MATERIALS FROM INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL OF POLITICAL ECOLOGY 2018
Download collection of papers here
MONDAY 3. - FRIDAY 7. 9. 2018
Impressions from summer school
MONDAY 3. 9. 2018 09:30 - 10:30
dr. ANDREJ A. LUKŠIČ
MONDAY 3. 9. 2018 11:00 - 12:30
Spider's web or how to get the question right
ISS PE is an event conceived not only as a transfer of knowledge from a treasury of global knowledge to the local level, or from those “who know” to those who don’t. In this sense it is not a classical summer school, but is understood as a communicational form where diverse minds will intertwine, where deliberation will happen, and where deepened consideration of questions which come with experiencing the world - the only one we know, and which denies us - will occur. The highlight of this introductory keynote will be a reflection on the practices of the Eco-collective, which resists this denial and demands changes on multiple levels, foremostly where it is most interlaced with spider’s webs. In this spirit the Eco-collective has organically grown with the idea of the ISS PE as a decadal project, beginning its realization this year.
Projekti namenjeni obnovljivim virom energije se v veliko primerih soočajo s podobnimi kritikami kot fosilna goriva, zato mora tudi prehod na obnovljive vire energije temeljiti na energetski pravičnosti.
dr. MARK CJ STODDART
MONDAY 3. 9. 2018 14:00 - 15:30
Social Movements, Fossil Fuel Extraction, and Renewable Energy Transitions: Localized Contention or Systematic Resistance?
Social Movements, Fossil Fuel Extraction, and Renewable Energy Transitions: Localized Contention or Systematic Resistance? This presentation provides an overview of a range of episodes of contention around the fossil fuel industry and renewable energy transitions in Canada and Europe. We will examine who are the key actors that engage in mobilization against the energy sector, and the forms of critique they adopt. From this overview of various moments of contention, we see three main things. First, that there is a range of bases for mobilizing against the energy sector, ranging from localized controversies that seek to protect existing social-ecological relationships to broader anti-systemic critiques of fossil fuel-based energy systems and economies. Second, that Indigenous movements and environmental movements provide different bases of mobilization and forms of critique to the energy sector. Finally, that by paying attention to points of contention related to both oil and gas extraction as well as renewable energy development, we see that there is no “innocent energy.” Rather, there is a need for more holistic and systemic energy justice perspectives on fossil fuel extraction and renewable energy transitions.
MONDAY 3. 9. 2018 16:00 - 17:00
Political ecology in action: from streets to decision-making arenas
Through dialogue we will familiarize ourselves with the work of mr. Tomaševič – an activist, researcher and politician, active through the Institute of Political Ecology and as a city councilor of the green-left political platform “Zagreb je naš”(Eng. Zagreb is ours) in Croatia. We will be discussing key environmental and societal problematiques in the region, learn about Tomislav's previous experiences with environmental struggles, and the position of environmental civil society, its power and modes of operation. We will be talking about operational limitations of working inside various structures, and will be opening the question: What is the view from the inside – from the position of a city councilor of Zagreb. Where does activism stops and politics begin?
TUESDAY 4. 9. 2018 11:00 - 12:30
Social Ecology: a critical approach to the current crisis
This talk will explore the theory and practice of Social Ecology, an interdisciplinary approach to critically understanding the intertwined sources of the current ecological and social crisis, and, additionally the oppositional and reconstructive approaches being pursued by Social Ecologists in diverse communities around the world, including the Rojava Revolution in Kurdistan and the growing Municipalist movement in the U.S.
TUESDAY 4. 9. 2018 14:00 - 15:30
Environmental NGO mobilization strategies for environmental justice: use of knowledge and expertise in epidemiology in two highly industrialized urban districts
The presentation will focus on the contemporary role environmental NGOs have in relation to some of the most pressing environmental issues, also in the view of the current crisis in democratic structures and institutions. The talk will address the changing nature of mobilisation strategies ENGO apply and will look closer into a going trend for ENGO to engage in mobilisation that is knowledge dependent and driven by expertise in specific domain areas. Two empirical cases - highly industrialised districts in Trieste and Taranto (Italy) - will be presented. The talk will analyse when, how and in which way knowledge about human health and information about epidemiological trends was/is used for the bottom-up approach to exert pressure, challenge established power structures and pursue transformative change that includes environmental and social justice. The talk will provide a perspective on the emancipatory potential of civil society, and more specifically of ENGO.
