Key Themes in Political Ecology

Periodo di svolgimento
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Info sul corso
Ore del corso
20
Ore dei docenti responsabili
20
Ore di didattica integrativa
0
CFU 3
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Modalità esame

Relazione di seminario

Prerequisiti

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"

Programma

Il corso si propone di affrontare alcune questioni chiave degli attuali dibattiti sull'ecologia politica. L'ecologia politica costituisce un campo dinamico in cui sono coinvolte diverse scienze sociali e umanistiche, tra cui la sociologia, l'antropologia, la geografia, gli STS, la teoria politica, gli studi femministi e decoloniali. Lo sfondo condiviso è la contestazione di prese di posizione apolitiche sulla crisi ecologica, che adottano un approccio problem-solving presuntivamente neutrale dal punto di vista dei valori, eludendo la relazione tra disegni dominativi sugli esseri umani e sui non umani, lotte politiche e materialità. Il corso affronterà innanzitutto la nozione di crisi ecologica e le connesse posizioni onto-epistemiche, poste in gioco e sfondi temporali in conflitto. L'analisi di alcune questioni centrali, come l'Antropocene, l'estrattivismo, la (ri)produzione, le nuove mobilitazioni materialiste e le politiche anticipatorie offrirà l'opportunità di affrontare i principali filoni del pensiero femminista, marxista, STS e decoloniale e di dare un senso all'attuale governamentalità. Il corso si svolgerà in forma di seminario. Nella prima parte di ogni sessione verrà definito il quadro di riferimento, evidenziando gli aspetti e i punti principali da affrontare. Successivamente, gli studenti presenteranno i propri resoconti e riflessioni sulle questioni affrontate, basandosi prima sulle letture assegnate e poi sullo sviluppo della discussione.

Le letture preparatorie a ogni sessione sono caricate nella cartella del corso: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1IK-UFrYg5lknnZ7130N3Tyhuy9e73uUf

Gli studenti sono tenute a leggerle prima della corrispondente sessione.

Programma

Session 1 – Introduction: Political ecology, crisis and critique. Thursday 9 November 2023, 09:00-13:00

After a presentation of the course and an overview of organizational issues, the session will be devoted to addressing the field of political ecology, with a specific focus on the notions of crisis and critique as key to defining and delimiting such field, and on their most valuable declensions for addressing the current state of affairs.

Readings:

  • Koselleck, R., Richter M (2006) Crisis. Journal of the History of Ideas, 67(2): 357-400
  • Horkheimer, M. (2002) Traditional and critical theory, in: Critical theory. Selected essays. New York: Continuum.
  • Foucault, M. (2007) What is critique?, in: The Politics of Truth, Los Angeles: Semiotexte
  • Batterbury, S. (2015) Doing political ecology inside and outside the academy, in: R. Bryant (ed.) International Handbook of Political Ecology, Cheltenham: Elgar.
  • Leff, E. (2015) Political ecology: a Latin American perspective. Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente, 35(Dec.): 29-64.

 

Session 2 – Capitalism, production, reproduction and work. Thursday 16 Novembre 2023, 09:00-13:00

The second session will be dedicated to the question of production and reproduction as key to tackling the relationship between capitalism and the biophysical world. A focus will be on current Marxist perspectives, as well as on feminist and decolonial ones, and attention will be devoted to the most recent evolution of capitalism’s approach to materiality, as exemplified by the economy of ecosystem services. The issues of work and value, of their relationship and their recent evolution, will enter such discussion.

Readings:

  • Acosta, A. (2013) Extractivism and neo-extractivism: two sides of the same curse, in: M. Lang, D. Mokrani (eds.), Beyond development: alternative visions from Latin America. Quito: Rosa Luxemburg Foudation.
  • Boyd, W. et al. (2001) Industrial dynamics and the problem of nature. Society & Natural Resources, 14(7): 555-570.
  • Ferdinand, M. (2022) Prologue: a colonial and environmental double fracture, in Decolonial ecology. Cambridge: Polity
  • Fraser, N. (2014) Behind Marx’s hidden abode. For an expanded conception of capitalism. New Left Review 86: 55-72
  • Leonardi, E. (2019) Bringing class analysis back in: assessing the transformation of the value-nature nexus to strengthen the connection between degrowth and environmental justice. Ecological Economics, 156: 83-90.
  • Pellizzoni, L. (2021) Commodifying the planet? Beyond the economy of ecosystem services. Stato e Mercato, 121: 23-50.

 

Session 3 – Ontological turn and ontological politics. Thursday 23 November 2023, 09:00-13:00

The third session will be focused on the so-called ‘ontological turn’ in the social sciences and humanities, accounting for its reasons and features. Building on the discussion carried out in the previous session a focus will be on the relationship between new ontologies and late capitalism. Discussion will address as well so-called ‘new materialist’ struggles.

