Tag Archives political ecology

From balloons to masks: the surprising results of doing research during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that ensued caused disruption in every possible dimension of life, including the way in which academic research projects were conducted. In this article Wendy Harcourt, who led the recently completed EU-funded WEGO project, reflects on the effect the pandemic had on the project, showing how its network of researchers had to think and work together creatively and innovatively to keep the project going.

In March 2018, I was proud to launch the EU-funded WEGO (Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity Innovation Training Network) project – my dream project. I had been awarded 4 million euro to set up this innovative training network with a group of dynamic feminist political ecologists and had the chance to select 15 talented young people from around the world to do their PhDs with us. As we celebrated with balloons and cake on Women’s Day at the ISS, what we couldn’t have foreseen is that the COVID-19 pandemic would appear smack bang in the middle of our four years together. The pandemic scattered the dreams we had but, as I suggest here, it also offered surprising insights into how to do research differently. The project was recently concluded, which allows me to reflect on what happened during the past four years – the good and the bad.

WEGO’s research focus was the hugely challenging idea to investigate how communities were building resilience strategies to cope with environmental, political, and economic change in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa by learning from the ground up. WEGO PhD projects were designed as intimate studies on communities’ resistance to extractivism, embodied experiences of ageing and care, community economies, emotional engagements with water, and contested academic debates around and political protests.

The PhD researchers, supported by a network of nearly 30 academic mentors from around the world, headed out in 2019 to record and analyze the dynamic everyday experiences of damaged and contested environments, collaborating with women and men in communities who are rarely visible in political ecology research. The network used participatory action methods along with self-reflective and non-extractive feminist research approaches to engage with individuals, local communities, and social movements.

Then COVID-19 hit in early 2020, and all PhDs had to close down their research projects and literally flee to places where they had permission to reside. For some, that meant going home; for others it meant moving back to the place of their university. For all of them, it meant major adjustments to their research plans. The network as a whole was thrown into the unknown – could we continue to do research as the world was shutting down? Would we continue to be funded? We worried that it seemed we had to break every rule in the EU book. But, like everywhere else in the world, the EU had to adjust – and so did we.

And, to our surprise, we survived and even, in an odd way, became stronger. The two-and-a-half years of the pandemic meant moving from individual research projects with rigid expectations of what were to be the results to learning to work collectively, connecting online, opening up conversations about how we dealt with our emotions, as well as our concerns about how the (often very vulnerable) communities with whom the PhDs were doing research were coping with pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.

The pandemic changed the nature and focus of WEGO’s research in creative and unexpected ways. Going online meant opening up new questions about embodied and in-place convergences and between the personal and political space. This posed a challenge in the implementation of feminist methodologies engaged with participatory action research techniques, but it also allowed for creativity to transform how we harnessed digital spaces to reach faraway voices in the places the research was situated.

Doing research during the pandemic allowed the network to raise diverse questions around languages of care in feminist and environmental justice research, and politics. The encounters with the virus, and our isolation, reinforced conversations about how to include more-than-human actors to think together with non-western epistemologies, natures, and voices.

Moving from a research project that was designed for face-to-face connections to going online, forced us to respond and adapt to disruptions. We realized it was important to make visible the troubles of doing politically engaged research, learning from the pandemic restrictions on mobility, lack of face-to-face engagement, as well as the possibilities of using the technical openings in digital space. We created new methodological, theoretical, and epistemological ways of doing research across geographical arenas, breaking down some older barriers around needing to travel and be in-place. As a result, WEGO produced writing that is collaborative and fluid (Harcourt et al. 2022) allowing for reflective, emotional, and creative responses to the thorny questions we found ourselves asking about power, resistance, and pain, using art, photos, drawings, and storytelling.

The experience of WEGO during the pandemic illustrates the importance of innovation and adaptation in research. It is crucial to be experimental, creative, and flexible in order to deal with individual, institutional and global uncertainties. And, in this way, we learn to cope with disruption as the new normal.


Harcourt, W., K. van den Berg, C. Dupuis and J. Gaybor (2022) Feminist MethodologiesExperiments, Collaborations and Reflections

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About the author:

Dr Wendy Harcourt was appointed full Professor and a Westerdijk Professor together with an endowed Chair of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague in October 2017. She was Coordinator of the EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017 Marie Sklodowska-Curie WEGO-ITN from 2018-2022. From 1988-2011 she was editor and director of programmes at the Society for International Development in Rome, Italy. She has published 12 monographs and edited books and over 100 articles in critical development theory, gender and diversity and feminist political ecology.

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Green New Deal(s): A Resource List for Political Ecologists

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The Green New Deal has become a central focus of debates around ecosocialist politics; this list brings together diverse resources to foster critical reflection on its potential and limitations.

Credit: Becker1999 on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The global socioeconomic and climate crises have been accompanied by an expansion of social movements and public debates and proposals for transforming our societies towards just and ecologically sustainable futures. Increasingly, these proposals are coalescing under the banner of a Green New Deal (GND).