TUESDAY 4. 9. 2018 16:00 - 17:00
Eko krog society: how does the environmental collective think and act?
Eko krog is a society for nature conservation and environmental protection. When mr. Macerl was awarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2017, Eko krog Society, in particular, received special Goldman Environmental Prize recognition for its role in the work for which mr. Macerl was awarded. The main purpose of the conversation with Uroš is to get an analytical insight into the functioning of the Eko krog Society, in which Uroš’s individual role is not the only one that is important; the role and action of all the other members of the Eko krog and it's sympathizers are very important as well. Uroš will therefore explain on how the Eko krog society thinks and acts as a collective body. Participants are advised to watch the projection of the documentary film Upor (on the public action of the Eko krog Society) before the conversation with Uroš. Projection of the documentary will be broadcasted on 3rd September 2018 at 7.00 pm at the Faculty of Social Sciences as a part of the evening programme of the summer school
WEDNESDAY 5. 9. 2018 9:00 - 10:30
Governance of Commons: Past, present, and future
This session will start with a common-pool resource experiment developed by Elinor Ostrom and administered in classes in the Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University. The purpose of the experiment is to provide participants with first-hand experience with key challenges in managing and governing common pool resources. After completing the experiment, the presenter will draw on various cases of commons governance, varying from local commons (maintenance of shared open spaces) to regional commons (estuaries), to global commons (global climate change mitigation). The presentation will focus on core governance challenges including availability of information, values, social capital, and perception of effectiveness and fairness.
WEDNESDAY 5. 9. 2018 11:00 - 12:30
Sustainable development, green growth or degrowth?
"Degrowth" has emerged over the last 15 years. This "bomb word" has been used to open in-depth debates on whether infinite growth in a finite world is desirable or even possible. Degrowth questions sustainable development, warns about a potential crisis of civilization and answers this by exploring alternative and coherent solutions on different levels. With a multidimensional understanding of the interconnected challenges we face, degrowth questions how could we implement democratic and serene transitions toward new relocalized but connected models of society based on social and environmental justice.
WEDNESDAY 5. 9. 2018 14:00 - 15:30
Eco-civilization and Eco-aesthetics: A Chinese Perspective
The emergence and flourishing of eco-aesthetics in China in the 21st century is a historical necessity responding to the new age of Eco-civilization. The transformation from industrial civilization to eco-civilization is not only a significant economic and social transformation, but also a transformation from traditional anthropocentrism to eco-humanism or eco-holism, and a transformation from traditional aesthetics of subjectivity to aesthetics of ecological existence. Chinese eco-aesthetics borrows a lot of theoretical resources from traditional Chinese ecological wisdom, which is summarized as Ecosophy C. The life in traditional Chinese aesthetics based on the ontology of qi is not only human life, as discussed in the Western aesthetics of life, but life of all creatures embodied in the idea of “the unity of everything”. Ultimately speaking, eco-aesthetics is an eco-friendly ethical-aesthetic paradigm in the age of eco-civilization, with the focus on the health of biosphere as a community of all creatures.
WEDNESDAY 5. 9. 2018 16:00 - 17:00
Innovation process in the light of ecology and ethics (holistic view)
Technological innovations appear as important, by many as the only possible way of solving environmental problems. Not only technological innovation, but also any other changes in sciense, society and economy or culture are not value neutral. Some of them are more harmful than other, one have more interest than other, some animal and botanical species are more harmed than other. In this sense innovative processes can not be perceived as natural processes, that have no alternative. The need of innovative solutions on different fields of human activity and life is present, and possible changes need to be reconsidered also in the light of ethics. Reconsideration is needed most where it seems that things are less problematic, for instance the second law of thermodynamics.