Readings:

  • Coole, D., Frost, S. (2010) Introducing the new materialisms, in: Id. (eds.) New Materialisms. Durham: Duke UP.
  • Heywood, P. (2023) Ontological turn, in: F. Stein (ed.) Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology (online). http://doi.org/10.29164/17ontology
  • Mol, A. (1999) Ontological politics. A word and some questions, in: J. Law, J. Hassard (eds.) Actor-network theory and after. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Pellizzoni, L. (2011) Governing through disorder: neoliberal environmental governance and social theory. Global Environmental Change, 21: 795-803.
  • Schlosberg, D. (2019) From postmaterialism to sustainable materialism: the environmental politics of practice-based movements. Environmental Politics, https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2019.1587215.
  • Schlosberg, D., Coles, A. (2016) New environmentalism of everyday life: sustainability, material flows and movements. Contemporary Political Theory, 15(2): 160-181.

 

Session 4 – Anthropocene, Gaia and limits. Thursday 30 November 2023, 09:00-13:00

The fourth session will focus on the issue of the Anthropocene and related diatribes in the social sciences, also in connection with Gaia and ‘geopower’ narratives. The evolution and political implications of the notion of limits will also be addressed.

Readings

  • Aronowsky, L. (2021) Gas guzzling Gaia, or: a prehistory of climate change denialism. Critical Inquiry, 47: 306-327.
  • Blok, A., Jensen, C.B. (2019) The Anthropocene event in social theory: on ways of problematizing nonhuman materiality differently. Sociological Review, 67(6): 1195-1211.
  • Bonneuil, C. (2015) The geological turn. Narratives of the Anthropocene, in C. Hamilton, C. Bonneuil, F. Gemenne (eds.) The Anthropocene and the global environmental crisis. London: Routledge.
  • Chakrabarty, D. (2015) The human condition in the Anthropocene. Tanner lectures in human values, Yale University, Feb, 18-19.
  • Latour, B. (2017) Why Gaia is not a god of totality. Theory Culture & Society, 34(2-3): 61-81.
  • Luisetti, F. (2019) Geopower: on the states of nature of late capitalism. European Journal of Social Theory, 22(3): 342-363.
  • Wainwright, J., Mann, G. (2013) Climate Leviathan. Antipode, 45(1): 1-22.

 

Session 5 – The politics of time: expectations, anticipations and apocalypse. Tuesday 5 December 2023, 14:00-18:00

The fifth session will deal with the political use of time. The variety of anticipatory techniques developed over the course of modernity will be addressed with particular attention to the most recent ones, as related to the evolution of governmental strategies, and to the role played therein by eschatology and apocalypticism, also with reference to social mobilizations.

Readings

  • Cassegard, C., Thorn, H. (2018) Toward a postapocalyptic environmentalism? Responses to loss and visions of the future in climate activism. Environment and Planning E. Nature and Space, 1(4): 561-578.
  • Cooper, M., Walker, J. (2011) Genealogies of resilience: from systems ecology to the political economy of crisis adaptation. Security Dialogue, 42(2): 143-160.
  • Davidson, J. (2023) Two cheers for collapse? On the uses and abuses of the societal collapse thesis for imagining Anthropocene futures. Environmental Politics, 32(6): 969-987.
  • De Moor, J. (2022) Postapocalyptic narratives in climate activism: their place and impact in five European countries. Environmental Politics, 31(6): 927-948.
  • Massumi, B. (2007) Potential politics and the primacy of preemption. Theory & Event, 10(2)
  • Pellizzoni, L. (2020) The environmental state beyond preemption and inoperosity. Environmental Politics, 29(1): 76-95.
  • Pellizzoni, L. (2020) The time of emergency. On the governmental logic of preparedness. AIS Journal of Sociology, 16: 39-54.

Obiettivi formativi

Scopo principale del corso è quello di fornire agli studenti la capacità di confrontarsi criticamente con le questioni centrali della crisi ecologica e con i dibattiti d'avanguardia delle scienze sociali all'incrocio di diversi filoni disciplinari e intellettuali.

Valutazione

 I dottorandi saranno valutati in base alla loro partecipazione attiva in classe e l'istruttore stabilirà se hanno superato o meno il corso. Gli studenti di dottorato che scelgono di scrivere una tesina per questo corso devono consultare il docente in anticipo e concordare un argomento.

 Gli studenti del Master saranno valutati in base alla loro partecipazione attiva in classe (50%) e a un elaborato finale di 2000-3000 parole su uno degli argomenti trattati durante il corso (50%). Il docente è a disposizione per consulenze sull'argomento dell'elaborato e per consigli sulla sua struttura e sul suo contenuto. Il voto finale sarà espresso su una scala di 30 punti. L'elaborato può essere scritto in italiano o in inglese e deve essere consegnato entro il 31 gennaio 2024.

 

Riferimenti bibliografici

Vedi syllabus.