Content:

1. Editorial

  • Jasper Kenter: A global economic crisis in 2020? Finding a credible ecological economics alternative

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • Call for applications: ESEE Ecological Economics  Training Institute
  • Environmental Policy and Governance Journal - current issues

3. Hot topic

  • Beth Stratford: Is the Green Growth vs Degrowth debate a dangerous distraction?

4. Student spotlight

  • Lena Gerdes: The need for bold, utopian thinking in ecological economics

5. Events, jobs and publications

  • Call for signatories: Join scientists in their call for a greener, pro-sustainability, and more cost-efficient Common Agricultural Policy
  • Job opportunity: Centre Director, York Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, UK
  • Job opportunity: Associate professor in applied ecology, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway
  • Job opportunity: Full-time academic position in environmental humanities, Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Job opportunity: 3 PhD Scholarships in political ecology, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain
  • Job opportunity: 12 PhD scholarships in political economy and inequality, Institute for Socio-Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Job opportunity: PhD position in connectivity science, MODUL University, Austria
  • Job opportunity: Professorship for social ecology/ transdisciplinary research on society-nature relations, Faculty of Biosciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Training opportunity: PhD course, Degrowth in Europe: Foundations in theory and pathways to practice, Copenhagen, Denmark, 11 to 15 May 2020
  • Call for contributions: 2020 Bratislava Conference on Earth System Governance, Slovak Academy of Sciences and Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 15 to 17 September 2020
  • Call for contributions: Degrowth Vienna 2020, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 29 May to 1 June 2020
  • Call for contributions: International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes, ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 6 to 8 May 2020
  • New special issue: '‘Garbage is Gold’: Waste-based Commodity Frontiers, Modes of Valorization and Ecological Distribution Conflicts, Capitalism Nature Socialism', edited by Seth Schindler and Federico Demaria
  • New special issue: ‘Theoretical traditions in Social Values for Sustainability’, edited by Chris Raymond, Jasper Kenter, Carena van Riper, Andrea Rawluk and Dave Kendal

 


1. Editorial

A global economic crisis in 2020? Finding a credible ecological economics alternative

Jasper Kenter, Senior Lecturer, University of York and ESEE Chair of Publicity and Publications

Welcome to the last ESEE newsletter of this decade and my last newsletter as the ESEE’s chair of publicity and publications before handing over to Anke Schaffartzik. Moving into 2020, the world slides into further polarisation. In the largest democracy in the world, India, changes to citizenship laws and registrations mean Muslims become second-class, threatened with incarceration and deportation on the basis of their beliefs. At the same time millions of people, including colleagues from the ecological economics community, are rising up against this. In the US, the intense opposition to Trump has led to articles of impeachment. In spite of this his core support has been unwavering and the normal pattern for a sitting president in a growing economy is to be re-elected comfortably, so there is no telling as to his chances of re-election. In the recent British elections, media manipulation has been taken to a new level, to the degree that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a life-long campaigner for human rights, was character-assassinated by making him look like an anti-Semite. Meanwhile an actual racist, Boris Johnson, got elected, supported by three of the UK’s four main tabloid newspapers, which harbour little interest in journalistic standards. What the increasingly extreme positions of the Republicans, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Conservatives have in common is that they fan the fires of hatred and racism and make it socially acceptable, even fashionable, amongst large groups of people to make up racist lies about Muslims, Mexicans and eastern Europeans.

Concurrently, the planetary emergency and those proclaiming it, whilst embraced by one polarity is belittled by the other. In the US and countries like Brazil explicit denial still speaks to some constituents, whilst in Europe an understanding that the environmental crisis is real seems to have landed more broadly. However, this is giving rise to more Orwellian newspeak, where the word ‘emergency’ has become largely meaningless. Many politicians set targets without having much of a sense on how to achieve them other than through empty talk of innovation and technological change, and, of course, the need for a strong, growing market economy to deliver this. There is increasing consensus in the scientific community that even in optimistic technology scenarios, we cannot achieve climate targets without social transformation. In particular, this requires shifting our economic model to one that explicitly addresses our dependence on the biosphere and improves well-being by prioritising basic needs and reducing inequality, instead of being principally geared towards affluence (World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, Ripple et al. 2019). 

