Marginal participation, complicity, and agnotology: What climate change can teach us about individual and collective responsibility

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

PhD project

Layman's description

My PhD explores individual and collective responsibility for collectively caused systemic harms, with climate change as the case study. Can an individual be responsible for these harms, and if so, how? Furthermore, what does it mean to say that a collective is responsible? A related question, and the second main theme, is how ignorance and knowledge affect our responsibility. My aim is to show that despite the various complexities involved, an individual can have responsibility to address climate change.

Shared responsibility qua members of collective agents is the key individual responsibility, and it presses especially on those occupying key positions within key collective agents. Saying that, our shared responsibility qua constituents of unorganised collectives has the potential to be decisive in whether some action is taken or not, either through a set of actions that can signal certain acceptance or support, or as a form of political support from the grass roots.

The research was mainly supported by four personal grants by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Kone Foundation. I completed the PhD in 4,5 years (the project period included two maternity leaves). I defended my thesis on 16 December 2017 with Professor John Broome as my opponent.
Effective start/end date01/02/201131/12/2017


  • Koneen Säätiö: €16,500.00
  • Finnish Cultural Foundation: €21,000.00
  • Koneen Säätiö: €27,600.00
  • Emil Aaltonen Foundation: €9,600.00