The GND concept began circulating in the wake of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and related discussions about governments’ recovery plans. It seems to have been coined in a 2007 article by economist Thomas Friedman, who called for a government plan which would seed basic research to incentivize corporate ‘green’ innovations. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama adopted the ideas as part of his campaign with promises of a “green” recovery – one which never really materialized. The US Green Party also made it a focus of its presidential campaign in 2012.

In the UK, the New Economics Foundation published a report in 2008 focused on solving what they described as a “triple crunch” of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices. The European Greens published and campaigned around a similar report in 2009, focused on public and private investment for “green modernization” or ‘eco-industries’ in the recovery process, in transport and renewable energies, as well as the worldwide transfer of these technologies. At the international level, the United Nations Environmental Program published a report at the time calling for a “Global Green New Deal”.

Over the last two years, the GND concept has garnered great attention in the political debate in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. It has also started to be discussed as a strategy from and for the Global South, with analyses from Africa and Latin America, as well as proposals for a global GND. The history of the GND shows the variegated ideological underpinnings which persist to this day. The term is still being partially embraced by neoliberal and liberal neo-Keynesian forces, as seen in the European Union’s call for a European “Green Deal”, focused on a supposedly “green growth”. From this perspective, any techno-“green” or renewable energy initiative could be called a Green New Deal. As noted recently by a journalist, everyone seems to want a seat in the GND bandwagon these days. This risks making it another empty term, like sustainability.

Yet today’s version of the GND comes in a very different context than the original use and has become symbolically associated mainly with left ecosocialist politics, partly related with the growth of Democratic Socialist and radical left tendencies within and outside the US Democratic Party, as well as increasing discussions about the global crisis of inequality and socio-environmental injustices. Radical versions of the GND put forth a more comprehensive strategic vision and programmatic proposal to transition to a carbon-free economy that avoids climate catastrophe, and in turn addresses the economic and inequality crisis.

This entails an energy transition towards a 100% renewable system, along with a guarantee of employment with living wages, other measures to strengthen labor rights, and policies to guarantee social justice towards the working class and historically marginalized communities. Other policies that are being discussed include a universal basic income, a progressive tax reform, suspension of payments or abolition of the external debt, and a national care system. At the international level, the GND is being proposed as a measure of mitigation of the climate debt that rich countries have with the countries of the Global South, and addressing the persistence of stark North-South inequalities.

A crucial difference today is the influence on GND debates from climate movements that have burst into the scene with force over the last five years or so, and which come from decades of building grassroots local and transnational power. This new moment was epitomized by the US-based Sunrise Movement (re)coining the GND in its occupation of the office of Democratic House representative Nancy Pelosi to demand swift climate action in 2018, a demand taken up by Democratic Socialist representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Climate Justice Alliance – composed of more than 70 grassroots organizations – deepened the discussions by linking the GND with longer-standing proposals for climate justice and just transitions, and emphasizing that a GND should be led by frontline communities and workers most impacted by climate change, who have been leading climate justice struggles and solutions.

Such a radical turn is accompanied by a lively debate about the limits and potentials of GND to transcend capitalism, its growth imperative and its crises, and about which actors should lead this transition. Crucial issues, like the need for “socializing” means of production and reproduction, such as energy, land or housing – which had been pushed to the margin by three decades of neoliberalism – have been again brought to the center of the political debate (no less than in the US, the belly of the capitalist beast).

Some commentators on the Left remain skeptical, pointing to the intrinsic limitations of the concept, asking important critical questions about whether the GND is ultimately capable of overcoming the “coloniality” and problematic socio-ecological implications of capitalist development. Yet, scholars and activists from different movements are appropriating the concept and making their own variants of it, including an ecological-economic and degrowth GND, a people-led and frontline communities’ GND, a feminist GND, an indigenous (‘Red’) Deal, or an Ecosocial Pact (Pacto Ecosocial del Sur, as it has been labelled in Latin America).

In this moment of struggle over the meaning of the GND as a “master signifier” of eco-socialist politics, we want to offer this reading list as a way of providing an introduction to this diversity of positions and stimulating further debate. The list is structured by type of resource (books, academic journals, blogs and magazines, reports and briefs, audiovisual resources and movement campaigns), with the exception of sources in Spanish, which are grouped in one section following this introduction.

The annex at the bottom collects additional materials that are not directly on the GND, but offer relevant research and reflections on related themes of just transition(s) and energy and sustainability transitions. This is a relatively small sample of sources out of the hundreds we collected and received from friends and colleagues (see the “acknowledgements” at the end of this post), selected mainly on the basis of their relevance to political ecology debates. We hope you find it useful in your political-ecological praxis.

Recursos en Español (in Spanish)

Atienza, Jara (2019). Jeremy Rifkin: Un Green New Deal Global para salvar al mundo. Ethic, 18 de diciembre.

Bertinat, Pablo (2016) Transición energética justa: pensando la democratización energética. Montevideo, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Uruguay.