Senior civil servants often have interesting things to say after leaving their posts. The official position of the Bank of England (BoE) is that “the system is much safer today than it was in 2007-08”, but Mervyn King, the BoE’s governor during the crisis recently pointed out that nothing has changed since the 2008 banking meltdown. King is right. Consumption growth in industrialised economies is largely driven by debt growth. The world’s debt is three times that of world GDP, far higher than in 2007. Fundamentally, we have reached the limits of the financial system where money is created as debt. There is plenty of speculation that we will hit another crisis in the coming year, on the basis of tell-tale signs such as inverted yield curves on government debt.

The last global crisis was a huge missed opportunity for ecological economists to advance their agenda. Of course, the problem is one of ‘one no and many yeses’; we agree largely on the problem but not the answers. In anticipation of the joint ISEE – Degrowth network conference in Manchester in Sept 2020, the notions of degrowth versus green new deals continues to spark debate. As Beth Stratford writes in her hot topic in this newsletter, “Reading these exchanges it is difficult to shake the feeling that the debate about the possibility or impossibility of green growth is not going to be settled in a timeframe that is useful for averting ecological collapse - at least not outside of a relatively niche community of environmental nerds.” Beth proposes an agenda where we change our headline messaging to focus on both ecological limits and green investment, but also seek to decommodify access to common resources for basic needs and dismantle the extractive power of the asset rich. This last point is also highlighted by Lena Gerdes, who models observed global inequalities and power structures, in her Student Spotlight interview in this newsletter.

I think this is really important. When the next crisis hits, this will heavily undermine people’s confidence in democratic market systems. Messages of degrowth, confusing and misinterpreted to mean cuts and austerity, alienate people. Messaging needs to emphasise both investment and redistribution to meet needs, sustain common resources and address the triple emergency of planetary crisis, economic crisis and the crisis of legitimacy of governance and power.

With regard to GDP, if we critique it as a useless indicator, this is inconsistent with advocating it go one way or another. Fundamentally, the key issue with growth is the reliance of market democracies on GDP increases for economic and political stability. This heavily constrains the ability of government to address environmentally or socially undesirable economic activity. We need changes to our system of money creation and public and private finance to remove this dependency – so that it can become a social choice which sectors and economic activities grow or shrink. The system held in place by reliance on GPD is also the same system of growing asset, resource and power inequality – that these are two sides of the same coin is one of our key messages for a time of crisis. The challenge for us is to find ways of building an alternative – rapidly – from the pluralism of our community that we value, in sufficient detail and in time for when the next crisis will provide a vacuum that is asking to be filled – and this may well be sooner rather than later.
 
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2. News from ESEE and its members

Call for applications: ESEE Ecological Economics Training Institutes

ESEE board is pleased to open its call for a series of transdisciplinary and collaborative training institutes on ecological economics aimed at early career researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers in Europe. Events can be focused on any of the diverse range of topics associated with ecological economics but will share a common participatory approach and structure. Local organisers can (annually) bid for up to 2000 euros for events that meet a number of criteria, as detailed below:

Event criteria

- Highly collaborative and participatory; not just a series of lectures and presentations
- Transdisciplinary: including participants beyond academia, e.g. decision-makers, practitioners, community representatives, etc.
- Involvement of one or more ESEE board members to guarantee criteria are met and to further year-on-year learning regarding format and engagement.
- Students are heavily involved in organising the event.
- Zero or low cost for participation, with some kind of bursary opportunities for those in a low-income situation 
- The organisers have to record participant feedback on the event and make this available to ESEE
- Environmental awareness: a plan to minimise (and potentially compensate) the carbon footprint and other environmental costs 

Further guidelines and suggestions

In addition to mandatory criteria, ESEE suggests the following guidelines for the events. These guidelines will also be used to decide between competing applications if more than one application is made for sponsorship in an annual round.

