Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - ENTITLE (ENTITLE. European Network of Political Ecology)

ENTITLE, the European Network of Political Ecology has been coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Science & Technology (ICTA-UAB) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) with the collaboration of 8 Universities, 2 NGOs, 1 environmental consultancy, and 2 associate partners. ENTITLE trained 19 researchers (fellows), specifically 12 early stage (doctoral) researchers (ESR) and 7 experienced (post-doctoral) researchers (ER), in the inter-disciplinary field of political ecology (PE). ENTITLE aimed to advance the theory, methods and social relevance of PE, helping it mature into a distinctive supra-disciplinary field. The social and political relevance of PE was promoted by embedding research projects in concrete socio-political processes and by including in the network partners from the private and the non-governmental sector involved in policy-advice and social action. ENTITLE aspired creating a critical mass of young political ecologists and boost the research field by developing the first PhD program in PE in Europe. Furthermore, ENTITLE sought to build links between PE research, consultancy and action in the private and NGO sectors.

The project had training, research, dissemination, and career development components. As part of its training component, ENTITLE held 6 Specialized Intensive Courses (SIC), on: Advances in PE theory (17-22 February 2013, University of Manchester); Research Design and Methods (2-7 June 2013, ICTA-UAB Barcelona); Communication Skills (30 June - 4 July 2014, at ICTA-UAB Barcelona); Project Management and Contribution to Policy (20-23 January 2015, ENT Barcelona); Research for Civil Society (15-17 December 2014, CDCA Rome); and, Navigating the Job Market (1-4 June 2015, UBER Berlin). The project also hosted 3 summer schools on: Commons, Conflicts and Disasters, organized by Harokopeio University of Athens in Syros, Greece (9-14 July 2013); Social Movements, held at the University of Lund, Sweden (31 March-5 April 2014); and, Institutions, Justice, Democracy, held at Boğazici University in Istanbul (15-20 June 2015). All training events were attended by project fellows and selected external participants, and were taught by both ENTITLE mentors and renowned invited speakers, such as Prof David Harvey (CUNY), Prof Paul Robbins (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Goldman Prize winner activist Stephanie Roth, and investigative journalist Jon Lee Anderson. Two types of mobility stays (max. stay: 10 months) for ESRs were completed: (i) secondments to non-academic entities, and (ii) research visits to the academic entity of the second mentor. An ENTITLE Syllabus for a 12-week postgraduate teaching course in PE (with links to videos of ENTITLE classes) was developed and widely distributed.

Research-wise, ENTITLE fellows completed 19 individual research projects, whose focus varied widely from extractivism in Bolivia and anti-mining conflicts in the Balkans, to agro-fuel investments in Ethiopia, malaria management in Greece and hydropower in India. ENTITLE mentors produced a sample protocol for case study research, which fellows used to design their own study protocols that guided their fieldwork. Fellows and mentors authored eight horizontal papers combining the research findings of different individual projects; six of those papers are part of a Special Issue (under preparation) in the journal Capitalism, Nature, Socialism. Fellows formalized the implications of their research projects’ findings into 19 Action Briefs directed to civil society stakeholders, which translated individual case studies’ findings in a non-academic language. Similarly, fellows formalized the policy implications of their research into 11 Policy Briefs, which offered recommendations for policy-makers. Both action and policy briefs were widely distributed.

As regards dissemination, the ENTITLE team participated in 157 seminars, 202 conferences, 40 public events and 59 workshops. The team also published 52 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals in English, guest edited 2 journal special issues (with another one currently under preparation by project fellows), as well as authored or co-authored 15 books (both edited and monographs), 38 book chapters, 106 articles in the popular press, and 52 publications in non-English language peer-reviewed journals, non-peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, commentaries and replies in scientific journals. Members of the ENTITLE team are currently the authors of 15 forthcoming or in progress scientific articles in international, peer-reviewed journals (majority of them written by project fellows). ENTITLE and its work were disseminated through the two major international conferences organized by the project: the Latin American Political Ecology conference, organized by FAU in October 2014 in Santiago (Chile), the first conference in that continent to exclusively focus on PE; and, the “Undisciplined Environments” international conference organized by CES and KTH in March 2016 in Stockholm (Sweden). A major effect of the Chile conference has been that it helped establish Latin American PE conferences as an event to be repeated every two years – the next conference will be in November 2016 in San Pedro de Atacama. ENTITLE strengthened relations with political ecologists in the Americas through the Chile conference and via participating in the annual North American PE conference (http://www.politicalecology.org), with which it created a worldwide mailing list (the International Political Ecology Collaboratory – IPEC). ENTITLE mentors and fellows are among the initiators of a network of political ecologists in Europe, POLLEN (https://politicalecologynetwork.com) and the project hosted one plenary POLLEN roundtable at the “Undisciplined Environments” conference. The project website announced major ENTITLE events (e.g. conferences) and outcomes (e.g. publications), and made available project training material from both ENTITLE and local courses. All video-recorded project courses were made available via a project youtube “ENTITLE channel” (PoliticalEcology.eu). News about the project were disseminated through social media: ENTITLE has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/politicalecology) with 2177 followers, and a Twitter account (@ENTITLE_EU) with 989 followers. The Facebook page had 495 pieces of news published and the twitter page 1669 twits by May 2016. ENTITLE research reached major media outlets such as Al Jazeera (http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201310090043-0023099), Globonews (https://jornalismoa.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/cidades-e-solucoesb-aborda-mortes-no-ativismo-ambiental/), and The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2016/feb/16/never-seen-it-so-bad-violence-and-impunity-in-brazils-amazon). An ENTITLE blog (https://entitleblog.org/) was set up and is run entirely by project fellows; the blog gathered more that 20,000 views in the first third of 2016 and over 200 people registered to receive posting updates. The ENTITLE Manual for NGOs was completed, communicating the findings of all fellow individual research projects as well as the basic insights of PE and how these can be useful to the activities of organized civil society and environmental organizations. ENTITLE has also generated three press releases announcing important project events and raising awareness on PE worldwide. With the assistance and advice of mentors, fellows updated six times their career development plans, a tool that helped monitor fellow research and career development progress. Two ENTITLE ESR fellows and six out of seven ENTITLE ER fellows secured either a permanent or contract-based, post-doctoral post within academia before the end of the project. Training and networking opportunities provided through the project were pivotal to this success.

ENTITLE graduated 19 trained researchers who will contribute in knowledge and action about complex environmental problems. The impact of their research conducted in ENTITLE can be multi-fold and include both the change of policy and public perceptions in the areas of engagement, as well as contribution to cutting edge theoretical understandings of environmental conflicts or social movements. Wider social implications include changing entrenched apolitical perceptions about the causes of environmental problems and new understandings and improved bases for responding to environmental problems. The project has also contributed to the opening-up of advanced education and curricula, making available all its material and classes (video recorded) to students from all around the world who may wish to study PE on their own.

Project Website: http://www.politicalecology.eu/

Project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/politicalecology

Project Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ENTITLE_EU

Contact persons:
• Project Manager: Christos Zografos (christos.zografos@uab.cat)
• Financial Manager: Marina Utgés (marina.utges@uab.cat)

Related information

Contact

Queralt Gonzalez Matos, (Research Adviser)
Tel.: +34935812854
Fax: +34935812023
E-mail
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top