Honty, Gerardo y Eduardo Gudynas (2014) Cambio Climático y Transiciones al Buen Vivir: Alternativas al desarrollo para un clima seguro. Lima, Red Peruana por una Globalización con Equidad.

Movement Generation (2016) De los Tanques y Bancos a la Cooperación y el Cuidado: Un Marco Estratégico para la Transición Justa.

Mediavilla, Margarita. (2020). No saldremos de esta crisis con un New Green Deal. El Salto Diario, 30 de abril.

Pollin, Robert (2018) Decrecimiento vs. Nuevo New Deal Verde. New Left Review, 112, 5-25.

Rodríguez, Emmanuel (2019) ¿Un Green New Deal para España?, Ctxt: Contexto y Acción, N. 242, 9 de octubre.

Svampa, Maristella and Enrique Viale (2020) “Nuestro Green New Deal”, Revista Anfibia.

Tena, Alejandro (2019). Green New Deal vs. Decrecentismo. Público, 23 de octubre.

Tejero, Héctor y Emilio Santiago (2019) ¿Qué hacer en caso de incendio? Manifiesto por el Green New Deal. Madrid, Capitán Swing.

Tornel, Carlos (Coord.) (2019) Alternativas para limitar el calentamiento global en 1.5°C. Más allá de la economía verde. Ciudada de México, Heinrich Böll Stiftung México y el Caribe.

Campaña por un Pacto Ecosocial del Sur (página web).

CENSAT Agua Viva: Transiciones.info (página web)

CLACSO: “Por un pacto Social, Ecológico, Económico e Intercultural para América Latina” (webinar). Lanzamiento del Pacto Ecosocial del Sur, 24 de junio 2020.

Fundación Rosa Luxemburgo – Oficina Región Andina: Pacto del Sur – Pacto del Norte? Diálogo entre el “Pacto Ecosocial del Sur” y el “Green New Deal”, 8 de julio 2020.

Books (monographs and edited collections)

Aronoff, Kate, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, and Thea Riofranco (2019). A Planet to Win: Why we need a Green New Deal. London, Verso.

Cox, Stan (2020) The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can. San Franscisco, City Light Publishers.

Klein, Naomi (2019) On Fire: The Burning case for a Green New Deal. New York, Simon & Schuster (extract in The Guardian).

Pettifor, Anne (2019) The case for the Green New Deal. London, Verso.

Articles in academic journals

Galvin, R., & Healy, N. (2020). The Green New Deal in the United States: What it is and how to pay for it. Energy Research & Social Science, 67, 101529.

Goh, Kian (2020) Planning the Green New Deal: Climate Justice and the Politics of Sites and Scales, Journal of the American Planning Association, in press.

Jacobson, M. Z., Delucchi, M. A., Cameron, M. A., et al. (2019). Impacts of Green New Deal energy plans on grid stability, costs, jobs, health, and climate in 143 countries. One Earth, 1(4), 449–463.

Patel, Raj, and Jim Goodman (2020). The Long New Deal. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 47(3), 431-463.

Pollin, R. (2018). De-Growth vs a Green New Deal. New Left Review, 112, 5-25.

Stoner, A. M. (2020). Critical Reflections on America’s Green New Deal: Capital, Labor, and the Dynamics of Contemporary Social Change. Capitalism Nature Socialism (online).

Tarus, L., Hufford, M., & Taylor, B. (2017). A Green New Deal for Appalachia: Economic transition, coal reclamation costs, bottom-up policymaking (Part 2). Journal of Appalachian Studies, 23(2), 151-169.

Taylor, B., Hufford, M., & Bilbrey, K. (2017). A Green New Deal for Appalachia: Economic transition, coal reclamation costs, bottom-up policymaking (Part 1). Journal of Appalachian Studies, 23(1), 8-28.

White, D. (2020). Just transitions/design for transitions: Preliminary notes on a design politics for a Green New Deal. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 31(2), 20-39.

Magazine and Blog Special Series/Issues

In These Times, Special Issue on “Getting to Zero Carbon” (edited by Winona LaDuke, May 2019):

Jacobin, ongoing series on the GND:

NACLA Report on the Americas, Special Issue “A Green New Deal for the Americas: Mobilizing for Climate Justice from Above and Below” (edited by Daniel Aldana Cohen and Thea Rionfrancos, 2020):

Public Administration Review, Bully Pulpit Symposium The Green New Deal: Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy (edited Nives Dolsak and Aseem Prakash, July 16, 2019)

The Conversation, section on the Green New Deal:

The Shoestring, Imagining a Just Transition in Western Mass (5-part essay by Sarah Field, September 2019).

Uneven Earth, blog GND Series (edited by Leah Temper and Sam Bliss, 2019)

Short essays and blogs

Ajl, Max (2018) Beyond the Green New Deal. The Brooklynrail, November.

Aronoff, Kate (2018) With a Green New Deal, Here’s What the World Could Look Like for the Next Generation. The Intercept, December 5.

Barca, Stefania (2020) Within and beyond the pandemic. Demanding a Care Income and a feminist Green New Deal for Europe. Undisciplined Environments, April 7.