- Duration: 2 days for pre-conference events, 3-5 days for other events
- Number of participants: 20-30 participants; a relatively small group of students helps to build group cohesiveness and identity.
- A mix of student and post-doc with at least a third post-docs.
- Provide opportunities for publication of outputs.
- Provide opportunities for ECTL credits associated with courses.
- Remote locations preferred to maximise engagement.
- Family friendly with childcare options available.
- As the decision on competing proposals is taken by the ESEE Board, active ESEE Board members are excluded from submitting applications for competition. However, they are still free to submit applications, but these will only be considered in the case of no other eligible application(s) being made from applicants outside the ESEE Board for the next year to come.
- ESEE membership: participants must be told about ESEE, and provided the opportunity to join ESEE (or ISEE) as part of the event.

Procedure for applications

Candidates can apply annually for up to 2000 euros towards the cost of an event to be held within the following two years, provided it meets the criteria, but are responsible for the remainder of funding. Applications will include a short rationale for the meeting including a description of the meeting format (max 2 pages), a budget, an indication of what budget items ESEE funds will be spent on, and an overview of other (potential) funding sources.

Please direct any queries or applications to Nina Janasik: nina.janasik@helsinki.fi

The deadline for applications for events in 2020 has now passed, however applications for 2021 can be submitted at any time by October 31st, 2020, and will be decided upon in November 2020.
 


Environmental Policy and Governance Journal

Table of contents for current issues September/October (vol29/05) and November/December (vol29/06)
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3. Hot topic

Is the Green Growth vs Degrowth debate a dangerous distraction?

Beth Stratford, PhD Candidate, University of Leeds

A few months ago, Open Democracy published an article by Leigh Philips called ‘the Degrowth delusion’. This is not the first time that the limits to growth analysis has been dismissed and the Degrowth agenda been construed as a call for ‘austerity’ by someone purporting to support the ideals of environmental and economic justice. Phillips echoes criticisms raised by geographer Matt Huber in a stimulating piece for Catalyst Journal, and by Robert Pollin in a piece for the New Left Review last year, which presented the Green New Deal (GND) and Degrowth strategies as somehow mutually exclusive.

Careful correctives and rebuttals have been published to these critiques, some offering a more rigorous examination of the evidence on decoupling, some highlighting the considerable overlap between the GND programme and the Degrowth agenda.  

Reading these exchanges it is difficult to shake the feeling that the debate about the possibility or impossibility of green growth is not going to be settled in a timeframe that is useful for averting ecological collapse - at least not outside of a relatively niche community of environmental nerds.

This is not just because demonstrating the ecological limits to growth requires detailed and laborious explanations about the land use requirements of negative emissions technologies, the resource requirements and plausible build out rates of renewables, the Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI) for different energy sources, and more. Trying to sustain people’s attention in such technical subjects is hard enough. But even if one succeeds in this, there remains the even more slippery question of the source and nature of economic value itself. After all, what is in dispute here is not the need for radical reductions in the volume of biophysical resources we consume and habitats that we destroy, but the need to prepare for reductions in the economic value of our consumption. 

Unfortunately, time and energy spent in such esoteric and complex debates is time and energy that is not spent reaching out to new audiences, building the social movement that we will need to defeat the vested interests who profit from the status quo. 

This raises the question: do we need to win a debate about the limits of decoupling in order to advance the post-growth agenda? I’m not sure we do. To my mind, the most urgent goals for the ecological economics community should be to:

1) Ensure that alongside ambitious investments in green infrastructure and energy efficiency, we implement tough caps on resource extraction and imports, tough protections for habitats, and outright bans on the most destructive and polluting activities.
2) Kickstart a transformation of our economic structures to bring an end to our systemic dependence on growth.

It seems to me that there is a route to achieving both goals which doesn’t involve protracted and alienatingly dry debates about decoupling.

Making the case for caps and protections to complement green investment does require an explanation of economy-wide rebound effects that could emerge from an ambitious Green New Deal. But the risk of rebound is far more difficult to dispute than the idea that GDP must fall. The case for direct limits on environmental destruction is intuitive; everyone can make sense of this.

As for ending our growth dependency, I believe that the key transformations needed for this can be justified without reference to the wonky concept of growth dependency. As I argue in a recent article for Ecological Economics, what makes stalling growth so intolerable is the presence of concentrated rentier power & widespread rent-seeking. I identify at least three forms of ‘rentier growth imperative’ that compel policy makers to prioritise growth at the expense of protections for people and planet.

First, in a system which permits people to exploit their control of scarce and hard-to-replicate assets to extract incomes disproportionate to their labour (i.e. rents), and in doing so to continually expand their claim on society’s output, the only way to maintain a subsistence-level ‘slice of pie’ for the poorest is to grow the pie. 

Second, in a system which permits debt-fuelled rent-seeking through finance and real estate, asset price booms and busts become more frequent and violent, leaving in their wake high debt to GDP ratios that are difficult to pay down in the absence of growth. 

Third, if we allow the benefits of automation and mechanisation to be captured upstream by rentiers – like landlords, tech giants, financial intermediaries – then most ordinary workers will never be able to reduce their working hours without suffering an unacceptable loss of income. In a rentier economy then, we need growth to soak up the surplus labour created by automation, because the favoured post growth solution to unemployment - reduced and redistributed working hours – just won’t work.

The good news is that these various sources of growth dependency can be eliminated if we restructure our economy to diffuse rentier power and close opportunities for rent-seeking. Such a project would involve dismantling the extractive power of landowners, big pharma, too-big-to-fail finance, and other monopolies; overhauling our intellectual property regime; bringing monopolisable common infrastructures (like energy, transport, water, telecommunications, banks and the payment system) into common ownership; ending practices like real estate speculation, patent trolling, share-buy backs; mutualising and democratising our workplaces; and – perhaps most excitingly - capturing unavoidable rents (such as those arising from the scarcity of land, energy resources and so on) and using them to fund a ‘Common Wealth Dividend’ and a system of Universal Basic Services, that would offer people a route to subsistence without selling their labour. 

Many of these proposals crop up already in the post-growth literature and can be understood as essential preconditions for expanding autonomy, conviviality and time to care for one another. The difficulty we have is that few people dig deep enough into the literature to find these ideas. This is in part because the headline message of reversing growth is confusing and alienating for many, and fails to speak to the concerns and experiences of so many already struggling to make ends meet. As Kate Raworth observed a few years ago, ‘the term ‘Degrowth’ turns out to be a very particular kind of missile: a smoke bomb. Throw it into a conversation and it causes widespread confusion and mistaken assumptions.’

What I’m proposing is not a capitulation to the techno-fetishism and reckless hubris of those who dismiss limits to growth, but a strategic shift in the headline message that ecological economists take to the world, away from the idea of Degrowth, and toward the following: 1) the case for robust limits on resource use, pollution and habitat destruction to go alongside ambitious investments in green infrastructure and energy efficiency; 2) the case for diffusing the extractive power of the asset rich, and decommodifying access to those common resources that are required to meet basic needs. 

I think there’s a good chance that people like Pollin, Huber and Phillips could get behind this agenda. After all, this is not about foreclosing the possibility of green growth. It is about dismantling an economic system that is sucking the life out of our planet and excluding the vast majority of us from sharing in the fruits of our own labour. That seems to me to be the basis of a workable truce that would allow us to turn our fire on the real enemies of the just transition. Surely the stakes are too high to do anything else?

 
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4. Student spotlight

The need for bold, utopian thinking in ecological economics

Interview with Lena Gerdes, PhD Researcher, Vienna University of Economics and Business


Tell us about yourself.

I am a first-year PhD candidate at the Department of Socioeconomics at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). Originally from northern Germany, I moved south for my studies. Two interdisciplinary study programs taught me to think critically and contributed to my interest for complex systems. My Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the beautiful city of Freiburg gave me a lot of freedom to explore and try many different research areas and interests. I took a broad range of courses – from cognitive sciences and life sciences to philosophy and economics – and became enthusiastic about global and multi-faceted issues covered by research in international relations and governance. Afterwards I moved to Vienna where I completed the Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy Master’s. It helped me to develop a better understanding for the global ecological crisis, its complexity and the importance of acting on many different levels.

There, I also discovered my fascination for agent-based modelling; a very cool way of creating complex computer models and simulating socio-ecological aspects of economies. Agent-based modelling allows you to capture mechanisms guiding complex co-evolution, and much more. Aside from its methodological merits, it is also fun to develop simulations, especially for someone like me who loves solving logical problems and puzzles.

What are you researching?

In my research I am focusing on the complexity in international trade and its implications for the environment as well as the people. Currently, I concentrate on two projects. As part of a larger transdisciplinary group (including the Commons Institute in Germany), I am developing an agent-based model of a world without money and states. This utopian model allows us to explore how an alternative to the current economic system could function, which coordination mechanisms limit or enable such a socioeconomic system, and the implications of such an economy for human well-being and ecosystem health. 

In addition to this utopian approach I am working on a model to investigate processes that stabilise observed global inequalities and hegemonic power structures. The extraction of resources has been central in any capitalist economy, causing severe environmental, social and economic problems at the place of extraction, usually in the Global South. At the same time, many countries in the Global North profit from this system, uphold, and accelerate it. Together with Dr Manuel Scholz-Wäckerle I am developing a model which captures some of these inequalities and allows us to study mechanisms aimed at reducing the unequal exchange. 

If you were in charge of the world economy for one day, tell me one thing what you would do and why?

If I were in charge of the world economy for one day, I would target existing power structures. The hegemonic power of the Global North and transnational corporations sustain the capitalistic global economy. The devastating impact the current economic practices have on the global ecological system are well known, as well as the global inequalities and their impacts on the socials systems. However, none of these challenges can successfully be addressed if the power structures remain the same. 

The functioning of the system that benefits the few rests on global inequalities. Social structures should ensure that the interests of people affected by economic activity, and not the interests of large corporation and a few countries, guide development. Those affected most by climate change, exploitation of labour and the destruction of the natural environment need to be able to make their voices heard and count. This could enable a shift away from the currently destructive economic system to a more sustainable one. Such an economy would include a radical reduction of emissions and other forms of pollution, a halt of deforestation, the protection of labour and human rights around the globe; as well as an access to education and health.

Tell me one thing that you think many ecological economists don’t realise, but should.

In my view, ecological economists mainly focus on understanding problems and identifying why we are where we are right now. I think that the focus is too much on the past and the reasons why we have problems now. Bringing forward new and big ideas for change is risky, one might not get the assumptions right, creating a weak spots for criticism, or the ideas might not work, and so on. But without specific suggestions on how we can effectively protect the climate, nature and society from ourselves, we cannot actually change anything. Thus, seemingly crazy ideas and ideas conceived as utopian are necessary to create feasible but still effective actions now. Therefore, I would like to encourage ecological economists to dare proposing bold ideas. 

Interviewer, Ernest Aigner, ESEE Student Representative
 
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5. Events, jobs and publications

Call for signatories: Join scientists in their call for a greener, pro-sustainability, and more cost-efficient Common Agricultural Policy

The European Union is in the midst of a reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), to shape the spending of nearly 40% of the EU’s budget over another 7-year period (2021-2027). In parallel, the new Commission has made an ambitious announcement to present, by March 2020, a “European Green Deal” that will address critical environmental and sustainability challenges. 

