About us

  • Entitle
  • Maria Kaika
ENTITLE is an EU-funded Initial Training Network under the Marie Curie action of FP7. It is coordinated by ICTA at the Autonomous University of Barcelona with the collaboration of 8 Universities, 2 Non-governmental organizations and 1 Environmental consultancy. ENTITLE will train 18 researchers in the emerging inter-disciplinary field of Political Ecology.
On this website you will find more information about our training activities, the curricula of our courses, the research of our fellows and their mentors, and a useful library with links to important scholars and publications of political ecology. In addition, audiovisual material from our project and from the presentations of members in the network will be updated periodically.

But what is political ecology and how will ENTITLE contribute to it?

Click to read more information below...

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.
Anthropologist Eric Wolf was the first to coin the term "political ecology" in 1972, while Blaikie's and Brookfield's "Land Degradation and Society" in 1987 is considered a landmark of contemporary political ecology. Political ecologists come from a variety of fields, most notably geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental history and ecological economics. Political ecology features strongly in rural, urban and development studies. It is a theoretically eclectic field mobilizing insights from political economy, Marxian and critical theory, post-structuralism and social constructivism.
Political ecologists use a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodological tools, including ethnography, material flows analysis and cartography. Whereas early political ecology focussed mostly on rural areas and on non-Western countries, more recent political ecology also covers the Global North, and increasingly so processes of urbanization. ENTITLE is the first attempt to build a European network of research and training of political ecology that brings together scholars and fellows from a variety of disciplinary and geographical backgrounds.


Image for the BlogEntitle blog is a collaborative writing effort that looks at the world through the lens of political ecology. For us, Political Ecology is a perspective that seeks to understand who is involved in, and who benefits or loses from, how our environment is produced and reproduced. The blog was started in 2014 by the fellows of the ENTITLE FP7 (Marie Curie Action) project as an outlet to share, reflect on and discuss research and activist experiences, observations, methodologies, news, events, publications, art, music and other themes and objects related to political ecology.



Research Objectives

Our overriding research objectives are to:

  1. Document and explain the uneven distribution of the costs and benefits of environmental change, analyse causes and responses to environmental conflicts, and propose new institutional arrangements for social and environmental justice.
  2. Reveal how power relations structure access to environmental goods and bads, and envisage democratic systems that ensure a more equal distribution of power in society and more just and ecologically sustainable economic systems.

To address these objectives we focus on five key issues and groups of research questions:

  1. Conflicts:
    Which are the causes of conflicts over the use of the environment and how do these relate to social power (material and discursive)? What is the geography of such conflicts? Is there a trend towards international "environmental load" displacement and unequal exchange?
  2. Commons:
    What are the distributive and environmental consequences of the enclosure and commodification of the commons (water, fisheries, atmosphere, etc) and who and how resists them? Which are some successful rules for managing the commons?
  3. Disasters:
    How do bio-physical and political-economic factors combine to produce "natural" disasters and who benefits and who looses from them? Who is more vulnerable to global ecological-economic change and why?
  4. Movements:
    What are the main features of social movements in defence of the environment and the commons? When and under what conditions are such movements successful? What are the historic origins of these movements and what is their class, gender or ethnic composition? At what geographical scales do they operate, and how are local-global divides superseded?
  5. Democracy:
    What are the essential features of a more just ecological-democratic order and what institutional changes can bring it about?



The project has received research funding from the European Union.

marie curie
7th framework
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Our Network

Click on each logo to find out more about the partners in our network and their work in this project.

  • Logo for Universitat de Barcelona
  • Logo for Universidade de Coimbra
  • The University of Manchester
  • Lund University
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Harokopion University of Athens
  • Bogazici University
  • University of Chile
  • Environment and Management
  • Centro di Documentazione sui Conflitti Ambientali
  • Friends of the Earth Middle East

Our Associate Partners

Durham Universitykth logo thumb

Contact Us


For project related questions, or to join our mailing list and receive updates on the project, contact Marina Utges.
Marina's email: