Lilian Pungas and Martin Fritz take part in the XIV European Society of Ecological Economics (ESEE) Conference in Pisa, 14-17 June 2022

Our flumen-colleagues Lilian Pungas and Martin Fritz presented their work at the ESEE-Conference. Furthermore, Martin moderated the Special Track “From an aspirational policy framework to a real agent of change?”


Lilian Pungas gave the following two lectures:

Who stewards whom? A paradox spectrum of human-nature relationships when working with the soil

This contribution is of empirical nature and based on more than 60 semi-structured in-depth interviews with people that ‘work with the soil’ and practice Food Self-Provisioning (FSP) in Eastern Estonia. The ‘space of social relationships with nature’ is used here as a relational approach to locate various manifestations of care and stewardship to each other and to explore their embeddedness in social relations of power and in specific societal nature relations. Directly perceived experiences and challenges towards nature (be it soil, insects or weather) within the FSP practice bring about manifestations towards nature that can seem paradox at the first sight, that are diverse, dynamic and context-dependent. This relational complexity needs to be considered if we want to overcome destructive human-nature relation(ship)s, in general, and cultivate more sustainable and caring agri-food systems, in particular.

 Invisible bioeconomies. A framework to assess the ‘blind spots’ of hegemonic bioeconomy models

As one of the latest buzzwords in agri-food system transformation bioeconomy promises jobs, economic growth and decreased environmental pressure. I will explore the hegemonic narratives and political goals articulated within respective bioeconomy strategy papers of EU (2018) and Estonia (2022) with a specific focus on agriculture and agri-food systems. Doing so I will draw on the Bielefeld subsistence approach and on its three-dimensional colonialism-capitalism-patriarchy nexus. I will demonstrate how 1) different geographical regions, 2) environmental externalities, and 3) widespread BE practices that all contribute to, and constitute the very basis of the hegemonic bioeconomy model, remain unrecognised or devalued as ‚blind spots‘. In fact, current BE models are all built on the prerequisite of the exploitation and devaluation of specific spheres of the BE. As such, the currently proposed bioeconomy models serve as just another label for a ‚green growth‘ program, and will additionally perpetuate the very same power relations while avoiding a ‘genuine’ socio-ecological transformation.


Dr. Martin Fritz presented findings from the representative survey of flumen:

Eco-social mentalities and ways of living in the transformation to an eco-social policy – Empirical findings from a representative survey in Germany 2021/22

An important aspect in eco-social transformations are mentalities and practices. While, for example, mentalities oriented at the growth paradigm and fossil practices like frequent flying are obstacles to the political implementation of an eco-social policy, other more ecological mentalities and caring practices may function as drivers. Based on Bourdieu’s theory of practice and concept of habitus this paper investigates the links between people’s social positions, their eco-social mentalities and practices. In the paper the results of a representative multi-mode survey conducted in Germany 2021/22 are presented. We asked people about social and ecological attitudes, preferences and values, collected data about their everyday practices and their social status and position. Applying dimension reduction methods such factor-, correspondence- and cluster analysis we discover the eco-social mentalities and ways of living that currently exist in Germany and plot them into the space of social positions. Implications for social conflicts and inequalities are discussed.

Next Scientific Coffee Human-Forest-Relationships: Maija Halonen (University of Eastern Finland) – “Socio-economic forest relations in Northern peripheries” | 1 June 2022, 1-3 pm (CET)

Scientific Coffee Human-Forest-Relationships presents:

1st June 2022

13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST


Input: Maija Halonen (University of Eastern Finland)
Socio-economic forest relations in Northern peripheries

Maija Halonen is human geographer with background in social policy. Currently she is working as postdoctoral researcher in the University of Eastern Finland and her research interests focus on the socio-economic development of Northern forest peripheries. In her project founded by the Kone Foundation, she approaches the development in the frames of global sustainability transition and through the case studies from the East and North Finland. 

In her presentation, she scrutinises discursive scenarios and frames which analysis is based on the documents and interviews with regional development actors. First, she describes the alternative scenarios for expected development paths and identifies which factors are related to forests. Then she presents the findings of the hegemonic and alternative discourses on forest-related development and constructs the frames which describe the regional forest relations. Based on the results, aspirations and good will describe different phases of the relations than the current reality and therefore forest relations seem to be transforming but very slowly in Northern peripheries. The most striking note call for understanding, appreciation and acknowledgement of forest relations which people in the middle of the specific forests have and have had for generations. 

