Monday 27.6.

Democracy & State

Opening part


9:30 – 10: 30 Opening of the summer school and welcome speeches

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

Over the past two decades or so, the climate has been elevated to the dignity of global political concern. Nonetheless, the climate parameters keep eroding further, demonstrating the paradoxical situation we are in. It confirms that access to and presence of knowledge and facts does not guarantee effective intervention. I shall suggest that enjoyment and its fantasy support structure need to be foregrounded to account for the performative lack of socially transformative politics. I shall conclude by arguing how ‘traversing the fantasy’ might open new ways of approaching the climate condition the Earth is in.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break

The critical theory of the green state rests upon an account of ecological democracy that seeks to avoid the deeply skewed and unjust displacement of ecological risks through space and time. This presupposes an intimate connection between ecological democracy and environmental justice. This presentation will examine whether and to what extent the climate emergency movement poses a challenge to the critical theory of the green state and climate justice and just transition movements, and what this means for the future of the state in a heating world. In short, can the prioritisation of climate protection at full speed be reconciled with the demands for climate justice?

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

Cities are becoming an increasingly crucial space of political change towards a just and climate-neutral society. On one hand, urban space is characterized by a large concentration of problems and challenges - from mobility, public space issues, housing, community and participatory governance, to the negative consequences of climate change and adaptation of cities to them. On the other hand, there are a number of initiatives in cities that face these challenges through bottom-up solutions. What solutions do we know? What is the role of city authorities and the state in this? How to accelerate bottom-up (green) transitions in cities? Panelists: Maša Hawlina (Cooperative Zadrugator and IŠSP - Institute for Housing and Spatial Studies), Zala Velkavrh (Prostorož) and Matic Primc (Organization for a participatory society).

Evening programme

Tuesday 28.6.

Energy & Transport

In this talk, I will explore the urgently needed transition in energy systems from the perspective of global political economy. I develop a more historical, global, political and ecological account of key features of energy transitions: from their production and financing, to how they are governed and mobilised around. This is applied to contemporary and historical examples of energy transitions from around the world. I explore the shifts in power relations between and within countries and across social groups and political actors that are required if just transitions to a more sustainable economy are to be realised.

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

Despite recent advances in studies of topics including social acceptance, energy justice and energy democracy, there remain substantial limitations in the ways that energy transitions are commonly theorised. Prevalent assumptions such as NIMBYism (“Not In My Back Yard”) provide negatively oriented, unhelpful and inaccurate framings of socio-spatial and socio-technical dimensions of change. Drawing on a wide range of examples, this presentation aims to elaborate on positive principles for energy transitions and social innovation centred on the ideas of Place and Participation, and argues why these provide foundations of hope. I will also draw attention to how social scientists can better collaborate with policymakers to co-produce evidence and deliver lasting change. not in my back yard, »ne na mojem dvorišču«), povzročijo, da so družbeno-prostorske in družbeno-tehnične razsežnosti sprememb energetskem področju obravnavane v negativnih, nekoristnih in netočnih okvirih. V predavanju bomo na podlagi številnih primerov podrobneje obravnavali pozitivna načela za energetske tranzicije in družbene inovacije, ki se osredotočajo na ideji »lokacije« in »participacije«, ter razložili, zakaj prav ti ideji ponujata osnovo za upanje na spremembe. Opozorili bomo tudi na to, kako lahko družboslovci bolje sodelujejo z oblikovalci politik pri soustvarjanju gradiv in načrtov ter s tem pri zagotavljanju trajnih sprememb.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break

Who counts in transport planning? Research into transport planning’s post-political condition shows how politics is structured and whose participation matters. Attending to the depoliticised spaces of transport planning exposes the erasure of its publicness and the erosion of participatory practices. In this paper, I draw upon participatory action research with advocacy communities in Melbourne who are contesting these de-political transport trajectories, the politics shaping them, and the crisis of participatory governance. These efforts to re-politicise public-led planning are building solidarities and calling for different transport epistemologies, those grounded in climate justice, whilst cultivating political pathways to reshape who is doing transport planning.

