The European Network for Political Ecology (ENTiTLE)

Impact

Narrative

ENTiTLE is an EU-funded Initial Training Network which includes 10 other academic institutions and NGOs across Europe, Chile, Turkey and Palestine.

ENTiTLE is funded by the Marie Curie action of FP7 and supports 18 researchers in the inter-disciplinary field of Political Ecology. Cities, politics and economies and the Society and Environment Research Group (SERG) [NEED LINKS] at The University of Manchester are part of ENTiTLE.

ENTiTLE builds on an on-going collaboration in training between the participating institutions, manifested in a series of successful summer schools. It brings together some of Europe's leading scholars in political ecology, and aspires to overcome the fragmentation of existing political ecological research in Europe, offering a critical mass of research and training.

Research and training in the ENTiTLE program is framed in five key clusters concerned with the analysis of:
• environmental conflicts;
• environmental movements;
• socionatural disasters;
• the commons; and
• environmental justice and democracy.

Research is based on 18 individual empirically-based investigations of a geographically and thematically diverse set of case studies. Research will be action and politically oriented culminating in a series of outputs useful to civil society organisations and conducive to progressive social change.

Project aims and rationale

Political ecology studies the roots of social conflicts over access and use of the environment. Environmental issues are approached from the lens of social, distribution and knowledge conflicts. The focus is on the power structures that determine resource access. The premise of political ecology is that there are always costs and benefits in environmental change and these are unevenly distributed along lines of class, race, ethnicity or gender.

Environmental problems are in essence political problems involving clashes over alternative futures and clashes between alternative values and imaginaries. Political ecology criticizes a-political explanations of environmental problems and seeks to re-politicize social debate over the appropriate responses to environmental problems.

Training of the network's fellows includes an integrated curriculum of local and intensive network courses, summer schools, secondments and training through work. Fellows will be seconded or recruited by one SME and two NGO partners of the project, building bridges between political-ecological research and practice.