqium

The second iteration of the “Discourse Theory: Ways Forward” colloqium took place in Brussels the 23rd and 24th of March. The EPOC team took part various panels.

The event included a session on the EPOC project with three papers from the research team.

Julia Maria Charlotte Feine & Ayşem Mert: The role of fantasies in reaching “the Oceans We Want”

Jelle Behagel: Fantasizing about the world and nature

Elise Remling: Putting the world back on track: political fantasies of “recovering” the SGDs in the face of multiple crisis”

21st of March 2023


Futuring Global Politics – or why everyone should write science-fiction

Based on the newly puhlised “Palgrave Handbook of Global Politics in the 22nd century” Franziska Müller and Isabella Hermann spoke about why scholars of International Studies use science-fiction as a method to imagine the world a hundred years in the future. Ayṣem Mert supported them.

12th of January 2023


Radical biodiversity politics: COP15 & Beyond

Our Researcher Jelle Behagel was on the roundtable “Radical biodiversity politics: COP15 & Beyond”. It took place Thursday the 12th of January from 18:00 to 19:30 CET.

1-4 September 2022

Panteion University Athens

15th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations

The 15th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations was held in Athens. The EPOC team has taken part in various functions.

The section included a panel on “Writing the future of Global Politics”, where Ayṣem Mert and Laura Horn launched the book they have co-edited with Prof. Dr. Franziska Mueller (Hamburg University) titled The Handbook of Global Politics in the 22nd Century. Jelle Behagel and Jason Glynos chaired the session and discussed the work, respectively.

  • Elise Remling, Jelle Behagel, and Jason Glynos presented their work in the panel “Get me out of here! A psychoanalytically-informed perspective on the crisis politics of climate change in a post-pandemic age”. Julia Feine presented ““The ocean we want” – but what do we want?  A discourse analysis of future imaginaries in global ocean governance”.
  • One of the highlights was the walkshop  Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition: Sensing the post-pandemic urban spaces organised by the EPOC team and Eylem Ertürk. Walking in Athens, the project team and other participants utilised the participatory, urban, and artistic methodology of SHARED WALKS / CLIMATE CHANGE EDITION*, and shared their reflections afterwards, facilitated by Eylem and Ayṣem.
15 March 2022

OCC! Stockholm

Occupy Climate Change! (OCC!) Atlas of the Other World

OCC! launch the project called “Atlas of the Other World” that has been ongoing since 2018. It provides a collection of urban grassroots and city initiatives tackling climate change and people’s creative stories about the future. Ayşem Mert contributes to the event by presenting her work on urban climate adaptation and the negotiation of climate related loss, and how the global ‘we’ translates into the local scale in the context of democracy in the Anthropocene.

November 2021

Centre for Global
Cooperation Research (online)

Project Publication : “Critical Fantasy Studies Meets Global Cooperation Research: A New Research Agenda for Investigating Crisis Politics

Published by the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, and written by Ayşem Mert this publication presents to the readers EPOC’s motivations and research agenda. At the same time, it introduces Critical Fantasy Studies and the use of qualitative methods, in particular the further developed Shared Walks participatory method.

23 November 2021

Centre for Global
Cooperation Research (online)

Research Colloquium: Get Me Out Of Here!

Ayşem Mert is part of a research group for Global cooperation and diverse conceptions of world order within GCR21. This event held in the presence of other esteemed researchers including Dr. Eastwood delves into psychoanalytic findings and insights of crisis politics brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this research can be found below and via the GCR21 Quarterly Magazine.

17 November 2021

Centre for Global
Cooperation Research (online)

COP26 Discussions with Dr. Lauren Eastwood

Ayşem Mert virtually meets up with Dr. Eastwood from the Centre for Global Cooperation Research just days after the COP26. An exchange of ideas and debates took place in light of the decision-making, planning and progress of climate action, politics and negotiations.

A remote discussion between Dr. Lauren Eastwood and Dr. Ayşem Mert

11 November 2021


COP26 Interview with Stockholm University

As a climate researcher and associate professor of political science Ayşem Mert describes her field of work, concerns, COP26 promises and #EPOC2025 in the latest interview held by Stockholm University.