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

Transport represents one of the biggest challenges when searching for solutions for the environmental and climate crisis. In Slovenia, majority of the population is car-dependent, which not only causes negative environmental consequences such as air pollution and excessive greenhouse gas emissions, but also indirectly causes spatial degradation and has a negative impact on human health. The problem is also becoming more and more social as mobility poverty rises as a problem for just transition. With this panel we will discuss the solutions needed to simultaneously address both social and environmental challenges resulting from the current unsustainable policies and measures in the field of transport and mobility in Slovenia. Panelists: Marko Peterlin (IpoP – Institute for spatial policies), Marjeta Benčina (Focus Association for Sustainable Development), dr. Matej Gabrovec (Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU).

Evening programme

Wednesday 29.6.

Sustainable Production and Consumption & Degrowth

In the past decade, Circular Economy (CE) policies and interventions have gained significant traction across multiple scales of governance. For example, the European Commission’s CE Action Plan is framed as ‘one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth’. In response, researchers increasingly pay attention to the CE’s overt and tacit politics, alongside conceptual and empirical blind-spots. This talk will outline some key critical CE debates, focusing in particular on the multiple roles ascribed to citizens within the CE and the potential for realising the ideal of the ‘circular user-consumer’.

10:15 - 10:30 Coffee break

Economic growth isn’t working, and it cannot be made to work. Offering a counter-history of how economic growth emerged in the context of colonialism, fossil-fueled industrialization, and capitalist modernity, the lecture explains how the ideology of growth conceals the rising inequalities and ecological destructions associated with capitalism and points to desirable alternatives to it. It begins by outlining the hegemony of growth and then moves on to discuss the critique of growth and proposals for degrowth policies. Building on a vibrant field of research, it discusses the political economy and the politics of a non-growing economy. It charts a path forward through policies that democratise the economy, “now-topias” that create free spaces for experimentation, and counter-hegemonic movements that make it possible to break with the logic of growth.

In the face of the global ecological crisis the generally established framework that seems to be consensus-able is the language of limits or boundaries that define a ‘safe’ space for human activity and economy. While a very powerful image, this narrative also bears risks insofar as it leaves out a critical social perspective and neglects relational theories of the complex relations between society and nature. The lecture discusses societal boundaries as conditions for a good life to all in theory and praxis with reference to the pluriverse of alternatives, including degrowth.

13:00 – 14:15 Lunch break

This talk examines an emerging narrative of life from Latin America that differs significantly from the dominant anthropocentric perspective of the world and its extractive mode of global development. Conceived from the perspective of radical interdependence, and centred on the notions of territoriality, communality, autonomy, re-existence, and pluriversality, such narrative might constitute a new foundation for social life and for designing worlds relationally.

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

On the Student seminars 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 the Collection of papers from the International Summer School of Political Ecology 2022.

Evening programme

Thursday 30.6.

Food Systems & Bridging Global South and North

Amidst compelling evidence of the unsustainability and continued reproduction of capitalist modernity, it is misguided to assume that sustainability transformation can happen by the mere construction of supposed ‘solutions’, be they technological, social or cultural. We rather need to better understand whether and how existing institutions, forms of knowledge, practices, imaginaries, power structures, and human-non-human relations can be deconstructed at the service of transformation. This presentation will demonstrate the usefulness of a lens that attends to processes of making and unmaking in sustainability transformations through an analysis of two cases of agri-food grassroots initiatives situated in Colombia and the Netherlands, respectively.

