CULTURES, PRACTICES AND LANGUAGES OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course students are expected to be able to:
- define the concept of social and political movements;
- contextualize historically the question concerning the environment;
- identify and define different sociological approaches to the green economy;
- critically analyze climate justice mobilizations from 2019 up until now;
- critically define the concept of degrowth.
The course does not require previously developed skills
Course contents summary
Political Ecology, Degrowth and Climate Justice
The course focuses on the cultural forms and political logic of social movements, highlighting their essential characters from a sociological perspective. After critically reviewing a variety of theoretical approaches, the analysis will be circumscribed on mobilizations related to the environmental issue.
The general framework will be provided by political ecology as developed throughout the second half of the twentieth century and as currently undergoing an original reconfiguration. In general, a historicization of the question concerning the environment will be proposed through the analytical distinction between environmental degradation - a phenomenon that can be found in all societies, everywhere and at all times - and ecological crisis – a deeper form of imbalance caused by accumulation as an essential dynamic of capitalist development. Subsequently, within the categorial boundaries of the ecological crisis, emphasis will be placed on the tension between the growth paradigm and biospheric health. In particular, our course will offer an overview of different positions on the concept of green economy, decisive for a sociological analysis of current ecological movements.
The final part of the course will critically engage with two different forms of social and political mobilization with respect to environmental issues: on the one hand degrowth, on the other the set of realities that have animated 2019 as the annus mirabilis of ecological protesting - Fridays for Future and Extintion Rebellion, of course, but also the composite galaxy of LULU struggles (Locally Unwanted Land Use) that for a quarter of a century have been opposing infrastructural mega-projects. Both these forms will be analyzed in their global dimension - although with a particular focus on the Italian situation.
. Introduction and general information.
. Theories of political and social movements.
. The politicization of the question concerning the environment.
. Fundamental elements of political ecology.
. From limits of growth to the green economy.
. The crisis of the green economy crisis and future scenarios.
. Theories and practices of degrowth.
. Open questions for degrowth.
. Theories and practices of climate justice.
. Open questions for climate justice.
I volumi sui quali il corso è costruito sono i seguenti:
Barca, Stefania; Chertkovskaya, Ekaterina & Paulsson, Alex (eds.), Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth, Rowman and Littlefield, London, 2019.
Della Porta, Donatella & Diani, Mario, Social Movements. An Introduction, Blackwell, London, 2006.
Leonardi, Emanuele & Manghi, Sergio (a cura di), Il clima diseguale: verso una nuova cultura politica tra conflitti ambientali e giustizia sociale, Battei, Parma, 2021.
Altri testi che verranno discussi:
Avallone, Gennaro, ‘L’ecologia-mondo capitalistica: tra accumulazione per appropriazione e processi di spazializzazione del capitale’, Sociologia Urbana e Rurale, 120: 47-61, 2019.
Barca, Stefania, Forces of Reproduction. Notes for a Counter-hegemonic Anthropocene, Cambridge University Press, 2021.
Benegiamo, Maura; Dal Gobbo, Alice & Torre, Salvo, ‘Il pensiero decoloniale: dalle radici del dibattito ad una proposta di metodo’, Acme, 19(2), 2020.
Burkhart, Corinna; Schmelzer, Matthias & Treu, Nina (eds.), Degrowth in Movement(s), Zero Books, London, 2020.
D’Alisa, Giacomo; Demaria, Federico & Kallis, Giorgos (eds.), Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era, Routledge, London, 2015.
Deriu, Marco (a cura di), Verso la civiltà della decrescita. Prospettive sulla transizione, Marotta & Cafiero, Napoli, 2016.
Jacobsen, Stefan Gaarsmand (ed.), Climate Justice and the Economy. Social Mobilization, Knowledge and the Political, Routledge, New York, 2018.
Kothari, Ashish; Salleh, Ariel; Escobar, Arturo; Demaria, Federico & Acosta, Alberto (eds.), Pluriverse: A Post-development Dictionary, Columbia University Press, New York, 2019.
Leonardi, Emanuele, Lavoro Natura Valore: André Gorz tra marxismo e decrescita, Orthotes, Napoli-Salerno, 2017.
Merchant, Carolyn, Autonomous Nature, Routledge, New York, 2016.
Moore, Jason, Antropocene o Capitalocene?, ombre corte, Verona, 2017.
Moore, Jason, ‘World-Ecology: A Global Conversation’, Sociologia Urbana e Rurale, 120: 9-21, 2019.
Paccino, Dario, L’imbroglio ecologico, ombre corte, Verona, 2021 .
Pellizzoni, Luigi, Ontological Politics in a Disposable World. The New Mastery of Nature, Routledge, New York, 2019.
Stiegler, Bernard, Q’appelle-t-on panser? 2. La leçon de Greta Thunberg, Les Liens que Liberent, Paris, 2020.
Torre, Salvo, Contro la frammentazione, ombre corte, Verona, 2017.
Most texts are also available in English; please contact Prof. Emanuele Leonardi if you wish to study books and articles in their original language.
All materials will be listed on – and occasionally downloadable by – platform Elly http://elly.dusic.unipr.it. Students will choose a theme to analyze in depth and will write a short essay (see below) which represents the kernel of evaluation.
The course integrates different teaching methods: frontal lessons; interactive lessons; watching, commenting and discussing films and documentaries; presentations and debates starting from the analysis of particular forms of mobilization. The course also includes the participation of scholars and experts in the field.
Assessment methods and criteria
The preparation of the exam for both attending and non-attending students consists of a general preparatory work (reading materials and study of the topics covered in the lesson) and of an in-depth written analysis (article/short essay).
For the thematic in-depth study:
Students will have to write a short article/essay that deals with one of the topics analyzed in class using verified and critical in-depth sources. The article, with a maximum of min 10.000 /max 15.000 characters (including spaces), should be sent by e-mail at least 10 days before the exam and will be discussed orally during the exam. Exclusively for the attending students, research and in-depth study work for small groups (2-3 people max) can also be allowed, as long as the article clearly indicates each individual contribution (the length of the article must be proportional to the number of people involved).
The article/short essay, which is the kernel of evaluation, will be judged on the basis of the following criteria:
-coherence with the course topics;
-originality in the analytical approach;
-capability of deepening, problematizing and critically discussing of the chosen subject;
-wideness and appropriateness of the bibliographical and documentary references compared to the in-depth literature used and to the course materials;
-ability to write properly - from a scientific perspective.
The evaluation consists of an interactive discussion around the contents of the article.
It will be considered insufficient the student who has not carried out the research and personal study required or who does not demonstrate an adequate understanding of the problem analyzed or the underlying themes of the course.
It will be considered sufficient or discreet the student who has diligently carried out the research and personal study and who proves to be able to properly handle the concepts dealt with in class.
It will be considered good or very good the student who in the treatment and discussion will show a greater capacity for elaboration and critical analysis.
It will be considered excellent the student who will have explored the subject in a more in-depth and autonomous way by verifying the sources.
The grade will be expressed in thirtieth and will be communicated at the end of the test itself.