31 October – 12 November 2021


2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)

The first leg of fieldwork for EPOC takes place at the 26th Conference of the Parties held in Glasgow, Scotland, where the main issues are forests, climate finance and implementation of the Paris Agreement. Ayşem Mert participates in meetings and does ethnographic observations and interviews at COP26, based on the questions provided by the research team.

At this point, our questions focus specifically on Module 2: Mapping (2021 – 2022), led by Elise Remling, e.g. how climate and sustainability governance practices and politics have changed after the pandemic.

Aysem Mert, Jason Glynos, and Eylem Erturk have also developed a participatory method in preparation for Module 4: Future-making (2023 – 2024), led by Jason Glynos. Building on Eylem and Aysem’s earlier work Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition they created a card set that seeks to establish connections between time, space, and fantasies of nature under the rubric of Shared Walks/ Futures. It will be tested for the first time in Glasgow.

You can also follow our observations and updates on Twitter at @EPOC2025 and @ayshemm

Card Set created by Shared Walks

29 – 30 September 2021


Global Policy Institute Online Workshop: ‘Law and Governance in the Anthropocene’

Ayşem Mert presents together with Dr. Larissa Basso the paper “New forms of legality in the Anthropocene”.

22 September 2021

University of
Duisburg-Essen (online)

Future of World Orders, Centre for Global Cooperation Research

Ayşem Mert presents her co-authored work with Jelle Behagel “The political nature of fantasy and political fantasies of nature” published in  Journal of Language and Politics, 20(1):79-94.

13 August 2021


ClimateExistence Conference

Ayşem Mert attended the ClimateExistence Conference and co-organized a Walkshop with artist and researcher Eylem Ertürk titled Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition.

The Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition prototype was tried out by participants of the Climate Existence Conference. Researchers, artists and experts dealing with different aspects of the climate crisis had the chance to experience the newly developed card set and gave feedback on the walks, themes and methodology. We discussed the traces found on the walking routes related to all the themes -weather, emotions, resilience, public spaces, politics, economy- each including three different and interrelated walking prompts.

Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition is developed by Eylem Ertürk in collaboration with Ayşem Mert. Based on participatory research, the card set is work-in-progress and will be launched in late 2021.

Walkshop: Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition

Eylem Ertürk, Ayşem Mert


How can we walk with others as climate change makes life increasingly difficult? The emotional, as well as physical loss suffered due to climate change, can be overwhelming, and debilitating. Join the Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition (in the participatory research phase) and explore how embodied experience can turn into reflection and awareness, and how this can, in turn, enable agency and action.

Shared Walks is an initiative that opens a playful space for the exploration of the environment and others by walking. Based on this artistic/urban/participatory methodology, Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition was developed as an experimental contribution that aims to respond to the climate emergency, trace its influences and our experiences on the human psyche and the more-than-human environment by walking. Participants walk in pairs and collect and share observations, impressions, thoughts, feelings, memories, stories, associations etc.; mapping their surroundings from different perspectives. Shared Walks / Climate Change Edition consists of a set of cards with different walking prompts. They propose minor changes in the way we normally walk, to pave the way for an appropriation of places, connect with others and trigger self-awareness related to the themes: the traces of climate emergency in the places we live/work/walk, the emotions emerging from our experiences of climate change (such as anger, anxiety, grief, hopelessness), the actions these emotions can bring about (ranging from collecting and maintaining memories to solidarity and passionate political action). By walking in pairs around Sigtunastiftelsen, in accordance with the challenges and questions proposed by the card set, participants of the walkshop investigate the emotional and physical traces of climate change in their immediate environment, and explore the ways in which we can understand and act on climate change.

Photos by @eylemerturk
Logo design by @raphael_volkmer

03 – 06 August 2021

Stockholm (online)

STREAMS Conference 2021

Ayşem Mert presented the EPOC2025 project and her co-authored paper with Jelle Behagel titled “The political nature of fantasy and political fantasies of nature” at the STREAMS Transformative Environmental Humanities Conference.