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

How can economic strategies bring the current fossil fuel based energy system into a carbon neutral future? How do we go about decarbonizing the economy? The solution to the energy crisis faced by Cuba between 2004 and 2005 was a comprehensive system of actions aimed at ensuring the economic and social development of the country and its transition to a more energy efficient economy and decentralized electricity generation model. The Cuban government has set an ambitious renewable energy target of 24% RES of electricity production by 2030. Renewable energy trajectories in Cuba, through different future energy scenarios utilizing EnergyPLAN tool, identify the best fitting and most cost-efficient options in transitioning towards a less fuel intensive electric power system.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break

Krater is an emerging production space for transdisciplinary practices that emerged from the abandoned, crater-resembling construction site near Ljubljana’s historical city centre. Krater is set to produce environmentally conscious materials, practices and alliances that invite urban communities to once again open their eyes to the land and each other. At Krater, we will learn more about the active pilot project to reduce CO2 emissions using fungi.2 We will also discuss resilient ways of cohabitating future cities, including novel perspectives of seeing and valorising untamed urban territories; the ones that could inspire a shift in spatial planning towards design for multispecies justice (Krater's project Feral Palace).

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

On the Student seminars 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 the Collection of papers from the International Summer School of Political Ecology 2022.

Evening programme

Friday 1.7.

Bringing everything together

On the Student seminars 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 the Collection of papers from the International Summer School of Political Ecology 2022.

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

At this final round table, together with Summer School speakers we will reflect on the themes discussed throughout the week. This will be followed by an evaluation part, with which we will conclude this year’s five-day event together with all participants.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

Erik Swyngedouw

is currently Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, UK. He previously held a professorship at Oxford University. He is also visiting professor at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He has worked and taught in the USA, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Ecuador, and Greece. His research focuses on political ecology and political economy, with a particular interest in theorizing the society-nature articulation from a broadly historical-geographical materialist analysis. In addition, he has worked on urban socio-ecological dynamics, urban governance, politics of scale, and the geographical dynamics of advanced capitalist society. He has worked extensively on issues of water and water politics, and the political ecology of water and urbanization. His recent work focuses on democratic politics and the strategies and tactics of new political movements.

Matthias Schmelzer

is an economic historian, networker and climate activist. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and works at Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie (Laboratory for a New Economy). His main interests include the political economy of capitalism, social and environmental history, climate catastrophe, and alternative economics. He is author of the award-winning "The Hegemony of Growth. The OECD and the Making of the Economic Growth Paradigm" and has written on 20th century social and economic history, monetary politics, international organizations, and degrowth. His most recent book „The Future is Degrowth: A Guide to a World Beyond Capitalism“ (co-authored with Andrea Vetter and Aaron Vansintjan) was published by Verso in June 2022.

Peter Newell

is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex and co-founder and research director of the Rapid Transition Alliance. His recent research focuses on the political economy of low carbon energy transitions, but he has undertaken research, advocacy and consultancy work on different aspects of climate change for over 25 years. He has worked at the universities of Sussex, Oxford, Warwick and East Anglia in the UK and FLACSO Argentina. He sits on the board of directors of Greenpeace UK and has undertaken advisory work for the governments of the UK, Sweden and Finland and for international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and the Inter-American Development Bank. His single and co-authored books include Climate for Change;, Governing Climate Change;, Globalization and the Environment;, Climate Capitalism;, Transnational Climate Change Governance and Global Green Politics and Power Shift: The Global Political Economy of Energy Transitions..

Arturo Escobar

is an activist-researcher from Cali, Colombia, working on territorial struggles against extractivism, post developmentalist and post-capitalist transitions, and ontological design. He was a professor of anthropology and political ecology at UNC, Chapel Hill, until 2018, and is currently affiliated with PhD Programs in Design and Creation (Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia) and in Environmental Sciences (Universidad del Valle, Cali). Over the past thirty years, he has worked closely with Afro-descendant, environmental and feminist organizations in Colombia. His most well-known book is Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995, 2nd Ed. 2011). His most recent books are: Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018); Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible (2020); and Designing Relationally: Making and Restor(y)ing Life,with Michal Osterweil and Kriti Sharma (forthcoming).

Robyn Eckersley

is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in the Discipline of Political Science, School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia since 2007. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, political theory and international relations with a special focus on the ethics, politics and governance of climate change. In 2019, she received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Environmental Studies Section (ESS) of the International Studies Association.

