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European support for the first network of research and training in political ecology

A group of eleven organisations, coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), will train 18 researchers in Political Ecology over the next three years, within the framework of the European project ENTITLE. The initiative aims to create an international network of expertise in the field and to build a stable collaboration on Doctoral studies that takes into account the multidisciplinary training needed in this area. Political ecology studies the social and political roots of conflicts over access and use of the environment.

12 pre-doctoral and 6 post-doctoral researchers have been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to conduct research in one of the participating institutions. This research will aim to influence public-sector action and policy, and make ongoing contributions to social change. In addition to the PhD courses, the programme also includes international seminars, local and intensive network courses, summer schools and short stays with the organisations taking part in the project.

The results of the research conducted under the project will be published in the format of Policy Briefs and Actions aiming at civil society organisations and political actors. Funded projects include, among others, research on mining conflicts in the Balkans, waste disposal in southern Italy, oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon, extraction and violence in the Brazilian Amazon, and land-grabbing in Ethiopia.

"Political ecology is a very young field of study, and scholars working in this area have different backgrounds, coming from disciplines such as geography, anthropology, political science, ecology, environmental science or sociology, which causes fragmentation across the different thematic areas of study. This is the first time that a doctoral programme has been designed specifically for the field of Political Ecology, so our students will be the first cohort to be trained in political ecology as such", says Giorgos Kallis, ENTITLE coordinator, Professor at the UAB and ICREA researcher.

The project involves eight universities, two NGOs and one SME. Funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union under the Action PEOPLE-Marie Curie Initial Training Networks, it has a budget over 3.5 million euros and a duration of 4 years.

Presentation of the documentary "Toxic Amazon" in Barcelona

One of the ENTITLE specialised courses will be organised by the UAB and will take place from 3 to 6 June in Barcelona. The course "Research Designs and Methods in Political Ecology" is the second one to be taught within the project and includes two activities that are open to the public. One of these is the presentation, on 5 June, at 19.30h at the Palau Als (Sant Pere ms Baix, 55, Barcelona), of the documentary "Toxic Amazon" by Felipe Milanez, with a welcome speech by Joan Martinez Alier, Professor of Economics and Economic History at the UAB. Felipe is a PhD fellow on the project and a journalist specialising in the Amazon, formerly a "National Geographic" editor. The second event is a lecture entitled "Critical physical geography: an application on river restoration" by Dr Rebecca Lave, from Indiana University, which will take place at the ICTA premises (Sala de Graus, Faculty of Science UAB) also on 5 June, at 14.30h.

From 6 to 14 July the first of the network's summer schools will be held in Syros, Greece, under the title "Commons, Conflicts and Disasters", and will include a public talk by Professor Joan Martinez-Alier and Professor Stefania Barca from Coimbra University, Portugal, on "Ecology in Times of Crisis". Training courses and summer schools are open only to the members of the network but all material will be publicly available on the web after the events.

The project is now fully operational and ENTITLE can be consulted on the website of the project: In addition to information about the courses and seminars that will be organised by the network over the coming years, the site will include videos with classes and lectures on political ecology, and links to political ecological research around the world.

Institutions and organisations involved in ENTITLE:

  • Institut de Cincia i Tecnologia Ambientals - Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (Bellaterra, Spain)
  • Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
  • The University of Manchester (United Kingdom)
  • University of Lund (Sweden)
  • Humboldt University zu Berlin (Germany)
  • Harokopio University (Greece)
  • Bogazici Universitesi (Turkey)
  • University of Chile (Chile)
  • Serveis de Suport a la Gesti, S.L. (Tarragona, Spain)
  • Centro di Documentazione sui Conflitti Ambientali (CDCA), NGO, (Italy)
  • Water and Environmental Development Organization, NGO (Palestinian-administered areas)


Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

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