Chrislain Eric Kenfack

University of Alberta, Political Science, Post-Doc

Chrislain Eric KENFACK is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.

Chrislain’s research is at the heart of the critical issues of our time. His questions concern the grounds for solidarity among social movements that are differently positioned in the struggle to create ecologically sustainable societies. As a consultant-researcher at the Centre for International Forestry Research in Yaounde, Cameroon, he conducted fieldwork with indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the Congo Basin forests that were affected by REDD+ programs, developing a critique of the way “free, prior, and informed consent” (UNDRIP) principles were being interpreted.

His doctoral research at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, critically examined the current UN-led global climate governance (climate politics from above) from the perspective of state centrality and market-dominated approaches and analyzed the climate justice and labour movements’ proposals (climate politics from below) as possible ways forward, based on the South African and Portuguese climate jobs campaigns case studies, producing a series of publications on the lessons for Just Transition, and labour environmentalism. He has also authored critical studies of the Paris CoP framework (and market-based climate policies more generally) and on the implications of climate change for human rights and for migrant movements. His work ranges widely across ethical, political-economic, and sociological questions linked by concerns about climate justice.

He completed his Ph.D. in Political Science and Sociology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, in 2018. Before that, he earned a Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Yaounde II, and also completed a double BA in Theology (at the Catholic University of Central Africa) and Philosophy (at the University of Yaounde I). His postdoctoral research in Alberta will examine the Indigenous climate action movement and faith-based environmental organizations, asking how they are relating to one another given the long history of church involvement in settler colonialism.

QES Project: Saving nature, saving ourselves: Learning from religious environmentalism and Indigenous climate justice activism in Alberta