Unfortunately, neither the CAP proposal made by the European Commission nor the initial proposal for the EU Green Deal, acknowledged the unequivocal evidence indicating agriculture to be a key driver of biodiversity loss and a significant contributor to climate change; as well as strong evidence that the CAP fails on all dimensions of sustainability.  

To inform the reform process and help shape a better EU Green Deal, an interdisciplinary group of scientists have written a declaration proposing ten concrete action points that decision-makers should consider for the CAP reform and for the so-called “Farm to Fork” Strategy.

Scientists who share a sense of importance in the message, and wish to support a call by the scientific community to direct Europe’s agriculture toward delivering sustainable food, biodiversity conservation, and climate mitigation, are welcome to join the position paper as a signatory.

 
Job opportunity: Centre Director, York Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, UK

The York Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is seeking a new Centre Director. SEI York is one of eight centres of the globally renowned Stockholm Environment Institute, which - building on a reputation for excellence established over its 30-year history - remains at the forefront of international sustainable development research. As Director you will be responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Centre, working closely with leadership teams at SEI HQ (based in Stockholm) and the University of York to support the development and growth of the Centre.

Deadline: 5 Jan 2020
Further information
Contact: Prof. Brian Fulton, brian.fulton@york.ac.uk
 
 Job opportunity: Associate professor in applied ecology, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

The Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences seeks an Associate Professor with substantial research and teaching experience in ecology and/or interdisciplinary science and proven ability to work with issues of relevance to environmental governance. 

Deadline: 7 Jan 2020
Further information

 
Job opportunity: Full-time academic position in environmental humanities, Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

The Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning within the Department for Geosciences, Environment and Society is seeking to appoint a new colleague in the wider field of Environmental Humanities to reinforce its research and teaching capacities in the domain of Sustainability Sciences. The profile is framed – in terms of research and teaching – by the candidate’s adherence to a strong sustainability agenda, and her/his capacity to develop a systems approach, and to apply inter- and/or transdisciplinary methods to the exploration of interdependencies between the micro-, meso- and macro-levels of contemporary societies.

Deadline: 3 Feb 2020
Further information
Contact: Prof. Tom Bauler, tbauler@ulb.ac.be or Dr Wouter Achten, wachten@ulb.ac.be

 

Job opportunity: Professorship for social ecology/ transdisciplinary research on society-nature relations, Faculty of Biosciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

The Faculty of Biosciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, in cooperation with ISOE (Institute for Social-Ecological Research) invites applications for the position of Professor for Social Ecology/ Transdisciplinary Research on Society-Nature Relations. The professorship is linked to the position of Scientific Director of ISOE, a non-university, non-profit research organisation. The desired candidate will have a background in natural sciences, social sciences or humanities; proven expertise in transdisciplinary research on the transformations in the relationship between society and the environment; have achieved outstanding results in academic teaching; and have proven experience of leading a scientific institution, major research associations or junior research groups. 

Deadline: 13 Feb 2020
Further information
Contact: Dr Thomas Jahn, jahn@isoe.de or Prof. Jörg Oehlmann, oehlmann@bio.uni-frankfurt.de

 
Job opportunity: 3 PhD Scholarships in political ecology, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain

Three PhD scholarships are available at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology. These are for the following topics:

1) Why has sustainable development failed to ensure a good life for all within planetary boundaries? Supervised by Dr. Federico Demaria
2) Environmental Justice Movements and the Commons: a Virtuous Circle? Supervised by Dr. Sergio Villamayor-Tomas
3) Environmental Justice Conflicts as forces to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Supervised by Dr. Sergio Villamayor-Tomas

Deadline: 4 Feb 2020
Further information

 
Job opportunity: 12 PhD scholarships in political economy and inequality, Institute for Socio-Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

The Institute for Socio-Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen are looking for 12 new PhD candidates. The overall topic of the doctoral programme is ‘Political Economy of Inequality’, but research linking this topic to environmental questions, such as sustainable welfare, degrowth, and just transition, is highly welcome. The programme will start in November 2020 and is funded by Hans-Böckler-Stiftung. 
A workshop taking place on February 19th will give interested candidates the opportunity to get to know the institute and discuss their research ideas. The deadline for registration for the workshop is February 7th. 