Zoom-link:

https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/61027392103

Meeting-ID: 610 2739 2103
Kenncode: 513063

The “Scientific Coffee” sessions continue our cooperation and exchange on the relations between society, humans and forests that we started with the workshop “Contested Society-Nature-Relations. Forest related Emotions, Practices & Conflicts in Times of Societal Change” in May 2021. They give room for open and relaxed discussions on current research subjects related to human and society relations to forests. The Scientific Coffee sessions take place as often as we find the time to organise another session – but at least one session per semester is planned.

More info on our past workshop: https://www.flumen.uni-jena.de/workshop-contested-society-nature-relations-forest-related-emotions-practices-conflicts-in-times-of-societal-change-27-28-may-2021-2/c


If you are interested in contributing to the next “Scientific Coffee HFR”, please contact judith.kiss@uni-jena.de with info on your subject (title and short abstract) and a preferred Wednesday (13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST).

Philip Koch’s field research in Jaén, Southern Spain

Foto: Philip Koch

In April 2022, our doctoral candidate Philip Koch has spent several weeks in Jaén, Andalusia, in order to gain data for his research. He is investigating the (bioeconomic) olive sector of the province: It dominates Jaén aesthetically, economically and culturally. After a first, explorative stay in August of 2021, the focus of this research trip was on interviewing producers of olives.

Among many other aspects, the history, current state and possible future of olive cultivation were central to the investigation. Philip Koch spoke to the farmers about them being part of a bio-based economy and the significance of the olive sector’s domination of the region’s economy. People’s stances of olive cultivation depend on many factors, mostly due to differences in cultivation methods and exploitation size. Therefore, a preliminary result of the field trip is that there are, in fact, possibly conflictive relations among farmers – which will be further elaborated in the context of socio-ecological mentalities during this year.

Foto: Philip Koch

keynote online now | Cara Daggett (Virginia Tech, USA): Desiring Energy: Toxic Fantasies of Fuel, Freedom, and Work

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https://www.db-thueringen.de/receive/dbt_mods_00052091

Energy, work, and power are intertwined, both in the scientific definition of energy (the ability to do work), and in the political manifestation of human-fuel practices. Fossil fuel advocates rely upon the threat of job loss and energy dependency to mobilize affection for oil, coal or gas, but many renewable energy advocates also adopt this framework in calls for a just energy transition. Doing so helps keep modern energy cultures yoked to extractivism. Cara Daggett traced the historical emergence of the relationship between energy and work, focusing upon how work came to be understood and valued as a site of energy transformation. The energy-work ethos informed the emergent fossil fuel culture, wherein technical categories of work and waste intersect with racialized, and gendered, judgments of productivity and sloth. Thinking about energy historically suggests that shifting our fuel cultures will require a corresponding shift in (post)-industrial cultures of work and Western understandings of freedom.



Cara Daggett gave the lecture on 19 May 2022 online as part of the workshop “Mental infrastructures of modern fossil and bio-based societies”. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech where she researches feminist political ecology. See more under https://www.caranewdaggett.com/.

Recent publications of her:
Energy and Domination: Contesting the Fossil Myth of Fuel Expansion,” (Environmental Politics
Toward Feminist Energy Systems: Why Adding Women and Solar Panels Isn’t Enough,” with Shannon E. Bell and Christine Labuski (2020, Energy Research & Social Science),
Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire” (2018, Millennium: Journal of International Studies)
Book: The Birth of Energy (Duke 2019)



Dr. Martin Fritz as a guest at Lund University in Sweden

From April 30 to May 14, 2022, Dr. Martin Fritz will be working as a visiting researcher at the School of Social Work at Lund University. During his stay he will work with Prof. Max Koch and other colleagues on various articles on the topic of sustainable welfare without growth and will contribute his expertise in statistical analyses of relational mentalities. Among other things, he will hold a workshop on how correspondence analyses can be used to evaluate social science survey data.

Lund University is one of the most important centers for research on socio-ecological transformation in Europe. Connections to German institutes and projects like our junior research group “flumen” have a long tradition and are important for the international networking of sustainability research.

(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)

Lund University (Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lund#/media/Datei:Huvudbyggnaden.JPG)

Workshop | Mental Infrastructures of Modern Fossil and Bio-based Societies | 19 & 20 May 2022

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Short description

While it has become common sense that modern societies need a fundamental transformation of their energy and material infrastructures to achieve the decarbonization necessary to avoid climate disaster, we know little about the related transformation of mental infrastructures that this will necessarily entail. In the workshop, we want to analyze this dimension – not only to understand which forms of fossil mentalities hinder the necessary societal changes, but also to better understand how people’s basic mindsets, attitudes, and common imaginations change and need to change in the course of transformations toward post-fossil, bio-based economies. In this regard, it is equally important to take stock of the multiple ways in which the practically unlimited availability and steadily intensifying use of fossil fuels have shaped contemporary subjectivities as it is to discuss what the necessarily greater reliance of a post-fossil, bio- and renewable-based society on the partly cyclical, partly intermittent temporalities of the availability of their resource base, and the limits to their potential expansion, might imply for the constitution of an appropriate mental infrastructure.

