February – May (14 weeks / 140 hrs)


Module 4: Commons and Feminism

6 ECTS, 40 hours

Syllabus module

Commons and care (Aggelos Varvarousis) 20 hours

The course offers an introduction to the study of Commons by drawing on three different perspectives; the Institutional School, Political Ecology and Digital Commons. Subsequently, it will focus on the relation between Commons, Social Movements, Solidarity Economies and other contemporary forms of Commoning. Lastly, it will introduce a feminist appoach of the commons by focusing on the theory of Care.

Feminism (Stefania Barca) 10 hours

This course provides a basic understanding of core feminist concepts and analytical tools that are needed to (a) explore the hetero-patriarcal dimensions of the socioeconomic system and the growth society; and (b) examine the gender dimensions of environmental justice and conflicts. Ecological economics is revisited from a feminist economics perspective. And ecofeminist contributions are used to enrich and expand degrowth both as a discipline and as a social movement

Peer-to-Peer: Capitalism, Commons and Future Scenarios. (Vasilis Kostakis) 10 hours

This course is a theoretical as well as hands-on exploration of the theory and practice of online and offline collaboration and sharing. The goal is to engage in a critical discussion of the Internet-enabled collaborative initiatives. You will engage multi-disciplinary literature about what commons/digital commons is; what are the hidden socio-environmental costs of digital technologies etc.

Readings will explore various business models, including mainstream social media platforms and commons-oriented organizations, as well as discuss incentives of cooperation, and potentialities for conviviality transitions. This course will employ techniques from non-formal education for a hands-on exploration of the sharing economy. Through role-playing games and improvised group presentations, you will build on and interplay with the ideas discussed with the aim to face practical problems


50% of the mark through a 15-minute presentation in class in a group of 3-4 to be done in the last class. Each group will select a topic that fits among the following themes: commons and social movement; care and femminism; peer-to-peer and digital commons. The coordinator of the module and the respective instructor responsible for each theme (Varvarousis A. for commons and social movement, Orozco A.  for care and femminism, Kostakis V. for P2P and digital commons) will attend to the presentation and decide a grade on the quality and content of the presentation as well as the different contribution of each student to the collective work.

For the other 50% of the mark, students in groups of 2-3 will write a new entry in Wikipedia. The topic of the entry has to be related with theories and practices of the commons. Each group will send the link of the new Wikipedia entry to the teachers that will decide the final grade based on the quality and content of the entry. The grade will be to the collective and each student accordingly.


Module 5: Methodological Applications for Action-Research

9 ECTS, 40 hours:

1.- Case study research and Q methodology (Christos Zografos, Diego Andreucci) 10 hours


The purpose of this module is to familiarize students with principles and techniques of qualitative social research. The course will be divided in two parts. The first (4 hours, Diego Andreucci) will provide an introduction to basic principles of social research design and qualitative investigative methods, focusing specifically on the case study method and its application to the investigation of concrete social situations. The second part of the course (6 hours, Christos Zografos), will introduce Q methodology and explain how it can be used to explore conflicting views in collective decision-making processes. One class will focus on explaining the method, its steps/process, and what it serves, and another class will illustrate key applications and empirical case examples using Q methodology.

2.- Surveys (Filka Sekulova) 10 hours


The course first offers the basic tools on how to design, test and execute a survey in different contexts and fields. Next, some techniques for data collection, processing and analysis are presented, all in the context of multiple practical examples

3.- Social metabolic analysis (Arnim Scheidel, Anke Schaffartzik) 10 hours


The course “Analyzing social metabolism” provides an introduction into the conceptual foundations of social metabolism and an overview of how to apply the most common approaches to its quantitative analysis

4.- Social Multi-criteria Evaluation (Gonzalo Gamboa) 10 hours


The course presents the combination of participatory approaches and multicriteria evaluation methods applied to public policies. The course will introduce theoretical and practical characteristics of multicriteria models and their suitability in public decision making. The course will balance conventional lecturing and case study development by the students.

