By Sergio Ruiz Cayuela and Chiara Tornaghi.
In the light of privatisations, austerity and scarcity that characterise the current expansion of neoliberalism, an increasing number of communities are facing a crisis of social and material reproduction. What are the interlinkages between communities, common spaces and social reproduction, in the construction of post-capitalist alternatives and particularly the urban commons?
by Juan Francisco Moreno
“Economic efficiency” in the use of natural resources without concern for the justice of its distribution, or the scale of its extraction is just bad fiction, just like the story of the internalization of externalities. Hopelessly, the exploitation of the Amazon has always entailed a process of dispossession of those whose existence doesn’t count for capital.
By Germán A. Quimbayo Ruiz
In Bogotá, urban nature suffers from pressures for urban development, profit-making and corruption. But it has also been mobilised as a legitime vehicle in pursuit of a more just city-region.
by Vasilis Kostakis* Alternative technological systems could develop through the confluence of digital commons, peer-to-peer relations and local manufacturing capacity – but we need the integration of a political ecology perspective to face and overcome the challenges this transition implies Humans do not control modern technology: the technological system has colonized their imagination and it shapes their activities and relations. This statement reflects the thought of influential degrowth scholars, like Jacques Ellul and Ivan Illich. Ellul believed that humans may control individual technologies, but not […]
By Derek Wall* Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012) won a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009 for her work on the commons. Her work is hugely inspiring but difficult to fit into established categorized. Some political ecologists have criticized her as too conservative or managerial. Here, I will attempt here to outline why, despite these criticisms, I feel Ostrom is a key thinker for political ecologists, and how her work relates to other approaches to political ecology. Born in Los Angeles, she studied politics and then became […]
By Bengi Akbulut * The 4th Congress of the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS)-Europe, UniverSSE, took place in Athens last month–with plenty of food for thought for political ecologists.
By Patrick Bresnihan * Throughout the globe a revolution is taking place as people organise to resist the privatisation of water. In a spirit of shared struggle against privatisation (in its many forms), on 23rd June a day-long ‘Thinkery’ at the University College Cork, Ireland, will explore differences in approach and attitude in anti-privatisation struggles mobilized around water.
The story of how a small group of neighbors in the suburbs of San Juan, Puerto Rico, came together to beautify their neighbourhood and restore a small remnant of forest by planting trees; and how in the process of their struggle, they become ‘politicized’ and integrated into a larger movement challenging the political economy of urban growth.
Social mobilizations in Campania are changing the political, economic, cultural and ecological landscapes of the region. Their strategies and practices draw a path of resistance and reappropriation that can inspire environmental movements in Italy and elsewhere.
By tracing the history of enclosures in Ethiopia we learn how common property was first turned into state property that now enables the transfer of land to private investors. Such historical political ecological analysis can help civil society organisations learn from past social struggles against the enclosures and for the commons.*