There is a broad consensus that fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas will soon become obsolete as energy sources and raw materials for industrial production: Their available stocks are limited and, more gravely, the greenhouse gases that are emitted when burning fossil fuels are a central cause of global warming and catastrophic climate change. One response to this problem is the search for biological and renewable resources that could serve as drivers of an emerging ‘bioeconomy’ and are hoped to make many hitherto fossil-based applications and products much more sustainable in the future. In our research group “flumen: mentalities in flux” at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena we investigate the social preconditions and consequences of energy and resource transformations in which societies move away from the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources and turn towards modes of production and living based on biological materials and renewable forms of energy. This workshop serves to discuss intermediate results with senior experts in the fields of sociology, history and the broader humanities, but also link them to ongoing key research on the questions of the relation between transformations at the material or socio-metabolic level of modern societies and in their mental or cultural dimensions.

Further information about our research group and our work are available at https://www.flumen.uni-jena.de/en



Program


Thursday 19 May 2022

9.00-9.30 am   Welcome & Introduction

Dennis Eversberg & Matthias Schmelzer, Junior Research Group “Mentalities in Flux” (flumen), University of Jena


9.30-11.00 am                        Session 1 „Fossil Mentalities“

Matthias Schmelzer, flumen
Transforming the world through concrete: The rise of fossil materials and fossil mentalities

Tere Vadén, BIOS Research Unit, Helsinki
Fossil holes in mental infrastructure


11.00-11.30 am                      Coffee


11.30 am–1.00 pm                 Session 2 “Energy Transitions and Mentality Transformations”

Julia Zilles, Sociological Research Institute (SOFI), Göttingen
Polarised Mentalities and Societal Hurdles of Energy Transition

Alice Dal Gobbo, University of Trento
Everyday energy transitions and the aesth-etics of desire


1.00–2.30 pm                          Lunch


2.30–3.30 pm                            Keynote online

Éric Pineault, L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM):
The enduring metabolic structures of fossil capital and the social ecology of the imaginaries advanced capitalism 


3.30 – 4.00 pm                       wrap up & discussion

Christine Schickert, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena


6.00 – 8.00 pm               Keynote online & Discussion

Cara Daggett, Virginia Tech
Desiring Energy: Toxic Fantasies of Fuel, Freedom, and Work

Energy, work, and power are intertwined, both in the scientific definition of energy (the ability to do work), and in the political manifestation of human-fuel practices. Fossil fuel advocates rely upon the threat of job loss and energy dependency to mobilize affection for oil, coal or gas, but many renewable energy advocates also adopt this framework in calls for a just energy transition. Doing so helps keep modern energy cultures yoked to extractivism. In this talk, I will trace the historical emergence of the relationship between energy and work, focusing upon how work came to be understood and valued as a site of energy transformation. The energy-work ethos informed the emergent fossil fuel culture, wherein technical categories of work and waste intersect with racialized, and gendered, judgments of productivity and sloth. Thinking about energy historically suggests that shifting our fuel cultures will require a corresponding shift in (post)-industrial cultures of work and Western understandings of freedom. 

ONLINE via zoom-webinar: After registration under this link you will receive the login data for the zoom-webinar.



Friday 20 May 2022

9.00-10.15 am                        Session 3

Martin Fritz & Dennis Eversberg, flumen
Mentalities and post-fossil transformation in Germany 2022: The BioMentalities study


10.15–10.30 am                     Coffee


10.30-12.00 am                      Session 4Bio-based practices and cultures “

Lilian Pungas,flumen
Dachas and food democracy – bioeconomic mentalities during times of crisis

Dr.in Sarah May / Lea Breitsprecher, University of Freiburg
Bioecenomy: culture and everyday life


12.00 am–1.15 pm Lunch


1.15-2.45 pm                           Session 5 „Bio-based modernities?”

Philip Koch, flumen:
The past and present bio(-based) economy of the olive sector in Jaén

Camila Moreno, Humboldt University of Berlin
Title t.b.a.


2.45 – 3.15 pm                         wrap up & discussion­­­

Christoph Goerg, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

The workshop will take place on-site in Jena. Due to the unpredictable covid19-situation, the number of participants is limited. If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact flumen@uni-jena.de.