Bernes, Jasper (2019) Between the devil and the Green New Deal. Commune, April 25.

Beuret, Nicholas (2019) A Green New Deal Between Whom and For What? Viewpoint Magazine, October 24.

Cooke, Shamus (2019) Will A Green New Deal Save the Climate, or Save Capitalism? CounterPunch, May 8.

Dale, Gareth (2019). Degrowth and the Green New Deal. The Ecologist

Dunlap, Alexander (2019) Preliminary comments on the Green New Deal Part I: Congressional Resolution. 25 September. Green New Deal Part II: Good, Bad & the Ugly, 11 November. Terra Nullius

Dyne, Bryan and Barry Grey (2019) The fallacies and evasions of the Green New Deal. World Socialist Web Site, 5 March.

Gebrial, Dalia (2019). As the left wakes up to climate injustice, we must not fall into ‘green colonialism’. The Guardian, May 8.

Gilio-Whitaker, Dina (2019) How to Indigenize the Green New Deal and environmental justice. High Country News, July 10.

Goodrich, Mathew Miles (2019) The Climate Movement’s Decades-Long Path to the Green New Deal. Dissent Magazine, February 15.

Heron, Kai (2019) Capitalists fear the Green New Deal — and for good reason. ROAR Magazine, May 8.

Gray-Arnold, David (2019) How will we pay for a just transition? Briarpatch, April 29.

Hickel, Jason (2019) Climate breakdown is coming. The UK needs a Greener New Deal. The Guardian, March 5.

Hill, Zack (2019) Nine Ways Scientists Can Support a People’s Green New Deal. Science for the People, 22(1), Spring.

Huber, Matt (2018) Building a “Green New Deal”: Lessons From the Original New Deal. Verso blog, 19 November.

Jordana, Rufus (2019) False hopes for a Green New Deal. OpenDemocracy, August 29.

Kallis, Giorgos (2019) A Green New Deal Must Not Be Tied to Economic Growth. Truthout. March 10.

Klein, N. (2019) Only a green new deal can douse the fires of eco-fascism. The Intercept, September 16.

Kolinjivadi, Vijay (2019). Why a “Green New Deal” must be decolonial. Al Jazeera, December 7.

Kolinjivadi, Vijay and Ashish Kothari (2020) How new is the Green New Deal for the Global South? Undisciplined Environments, May 26.

Lazare, Sarah (2019) What It Will Take to Build Union Support for the Green New Deal—Despite the AFL-CIO. In These Times, March 18.

Levitz, Eric (2018) Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution? New York Magazine, December 13.

Levy-Uyeda, Ray (2019) The Red Deal Is an Indigenous Climate Plan That Builds on the Green New Deal. Teen Vogue, November 1.

Marsili, Lorenzo and Anne Pettifor (2020) Investing in the Future: Why Europe Needs a Green New Deal. Green European Journal, March 2.

Mastini, Riccardo (2019). Funding the Green New Deal: The evocation of Keynes. The Money Question, August 5.

Mastini, Riccardo, Giorgos Kallis and Jason Hickel (2020) Europe’s Green Deal is a tepid response to the climate crisis. New Statesman, December 3.

Powers, Nicholas (2019). The Green New Deal Can Help Us Fight White Supremacy. Truthout, September 22.

Reese, April (2019). Public Lands Are Critical to Any Green New Deal. Outside Online,  April 8.

Riofrancos, Thea (2019) Plan, Mood, Battlefield – Reflections on the Green New Deal. Viewpoint Magazine, May 16.

Saltmarsh, Chris (2019) How to win a socialist Green New Deal. The Ecologist, September 27.

Slobodian, Quinn (2020) When the Green New Deal Goes Global. Foreign Policy, January 11.

Táíwò, Olúfẹ́mi O. (2019) How the Green New Deal can avoid climate colonialism. Pacific Standard, February 25.

Vansintjan, Aaron (2019) Degrowth vs. the Green New Deal. Briarpatch, April 29.

Varoufakis, Yanis and  David Adler (2019) It’s time for nations to unite around an International Green New Deal. The Guardian, April 23.

Van Sant, Levi (2019) Land Reform and the Green New Deal, Dissent Magazine, Fall.

Wilt, James (2020) “Either you are fighting to eliminate exploitation or not”: A leftist critique of the Green New Deal (Interview with Max Ajl). Canadian Dimension, June 14.

Reports, briefs, position papers

Agroecology Research Action Collective (2019) The Need for a Food and Agriculture Platform in the Green New Deal.

Cohen, Maev and Sheryl McGregor (2020) Towards a feminist Green New Deal for the UK (A paper for the WBG Commission on a Gender-equal economy). Women’s Budget Group & Women’s Environmental Network (Briefing here).

Data for Progress (2019) A Green New Deal: A Progressive Vision For Environmental Sustainability and Economic Stability. Washington, DC, Data for Progress (DFP has an ongoing series of “memos” on the GND, including one on transportation and two on housing).

Diem25- Europe (2019) The Green New Deal for Europe: Blueprint for a Just Transition.