The political nature of fantasy and political fantasies of nature

Jelle Hendrik BehagelAyşem Mert


Within post-structuralist discourse theory, there has been an ongoing interest in fantasy and the fantasmatic logic. We propose a new way forward and suggest a focus on fantasies of ‘nature’ and what is deemed ‘natural’. Fantasies are structurally entwined with language, desire, and political ontologies. Discourses of nature hold a privileged position in this entwinement. We use the psychoanalytic concept of fantasy to explore how symbolic engagement with the world is supported by fantasmatic mechanisms. We argue that political fantasies express political subjects and objects via the imaginary mechanisms of splitting and projection. In an era of ecological crises and global pandemics, we find that fantasies that create a split between nature and society are a central part of the transformation of political imaginaries and discourses. Studying fantasies of various “nature cultures” and the politics of nature is thus an important new direction for discourse theory to explore anti-essentialist ontologies.

30 – 03 July 2021

Athens (online)

EWIS 2021 Workshop

At the 8th European Workshops in International Studies, Ayşem Mert has co-organized a workshop with Dr. Katja Freistein (Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen) titled The role of fantasy in imagining futures: Post-COVID-19 subjectivities and transformation of naturecultures.

The workshop brought together scholars from different disciplines focusing on the role of fantasy in the imaginaries of future (posthuman) societies and subjectivities, particularly on the way we rethink naturecultures during (and possibly after) the global pandemic. Different fantasies of various naturecultures imagine different futures after the pandemic, effectively changing ontological stances, epistemological preferences, political imaginaries and social practices. More even, fantasies empower or disempower specific modes of action. Accordingly, the papers presented here explored how fantasies shape post-COVID-19 futures, i.e. identities and relations (individual, social, environmental, international, cross-species, more-than-human), practices and imaginaries, or which fantasies transform or create new political imaginaries, social practices, standards, and routines.

July 2021

Centre for Global
Cooperation Research (online)

Project Publication: “Critical Fantasy Studies Meets Global Cooperation Research: A New Research Agenda for Investigating Crisis Politics

Published by the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, and written by Ayşem Mert this publication highlights links between crisis and political change, and the increasing relevance of the study of future imageries in connection to change and particularly with the Corona Virus Crisis.

30 June 2021

Athens (online)

EWIS 2021 Workshop

All researchers involved in the project were present at the project launch during the EWIS 2021 Workshop, where we also launched the project website. Jason Glynos and Elise Remling, presented the first framework paper the team started writing, titled “Get me out of here! Drawing psychoanalytic insights into our account of the crisis politics of COVID-19 and climate change”.

Get me out of here! A comparative psychoanalytic perspective on the crisis politics of covid-19 and climate change

Jason Glynos, Ayşem Mert, Jelle Behagel, Elise Remling


In January 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be an International Public Health Emergency. Only a few months before, the European Parliament declared a ‘climate emergency’, the Oxford English Dictionary chose ‘climate emergency’ the word of 2019, and a Climate Emergency Resolution was brought to the US Congress and Senate. This paper develops a framework to explore the societal and political responses to these two emergencies. Using a psychoanalytic approach, the aim is to reveal some of the ways in which fantasies shape the prospects of establishing a global climate regime that matches the magnitude of the ecological crisis contemporary societies face.

The paper has a three-fold structure. First, it maps out some of the ways that psychoanalytically-informed studies have sought to problematize our responses to Covid-19. Second, awe compare and contrast these accounts with existing accounts that explore our responses to climate change, sometimes called climate anxiety or grief. This helps highlight some common problem domains and hypotheses that can inform a broad research agenda structured around more targeted research questions, case studies and data-sets. The purpose of this exercise is, in part, to draw attention to the way psychic factors dynamically shape our responses to crises, including their interrelation with other (material, economic, moral) factors. Third, we conduct a pilot study in discourse analysis on one of these targeted questions: What psychic factors can be identified in Covid-19 responses, and how does this compare (or interplay) with responses to the climate crises?