Deadline: 15 Apr 2020
Further information

 
Job opportunity: PhD position in connectivity science, MODUL University, Austria

MODUL University are offering an exciting PhD position in the ITN Project ‘ICONN’, including highly competitive remuneration, mobility and family allowances. The PhD candidate will explore the tools and theories in connectivity science for the purpose of analyzing critical flows of resources and energy through the human economy. This is one of 15 PhD positions in the H2020 Innovative Training Network on Connectivity Science.

Deadline: 30 Jan 2020
Further information

 
Training opportunity: PhD course, Degrowth in Europe: Foundations in theory and pathways to practice, Copenhagen, Denmark, 11 to 15 May 2020

This PhD course, convened by the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen, will survey theoretical contributions to degrowth from various schools of thought, while emphasizing praxis in multiple social spheres and similarly, scholar-activism. The course unfolds within a frame of Degrowth in Europe, emphasizing what European peoples and States can and must do, starting within our own region.

Deadline: 1 Feb 2020
Further information
Contact: Rebecca Rutt, rlr@ifro.ku.dk

 
Call for contributions: 2020 Bratislava Conference on Earth System Governance, Slovak Academy of Sciences and Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 15 to 17 Sep 2020

The 2020 Bratislava Conference will be organized around the five analytical lenses structuring the new Earth System Governance research agenda, as captured in the 2018 Earth System Governance Science and Implementation Plan; and a sixth stream focusing on specific issues and challenges concerning the current moment of crisis, contestation, and calls for action across the globe. Abstracts should be submitted to one of the six themes outlined in detail on the conference website.

Deadline: 15 Jan 2020
Further information

 
Call for contributions: Degrowth Vienna 2020, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 29 May to 1 Jun 2020

Contemporary societies face unprecedented ecological, social and economic crises that call for an immediate and radical transformation of the dominant, growth-dependent mode of production and living. Degrowth, as a social movement and a burgeoning academic field of research, has focused on conceptual discussions, concrete utopias and case studies for a social-ecological transformation. What is missing, however, is an in-depth discussion on the strategies to achieve such a transformation. This conference will have a participatory design, including a thorough documentation process to generate tangible outcomes for the degrowth movement and research community. Scholars, practitioners, activists and artists are invited to send proposals for one or more of three different forms of contribution: 1. Standard Session, 2. Workshop Session, and 3. Consecutive Sessions.

Deadline: 31 Dec 2019
Further information

 
Call for contributions: International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes, ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 6 to 8 May 2020

The conference will explore the role of changing lifestyles in climate change mitigation. Contributions are invited that investigate the drivers and impacts of different lifestyles as well as how low-carbon lifestyles can be promoted through public policy. Contributions are encouraged from any field of knowledge that addresses the topic of lifestyle changes along one of the three conference themes (Drivers, Impacts, and Policies). 

Deadline: 15 Jan 2019
Further information

 
New special issue: '‘Garbage is Gold’: Waste-based Commodity Frontiers, Modes of Valorization and Ecological Distribution Conflicts, Capitalism Nature Socialism', edited by Seth Schindler and Federico Demaria

All papers available here
 
New special issue: ‘Theoretical traditions in Social Values for Sustainability’, edited by Chris Raymond, Jasper Kenter, Carena van Riper, Andrea Rawluk and Dave Kendal

All papers available here
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