This is the first Master of its kind, and one of the first in the world in the flourishing field of Political Ecology. The Master builds on a successful 7-year series of international Summer Schools on Environmental Justice and Degrowth, two ongoing European Research Council projects on global environmental justice – see the Atlas of Environmental conflicts (https://ejatlas.org/) – and on urban environmental justice (http://www.bcnuej.org/). ICTA coordinated also ENTITLE, a post-graduate training network in political ecology funded by the EU. Our program was developed by R&D (Research and Degrowth) in alliance with ICTA (the Institute for Environmental Studies and Technology) and benefits from several top researchers that are currently working at both institutes.
Our motivation? We live in an era of growing inequalities, poverty and environmental disasters. Environmental and social problems are interrelated. Environmental problems have political causes and political solutions – they are a matter of power and inequality. Addressing these deeply rooted issues calls for system change – our program offers the knowledge and tools for thinking and bringing forward such change. We aspire to train the next generation of environmental justice activists, engaged civil servants, and entrepreneurs of the new cooperative economy – those who will put in action the best ideas for creating a society that is fair, enjoyable and ecologically sustainable.
Barcelona is an international centre for research and action on degrowth and environmental justice. In our Master program, you will get theoretical classes from top scholars in the fields of environmental conflicts, urban gentrification, ecological economics and governance of the commons. You will be trained in using methods to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of complex problems – such as multi-criteria evaluation, surveys, Q-methodology, material flow analysis and MuSIASEM. Practioners who are experts in their fields will provide insights on how to set-up a new economy initiative, how to run a social or environmental justice campaign, how to write for the media, and how to engage policy-making on the local level.
The program explores a wide range of theoretical, methodological and professional capacity-building for young people who want to work in the Social and Solidarity Economy, Environmental Justice Organizations, think tanks and consultancies. Our graduates will be employable in a variety of positions in the public, non-profit and private sectors.
Our Master does not lead to a PhD. It is a professional program, a “Master Propio”, meaning a Master granted by our University. Within Spain (and most of Europe), “Master Propios” are recognized by the private sector, but do not make you eligible for entering a PhD program in Spain (this might not be the case in other countries though where a master’s is not requirement for entering a PhD program). Our program is taught at the highest academic level, by researchers who are all professors or holders of PhD – all of them active in publishing top quality research. As such it is suitable for students who have a Bachelor’s degree, and also for students who already have another Master (or even a PhD) and want to switch to a research career and a PhD (or post-doc) on political ecology, environmental justice or degrowth. Students who already have a Master (or PhD) and want to proceed to a PhD (or post-doc) might also benefit by the option of taking selected modules of our program, as necessary for their needs, instead of the full Master program.
Our program benefits from the fact that it takes place in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, a city and country at the forefront of experimentation with the commons, social justice and alternative economies. We collaborate closely with the municipality of Barcelona and several of the civil groups and cooperatives active in the city and metropolitan region. The students of our program will have the opportunity to develop their theses in such organizations, enmeshing their work in the vibrant progressive culture of the city.
We are constantly improving our pedagogy and many of our professors explore new methods of teaching. You will be asked to read and interact, as well as learn through field visits, conversations with local people engaged in grassroots alternatives. You will learn how to work in groups, and you will develop most of your assignments and your final project in groups.
For further information and queries, write an email to coordinacio.master.political.ecology[at]uab.cat