Evaluation: The aim of this module is to introduce and develop some methodological approaches to study environmental conflicts and its evaluation will be based on a group project using one of the studied methods to analyze an environmental conflict from the EJ Atlas, or a socio-environmental conflict in Catalonia or Barcelona, or an alternative economic project. The results of the group projects will be presented in a poster format during the last class of the course which will simulate an academic mini-congress. In this way, part of the evaluation will consist of students talking in public and explaining their cases, putting in practice another skill fostered in the master: oral presentation in public.
The evaluation will be carried out by four lecturers of the module. Guidelines to evaluate formal aspects, the content of the posters and the presentation will be developed by the module coordinator


Module 6 – Professional skills in Environmental Justice and Degrowth

9 ECTS, 60 hours

The professional module will teach students in concrete skills necessary in work environments: group facilitation; writing policy briefs and consultancy reports; writing for the press; setting up a SSE; organizing an NGO campaign. The speakers will be practitioners and will share with students also their experience from their work environments (e.g. think tanks, NGOs, consultancies, newspapers) and what it takes to work there, what skills are necessary and how is the working day. Each course will be initiated by a core member of the masters faculty who will position the professional skill within current debates about degrowth and environmental justice, making links between theoretical issues debated in the Fundamentals module, and the practical skills.

1.- Legal Tools for Environmental Justice (Isabel Pont-Castejon) 10 hours


The objective of the course is familiarize with the essential legal instruments for allowing Environmental Justice from an applied standpoint. In particular the course will focus on the following topics: access to environmental information; the right to participate in relevant environmental policy- and decision-making; environmental litigation (International and European law; Civil Rights; Administrative, Criminal and Private law)

2.- Working with groups (David Villota, Filla Sekulova) 10 hours

The course presents the practical aspects of dealing with groups, with the goal of learning to facilitate group processes (such as decision-making, collective exploration of ideas, conflict-resolution, cohesion and communication)

3.- Contributing to policy (to be confirmed) 10 hours

This course will teach students how to communicate to and write for policy mak- ers. It will involve a class and workshop on how to make policy briefs, how to write a policy report and assessment. It will introduce also to the art of lobbying for the implementation of public policies.

The course will include tips on how to approach the politicians as an outsider, establish relations with key person in political parties; as well as insiders’ views for those who want to work professionally in the policy arena, and on the everyday realities of policy makers today and how to best prepare oneself for getting a job there. Case studies and examples will focus on environmental justice and alterna- tive economies stories

4.- Media and Communication (Michele Catanzaro) 10 hours


This course will teach students how to communicate in and write for printed and digital media such as newspapers or blogspots. It will involve a class and workshop on how to make a press release, how to write a opinion piece, and how to organize, research and write a longer investigative report. The course will include tips on how to approach the media as an outsider, establish relations with journalists and pitch pieces; as well as insiders’ views for those who want to work professionally on a newspaper on the everyday realities of journalists today, the market, and how to best prepare oneself for getting a job there. Case studies and examples will focus on environmental justice and alternative economies stories

5.- The New Economy (Andrea Calsamiglia) 10 hours


The goal of this course is to learn the practical aspects of setting up an enterprise in the social, solidarity or collaborative sector. Professionals from the sector will be invited to participate

6.- Activism and Campaigning (to be confirmed) 10 hours

This course aims at teaching the crucial aspects for setting up an actvist campaign. Professionals from the sector will be invited to participate

Evaluation: This module will be evaluated based on a project developed in groups of three students, in one of the six themes of the Module. This include identifying and justifying the legal instruments to be used in a lawsuit according to the environmental conflict in case; defining the methods and tools to be used in a conflict facilitation/resolution; writing a policy brief; writing a press release or opinion article, developing the business plan for an enterprise of the social ad solidarity economy or developing an activist campaign of environmental justice.
Projects will be assessed by the corresponding lectures of each theme. In order to have a common ground for the evaluations, guidelines to evaluate formal aspects and the content of the works will be developed by the module coordinator