THURSDAY 6. 9. 2018 9:00 - 10:30
The Minor Majority: Addressing Rights in Environmental Justice Theory
Most Environmental Justice (EJ) theories refer to the disproportionate exposure of minority-communities of people of color, women and the dispossessed poor of the world - to hazardous toxic damage and inequalities. As a result, it is often the case that EJ research and institutional work is caught in endless efforts to measure and evidence the social, health, and environmental risks of “browning” communities in order to seek compensations and remediation plans. While acknowledging the need to tackle the underlying political and economic root-causes of socio-environmental injustices, EJ reproduces deontological (right-based) and consequentialist (goal-based) forms of social justice in an attempt to document multiple forms of racism and discrimination. In this paper, we engage critically with this approach to show the risks of rights-based distributive politics of environmental justice. Our starting observation is that, taken together, these “minorities” form a majority of the world population which have been historically struggling to survive capitalist enclosure, dispossession and destitution. A “minor majority” of minority communities around the world are becoming the new class of “3-nothings” – no land, no job and no security’ beneath the eyes of compassionate charities. This disposable class forces all of us, from various ‘classes’ to ask ourselves: ‘what on Earth are we Working for?’ It illustrates the consequences of neo-liberal policies of pauperism as a condition of capitalist reproduction. We illustrate it using various examples from social-ecological movements in Eastern Europe.
THURSDAY 6. 9. 2018 11:00 - 12:30
Round table: Shrinking space for civil society
Critical civil society has always been the subject of pressures from many sides, however in recent years there is a noticeable downward trend. The space for functioning of and cooperation among environmental organizations and civil initiatives is shrinking, while they should represent important stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of environmental and other policies. This round table will open up questions: Why is civil society important? How do we protect civil society space? Can we speak of a shrinking space for civil society in Slovenia? What is happening with critical civil society in our region and other regions around the world? What are the barriers to voicing critique in different regions and contexts? Panelists: Gaja Brecelj (Umanotera, the Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development), Mateja Kraševec (Humanitas), Senka Šifkovič Vrbica (Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs - PIC), dr. Lana Zdravković (The Peace Instiutte) and dr. Lidija Živčič (Focus Association for Sustainable Development).
THURSDAY 6. 9. 2018 14:00 - 15:30
The Crisis of Globalization, Social Movements and Ecofeminist Politics
The talk will map recent social movement responses to globalisation and its impacts on justice and ecology. It will distinguish ecofeminism from other radical paradigms such as deep ecology, social ecology, eco-socialism, green economics, and it will contrast ecofeminism with other approaches to women's emancipation. The presentation will outline the political and intellectual history of ecofeminism, drawing on key activists, thinkers, and texts, to illustrate its foundational premises. Ecofeminism originates in grassroots women's resistance to contemporary capitalist patriarchal institutions that threaten the reproduction of everyday life. It knows no borders, for care labour and sustainability is cross-cultural. In addition to activism, ecofeminism can be applied as a sociology of knowledge, entailing critiques of science, modernist development models, even ecological economics and Marx.
THURSDAY 6. 9. 2018 16:00 - 17:00
Round table with guest speakers: Reflections of the summer school: what is the place of (political) ecology?
At this final round table, together with Summer School speakers we will reflect on the themes discussed throughout the week. We will relate this discussion to the current political context, where the classical eco-political question of “how do we transform the societal order and practices into sustainable direction?” was replaced by the unspoken post-ecological question of »how can we govern ecological issues and consequences, so as to maintain societal structures and lifestyles, for which it is known that they are unsustainable?«. Is the right question here “What is the place of ecology in politics?” or “What is the place of politics in ecology?”
FRIDAY 7. 9. 2018
PhD students' seminar
On the PhD Students' Seminar the accredited students are going to present their paper drafts. The intention of the seminar is to upgrade drafts through commentaries and questions from speakers and audience. The final papers are going to be published in Collection of papers from the International Summer School of Political Ecology
environmental student symposium
At numerous faculties and academies of the University of Ljubljana, students write their theses on environmental issues. These works are at the moment not thought through comprehensively, in-depth and in relation to the theses done by students from other faculties. Therefore, with the students' environmental symposium, we want to open a space for presentations of theses in the field of environmental social sciences from various faculties of the University of Ljubljana. At the same time, we would like to stimulate a discussion about further environment-oriented student production and the need for greater cooperation between disciplines in more systemic addressing of environmental issues.