Crystal Legacy

is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia where she is also the Deputy Director of the Informal Urbanism Research Hub. She resides on Wurundjeri Country where she writes, teaches, and works with communities on issues related to urban transport politics, public participation and the post-political city. She publishes in a range of academic journals, provides critical commentary on local and national media outlets, and works in solidarity with a range of community-based groups seeking climate just outcomes in transport planning. Crystal is an Editor of two journals Planning Theory and Practice and Urban Policy and Research and is the inaugural chair of the Australasian Early Career Urban Research Network.

Patrick Devine-Wright

is an Environmental Social Scientist at the University of Exeter with a background in Environmental Psychology and Human Geography. He specialises in researching significant, policy-relevant environmental problems using an interdisciplinary collaborative approach that is theoretically informed and has clear pathways to impact. He has focused on researching issues of social acceptance and community engagement with sustainable energy transitions, in particular controversial technology projects such as wind farms and high voltage power lines. He works closely with policymakers, industry and civil society groups and is currently Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group 3 on Climate Mitigation, Chair of the Devon Net Zero Task Force and a non-Executive Director of Exeter Community Energy. He contributes to the International Energy Agency’s Task 28 on Social Acceptance of Wind Energy and has been a member of the National Advisory Group for EirGrid (the Irish electricity grid operator) since 2013. He is a member of the Peer Review Group for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy. Patrick leads and contributes to several interdisciplinary research projects on energy transitions and climate mitigation funded by UK and EU research programmes, and is the Director of the new £6.25m ACCESS project (Advancing Capacity for Climate and Environment Social Science) that aims to champion the application of environmental social science to address environmental problems.

Gladys Cecilia Hernandez-Pedraza

is Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Global Financial Tendencies, Center for World Economy Studies in Cuba. There, her activity has focused on economic and social reforms and environmental policies in developing economies. She has advised government and non-government institutions on economic issues related to the world economy and environmental issues. She has carried out research works related to the main tendencies in the world economy and their effects on developing economies: foreign debt, financial crisis, direct foreign investment, world trade challenges of the current globalization, food sustainability, bioenergy, biodiversity impacts from climate change, renewable energy, adaptation and mitigation policies, social and gender problems.

Kersty Hobson

is Reader in Human Geography and Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University. Her research interests focus on issues of socio-environmental transformation, particularly in the fields of sustainable production and consumption, and multi-level environmental governance. She has held academic positions at the University of Birmingham, Australian National University, and the University of Oxford, where her research has examined household sustainability practices; environmental non-governmental organizations; animal geographies; as well as climate change governance and public deliberation. Her current research focuses on the socio-political implications of, and challenges for, the circular economy agenda. She also has a long-standing interest in community-level responses to pressing socio-environmental issues.

Giuseppe Feola

conducts research on socioecological change in modern societies. His current research critically examines ongoing processes of societal transformation towards forms of society and economy which aim at the wellbeing of all and sustain the ecological basis of life. He aims to develop an empirically based theory of societal transformation to sustainability, to contribute to the societal debate on this challenge, and to build a bridge between theory and political action. His main empirical foci are those of agri-food systems, and grassroots actors such as the civil society and social movements. His research uses interdisciplinary and mixed-method approaches, and is focussed primarily on Europe and Colombia. Institutional affiliation: Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Barbara Muraca

is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon, USA. Her research focuses on Environmental and Social Philosophy, Process Philosophy, Sustainability and Degrowth research, and Political Ecology. 2014-2018 she was Assistant Professor of Environmental and Social Philosophy at Oregon State University and 2011-2014 Senior Researcher (Post-Doc) at the Center for Advanced Studies 'Post-growth Societies' at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Jena, Germany. In 2014 she participated in the organization of the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Since 2018 she is a Lead Author of the IPBES assessment on multiple values of nature (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). She publishes internationally on relational values, Degrowth, and sustainability. Her latest co-authored publication, “From planetary to societal boundaries: an argument for collectively defined self-limitation” appeared in Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy in 2021.





LIFE IP CARE4CLIMATE (LIFE17 IPC/SI/000007) is an integrated project, financed by the European Comission's LIFE Programme, the Slovenian Climate Fund and partners' own contributions.

The opinions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) only and should not be considered as representative of the European Union's official position.

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