Droz, Pennelys (2019) Position paper: Mobilizing an Indigenous Green New Deal. NDN Collective. 

Harris, Jonathan M. (2019) Ecological Economics of the Green New Deal. Climate Policy Brief No. 11, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University.

Indigenous Environmental Network (2019). Green New Deal Must Be Rooted in a Just Transition

Lawrence, Mathew (2019) Road Map to a Green New Deal: From Extraction to Stewardship, Common Wealth.

New Economics Foundation (Powell, D., Krebel, L. & Van Lerven, F.) (2019) Five ways to fund a Green New Deal.

The Red Nation (2020) The Red Deal. Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth. Part 1: End the Occupation. Part 2: Heal our Bodies. Part 3: Heal our Planet.

Podcasts, webinars and other audiovisual resources

Change Everything (moderated by Maya Menezes and Avi Lewis).

DiEM25, A Green New Deal for Europe (series of  podcasts).

Everlein, Sven (2019) The Art of the Green New Deal — A Next Generation Journal of Creative Culture Shift. Medium, April 22 (essay + art)

Feminist Green New Deal Coalition – Earth Week 2020 Online Dialogue: Resilience and a Just Recovery through a Feminist Green New Deal, April 24, 2020.

Kahn, Brian (2019) These Posters Show What a Green New Deal Could Look Like. Gizmodo – Earther, December 25. (essay + art)

New Economics Foundation – Weekly Economics Podcast (moderated by Ayeisha Thomas-Smith), What’s the deal with the Green New Deal? (with Ann Pettifor, Miatta Fahnbulleh, and Waleed Shahid). February 26, 2019.

Novara#FM (moderated by James Butler), Paying for the Planet? Ann Pettifor on the Green New Deal, November 15, 2019.

The Dig (series of podcasts, moderated by Daniel Denvir).

The Intercept, A message from the future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (illustrated video) Naomi Klein and Molly Crabapple, April 17, 2019.

The Intercept, The Right to a Future, Naomi Klein with Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Xiye Bastida, Vic Barrett, and Tuntiak Katan, September 10, 2019.

The Leap, 3-part webinar series on Naomi Klein’s book On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal (moderated by Avi Lewis), october-november, 2019.

The Years Project, 5 Myths About The Green New Deal (Rhiana Gunn-Wright) (Videos), August 21, 2019.

Women’s March, Resilience and a Just Recovery Through a Feminist Green New Deal (webinar), April 29, 2020 (different speakers from the Feminist GND Coalition webinar).

Movement campaigns and resources

Climate Justice Alliance (USA) CJA and the Green New Deal: Centering Frontline Communities in the Just Transition.

Coalition of women’s rights and climate justice organizations (USA/Global) Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal.

Creative Action Network – Green New Deal Art

Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group (USA)  An Ecosocialist Green New Deal.

DiEM25 (Europe) Green New Deal for Europe.

Indigenous Environmental Network (USA) Green New Deal.

New Economics Foundation (UK) Blue New Deal for coastal communities.

Science for the People (USA) People’s Green New Deal.

Sunrise Movement (USA) Green New Deal

The Leap (Canada) Green New Deal.

The Leap and War on Want (Canada/UK/Global) Global Green New Deal.

Annex: Resources on just transitions, energy transitions, and critiques of green growth

Books (monographs and edited volumes)

Fairchild, Denise and Al Weinrub, eds. (2019) Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions. Washington, DC, Island Press. (chapter on just transition by Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan here.)

Morena, Edouard, Dunja Krause and Dimitris Stevis (eds) (2019) Just Transitions: Social Justice in the Shift Towards a Low-Carbon World. London, Pluto Press.

Mulvaney, Dustin (2019) Solar power: Innovation, sustainability, and environmental justice. Oakland, CA, University of California Press.

Pai, Sandeep and Savannah Carr-Wilson (2018) Total Transition: The Human Side of the Renewable Energy Revolution. Rocky Mountain Books.

Articles in academic journals 

Abraham, Judson (2017) Just Transitions for the Miners: Labor Environmentalism in the Ruhr and Appalachian Coalfields. New Political Science, 39(2), 218–40.

Avila-Calero, Sofia (2017). Contesting energy transitions: wind power and conflicts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Journal of Political Ecology, 24(1), 992-1012.

Brand, Ulrich and Mag Kathrin Niedermoser (2019) The role of trade unions in social-ecological transformation: Overcoming the impasse of the current growth model and the imperial mode of living. Journal of Cleaner Production, 225, 173-180.

Brown, Benjamin and Samuel J. Spiegel (2019) Coal, Climate Justice, and the Cultural Politics of Energy Transition. Global Environmental Politics, 19(2), 149–168.

Evans, Geoff and Liam Phelan (2016) Transition to a Post-Carbon Society: Linking Environmental Justice and Just Transition Discourses. Energy Policy, 99, 329–39.

Healy, Noel and John Barry (2020) Politicizing energy justice and energy system transitions: Fossil fuel divestment and a “just transition” Energy Policy, 108, 451-459.

Heffron, Raphael J. and Darren McCauley (2018) What is the ‘Just Transition’? Geoforum, 88, 74–77.

Hickel, J., & Kallis, G. (2020). Is green growth possible?. New Political Economy, 25(4), 469-486.

Jasanoff, Sheila (2018) Just transitions: A humble approach to global energy futures. Energy Research & Social Science, 35, 11–14.

Jenkins, Kirsten E.H., Benjamin K. Sovacool, Andrzej Błachowicz and Adrián Lauer (2020) Politicising the Just Transition: Linking global climate policy, Nationally Determined Contributions and targeted research agendas. Geoforum, in press.

Kenfack, Chrislain E. (2019) Just Transition at the Intersection of Labour and Climate Justice Movements: Lessons from the Portuguese Climate Jobs Campaign. Global Labour Journal, 10(3), 224–239.

Lennon, Myles (2017) Decolonizing energy: Black Lives Matter and technoscientific expertise amid solar transitions. Energy Research & Social Science, 30, 18-27.

Lawhon, Mary and Tyler McCreary (2020) Beyond Jobs vs Environment: On the Potential of Universal Basic Income to Reconfigure Environmental Politics. Antipode, 52, 452-474.

McCarthy, James (2015) A socioecological fix to capitalist crisis and climate change? The possibilities and limits of renewable energy. Environment and Planning: A 47(12), 2485-2502.

Mookerjea, Sourayan (2019) Renewable energy transition under multiple colonialisms: Passive revolution, fascism redux and utopian praxes. Cultural Studies, 33(3), 570–593.

Routledge, Paul, Andrew Cumbers and Kate Driscoll Derickson (2018) States of just transition: Realising climate justice through and against the state. Geoforum, 88, 78–86.

Snell, Darryn (2018) ‘Just transition’? Conceptual challenges meet stark reality in a ‘transitioning’ coal region in Australia. Globalizations, 15(4), 550–564.

Stevis, Dimitris, David Uzzell and Nora Räthzel (2018) “The Labour-Nature Relationship: Varieties of Labour Environmentalism” (Introduction to Special Issue). Globalizations 15(4):439–53.

Temper, Leah, Federico Demaria, Arnim Scheidel, Daniela Del Bene and Joan Martinez-Alier (2018) Special Feature: The EJAtlas: Ecological Distribution Conflicts as Forces for Sustainability. Sustainability Science, 13(3).

Short essays and blogs

Choy, Ellen (2017) Transition Is Inevitable, Justice Is Not: A Critical Framework For Just Recovery. Movement Generation blog, December 17.

Foster, John Bellamy (2019) Ecosocialism and Just Transition. The Bullet, September 2.

Just Transition Research Collaborative (2018-2020) Just Transition(s) Online Forum. Series of short essays.

Mendez, Michael (2020) Climate change street fighters. Yale University Press Blog, January 14.

Reports, briefs, position papers

Hirsch, Thomas, Manuela Matthess, and Joachim Funfgelt (eds) (2017) Guiding Principles & Lessons Learnt For a Just Energy Transition in the Global South. Berlin, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Just Transition Research Collaborative – JRTC (2018) Mapping Just Transition(s) to a Low-Carbon World. JRTC, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.

Just Transition Research Collaborative – JRTC (2019) Climate Justice from Below

Local Struggles for Just Transition(s). JRTC, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.

Mertins-Kirkwood, Hadrian and Zaee Deshpande (2019) Who is included in a Just Transition? Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Movement Generation (2016) From Banks and Tanks to Cooperation and Caring: A Strategic Framework for a Just Transition. 

Sweeney, Sean, and John Treat (2018) Trade Unions and Just Transition:  The Search for a Transformative Politics. New York, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, Murphy Institute at CUNY and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.

Podcasts, webinars and other audiovisual resources

Climate Justice Alliance – Stories from Home: Living the Just Transition Podcast.

Edge Funders Alliance- Just Transition Collaborative Webinars (series).

Labor Network for Sustainability – Just Transition Listening Project (webinar series).

Reinvest in our Power, From Divest to Reinvest Webinar, May 19 2017.

The North Pole (climate justice themed fiction series) – produced by Movement Generation.

Movement campaigns and resources

Indigenous Environmental Network (USA) Indigenous Principles of Just Transition.

Just Transition Alliance (USA) What is Just Transition?.

Just Transition platform and blog (Eastern European focus).

Just Transition Research Collaborative (Global).

Movement Generation – Justice & Ecology Project (USA) – Curriculum Tools and articles & speeches.

Rapid Transition Alliance (UK).


We want to thank the following people for sharing suggestions for this list, including some who sent entire lists of their own: Joseph Nevins, Jevgeniy Bluwstein, Levi Van Sant, Camille Laurent, Luis Gutiérrez, Steven A. Wolf, Mary Lawhon, Daniela Sánchez López, Fletcher Chmara-Huff, Dimitris Stevis, Daniel Gabaldón-Estevan, Rachel Slocum, Susan Paulson, Erik Kojola, Nathan J. Bennett, Riccardo Mastini, Sam Bliss, Stephan Lorenz, Jeremy Sorgen, Betsy Taylor, Kathryn Anderson, Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Elise Remling, Christos Zografos, Stefania Barca, Martí Orta Martínez, Sofía Ávila Calero, and Michael Méndez.

This blog was originally published on Undisciplined Environments and has been republished with permission of the authors.

About the authors:

Gustavo Garcia LopezGustavo García-López is an engaged scholar-activist with a transdisciplinary training, building on institutional analysis, environmental policy and planning, and political ecology approaches. Starting the 1st of September 2019, Dr Gustavo García López will hold the Prince Claus Chair for two years at the International Institute of Social Studies with the focus on ‘Sustainable Development, Inequalities and Environmental Justice’. His research and practice centers on grassroots collective commoning initiatives that advance transformations towards socially-just and sustainable worlds.

Diego Andreucci is a postdoctoral researcher with the 2019-2021 Prince Clauss Chair at the ISS, and a member of the Undisciplined Environments Collective. Previously he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He holds a PhD from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2016). Prior to that, he studied philosophy and anthropology in Rome (Università La Sapienza) and received a master’s in human geography from the National University of Ireland, Galway. His recent investigation has examined political processes and indigenous-campesino mobilisations around natural resource extraction in the Andes, particularly Bolivia. Over the years he’s been involved in various environmentalist and anticapitalist organisations. Twitter: @diegoandreucci.

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Women’s Week | Feminist political ecology in research and action by Wendy Harcourt

On 8 March 2018, Professor Wendy Harcourt will be inaugurated at the International Institute of Social Studies, becoming one of the few female professors at the Erasmus University. This blog is a reflection of her personal journey to professorship and on the ‘Well-being, Ecology, Gender and Community’ (WEGO-ITN) project that she heads, which will be launched on the same day at the ISS.


The road to a personal feminist political ecology research agenda

I was awarded my PhD in 1987 from the Australian National University but I had long decided that I was not going to be an academic. I wanted to be part of the real world of social movements and on the ground politics as a feminist and environmentalist. Most of my PhD days were spent juggling my time between the need to get on with the PhD and the many commitments to different political causes—ranging from making sure the campus was safe for women at night to protests to stop uranium mining and the logging of wild rivers. Once I had completed the PhD, instead of taking up a lectureship in Australia, I went to Rome, Italy (I confess for romantic reasons) and after a year of looking for jobs became a programme coordinator and editor at the international secretariat of the Society for International Development.

Professor Wendy Harcourt walking through a forest in Nepal during a research trip in 2012.

In the 23 years I worked in Rome, I continued my juggling act as an advocate at the UN level and as a social movement activist. My passion for feminism and environmentalism remained. As well as my on the ground community work, I became part of transnational feminism establishing a wide network of people and most importantly writing—and editing a journal called Development. The networking, publications and advocacy all stood me in good stead when I decided that, after all, I was an academic at heart. And after a visiting fellowship at Clare Hall at Cambridge University where I wrote an academically recognised book Body Politics in DevelopmentI was lucky enough to get a position at the ISS.

A move towards feminist political ecology

At the ISS I have continued to focus on feminism and environment, joining forces with other feminist political ecologists, many of whom I had met as an advocate in my NGO days. Feminist political ecology is a subfield of political ecology (Harcourt and Nelson 2015). It is the study of the conflicts and convergences between development, conservation, cultural survival, body politics, gender equality, and political autonomy. At the core of feminist political ecology is learning about how people in different places are living in, and engaging with their natural and cultural environment (Rocheleau 2008).

By exploring what is happening in specific places where people are negotiating life and livelihoods in human damaged environments, feminist political ecology calls attention to emotions, feelings, the spiritual, non-scientific knowledges and interactions with non-humans, with technologies, life and death (Elmhirst 2011). The research is mostly based on case studies and is embedded in an understanding of broader political, economic and social issues (Nightingale 2011). It aims to explore the nexus of gender, diversity and the environment. Importantly, feminist political ecology invites us to step out of the bounds of modern science and economic thinking to look at political ecology as a relational and fluid social process.

So, to take an example, from a feminist political ecology perspective the Sustainable Development Goals can be studied on a variety of scales (Hawkins and Ojeda 2011, Resurrección 2017). Going beyond the obvious need to study agricultural practices, waste, water and forest management, we can examine forms of networked and rooted interactions in institutional development practices. We can record at the grounded level the lived experiences of the villagers who receive funds for a green road project. And at an embodied level we can register the emotions and concerns of women who are obliged to take contraception when they receive funds for a startup micro enterprise by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Harcourt et al. 2016).

The Well-being, Ecology, Gender and Community (WEGO-ITN) project

The EU Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Innovation Training Network Grant for the project ‘Well-being, Ecology, Gender and Community Innovative Training Network’ (WEGO-ITN) (www.iss.nl/wego-itn) will provide an important space for European-based feminist political ecology to come to the fore with well-positioned and engaging research that asks these sorts of questions.

WEGO-INT in a nutshell
  • Grant value: €4 million (€4.000.000)
  • 10 partner universities in 5 countries across Europe
    • Freie Universität Berlin (FUB);
    • Humboldt University Berlin (HUB);
    • Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University;
    • Pangea Foundation (PF);
    • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU);
    • International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam;
    • University of Brighton (UofB);
    • University of Passau (UPAS);
    • IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (IHE); and
    • Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
  • 8 training laboratories at
    • University of Auckland (UoA);
    • University of Vermont (UVM);
    • University of Western Sydney (UWS);
    • Defensoria del Vecino de Montevideo (DVM);
    • Island Institute (II);
    • Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM);
    • Associazione Culturale ‘Punti di Vista’ (PDV); and
    • Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  • Yielding 15 PhD positions
  • 3 interconnecting research themes
    • Climate change, economic development and extractivism;
    • Commoning, community economies and the politics of care; and
    • Nature/culture/embodiment and technologies

In its research, WEGO will build from local engagement and knowledge of peoples’ practices and visions of how to live on this planet under climatic conditions never before experienced. WEGO will co-produce knowledge with people in both the Global North and South on how hybrid and emergent ecologies are creating new forms of livelihoods or life-worlds, in response to growing lack of resilience of the economy and ecosystem.

With that knowledge WEGO will then engage in the debates now being opened up by the Sustainable Development Goals in order to bring the stories of peoples’ changing historical and current experiences of care for the environment into the policy arena. Such grounded and engaged research will not only be about collecting data and evidence, but also about understanding political processes including the contradictions, the emotions and embodied reactions of people to economic, social and environmental change.

As the first international feminist political ecology research network of its kind, WEGO aspires to tackle socio-ecological challenges linked to policy agendas. This innovative and path-breaking project I hope will help to build resilient, equitable and sustainable futures. Ultimately, WEGO aims to provide important guides to strategies of resilience and sustainability that are required for meeting the SDGs.

WEGO thematic diagram
The three interconnected research themes of the WEGO-ITN project. Source: https://www.iss.nl/en/research/research-projects/well-being-ecology-gender-and-community

My vision is that WEGO, by providing a gendered knowledge of every day experiences of environmental practices, will make a difference, not only to the academe but also to the lives of the people with whom we co-produce knowledge. At the political level, I hope that WEGO can open up questions around scientific truth and the mistaken story of systemic coherence of unsustainable economic growth.

I am confident that Feminist Political Ecology can help to guide us along new tracks as we engage in encounters of different life-worlds, form connections among communities, and link exciting academic research to effective policy crucial for today’s sustainable development agenda.

Introducing WEGO-INT through visual media
A group of ISS students were asked to create a video for the WEGO project. Victoria Simpson, an intern from Erasmus University who participated in the making of the video, explains that


the trick was to produce something that addressed activists, students and academics all at once. Since many written explanations seem to be designed for experts in the field of social sciences, we wanted to create audience-flexible knowledge through the help of animations, visuals and narrations. With this idea in mind, we shot a film that shows the relevance of the WEGO project in the face of the ecological and social crises we are dealing with today. Specifically, we wanted to show how difficult it is to solve these overwhelmingly large issues on a basis of a €4 million research grant. We had the idea to asked people of different groups how they would use this grant to make a positive impact. The notion behind this was to show that even when the problem of gaining financial resources is solved, it is challenging to come up with a way to use them effectively.


The video can be viewed at xxx

Main picture: Picture by Emma Claire Sardoni representing the life worlds of Lago Di Bolsena in Lazio, Italy.

Elmhirst, R. (2011) ‘Introducing new feminist political ecologies’, Geoforum 42: 129–132.
Hawkins, R. and D. Ojeda (2011) ‘Gender and Environment: Critical Tradition and New Challenges’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29(2): 237–253.
Harcourt, W. and I.L. Nelson (eds) (2015) Practicing Feminist Political Ecology: Beyond the Green Economy, London: Zed Books.
Harcourt, W., R. Icaza and V. Vargas (2016) ‘Exploring embodiment and intersectionality in transnational feminist activist research,’ in Biekart, K. , W. Harcourt and P. Knorringa (eds) Exploring Civic Innovation for Social and Economic Transformation, 148–167. London: Routledge.
Nightingale, A.J. (2011) ’Bounding difference: Intersectionality and the material production of gender, caste, class and environment in Nepal’, Geoforum 42: 153–162.
Resurrección, B. P. (2017) Gender and environment from women, environment and developmentto feminist political ecology,in MacGregor, S. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment, 471–485. London: Routledge.
Rocheleau, D.E. (2008) ‘Political ecology in the key of policy: From chains of explanation to webs of relation’, Geoforum 39: 716–727.

Image result for wendy harcourt


Wendy Harcourt is Professor of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at the ISS. She is currently Chair of the ISS Institute Council, member of the ISS Research Committee, CI Research Group Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Marie Curie ITN ‘WEGO’ project.