Next Scientific Coffee Human-Forest-Relationships: M.Sc. Dominik Menton-Enderlin (FVA): “Basically this is all my forest” | 6 April 2022, 1-3 pm CET

6 April 2022, online

13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST



Input: M.Sc. Dominik Menton-Enderlin (Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA)), “Basically this is all my forest” – qualitative and quantitative research results on psychological ownership among forest visitors in germany

Dominik Menton-Enderlin is an environmental scientist researching human-forest-relationships at the FVA-Department of Societal Change. In his current project, he explores why people feel perceptions of ownership towards forests without legally owning them and how feelings of “my” and “our ” forest influence decision-making and behavior in forests. He further investigates the role these feelings play in current debates on the future of German forests in times of climate change and how they are linked to the rising importance of social or cultural functions of forests. The presented results are based on a mixed-methods approach consisting of a literature study, group discussions, and a representative online survey of German forest users.

The “Scientific Coffee” sessions continue our cooperation and exchange on the relations between society, humans and forests that we started with the workshop “Contested Society-Nature-Relations. Forest related Emotions, Practices & Conflicts in Times of Societal Change” in May 2021. They give room for open and relaxed discussions on current research subjects related to human and society relations to forests. The Scientific Coffee sessions take place as often as we find the time to organise another session – but at least one session per semester is planned.

If you are interested in contributing to the next “Scientific Coffee HFR”, please contact judith.kiss@uni-jena.de with info on your subject (title and short abstract) and a preferred Wednesday (13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST).

We look forward to seeing you there.

More info on our past workshop: https://www.flumen.uni-jena.de/workshop-contested-society-nature-relations-forest-related-emotions-practices-conflicts-in-times-of-societal-change-27-28-may-2021-2/

Zoom

https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/66589059243

Meeting-ID: 665 8905 9243

Kenncode: 879775

Jana Holz participates in the Fourth International Forest Policy Meeting, 27-29 April 2022

Our flumen colleague Jana Holz hosts a session and contributes with a presentation at the Fourth International Forest Policy Meeting from 27-29 April 2022 in Bonn (virtual event) hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), Wageningen University & Research, and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).

More about the event: https://ifpm4.info/schedule/

The panel “People and forests – Developing the concepts and methodologies for researching human-forest-relationship and social relationships with nature” on 29th of April will focus on methodological and empirical contributions related to the Finnish forest sector and bioeconomy. In addition to Jana Holz, Tuulikki Halla and Reetta Karhunkorva from the University of Eastern Finland and Sari Pynnönen from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) will contribute to the session with up-to-date insights into ongoing research projects.  

“Bioeconomy as a societal transformation: Mentalities, conflicts and social practices” – New article by Dennis Eversberg and Martin Fritz, 03 Feb 2022

Eversberg, Dennis / Fritz, Martin (2022): Bioeconomy as a societal transformation: Mentalities, conflicts and social practices. In: Sustainable Production and Consumption, 30, 973-987. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2022.01.021

Abstract

In this article, we argue that a comprehensive understanding of the kinds of societal change envisioned and contested in the bioeconomy debate requires broadening the view beyond policy debates and stakeholder positions. We use representative German survey data from 2018 to explore social conflicts and coalitions for and against bio-based, post-fossil transformations within the general population. Mapping different socio-ecological mentalities in a relational analysis, we find that tensions between growth- and sufficiency-oriented, high-tech-focused and techno-skeptical as well as between fossilist and post-fossil visions shape the current ‘socio-ecological space of possibilities’ for transformations in Germany.

Results show most of the population to broadly align along a continuum between ‘less is more’ views skeptical of both growth and technology and visions of ‘technoeconomic advance’ that favor both. In addition, a more openly conflictual confrontation surfaces between a ‘sufficient progress’ view that looks to reconcile sufficiency with democratically checked technology use and a ‘growth as usual’ imaginary openly opposed to any kind of post-fossil transformation. These tensions correlate with social inequalities: Women and the materially disadvantaged tend to favor ‘less is more’ views, men and the more affluent those of ‘technoeconomic advance’. Moreover, starkly contrasting patterns of environmentally relevant practices emerge along the growth and fossilism dimensions. We conclude that issues surrounding bio-based, post-fossil transformations are more contested among the population than in policy debates, entailing significant potential for social conflicts. The core challenge will be to establish ecologically sustainable and socially just transformation pathways in democratic and participatory ways.

Link to the article

„Scientific Coffee HFR” with Lukas Fehr (University Tübingen) on people’s experiences in forests, resultant disputes and narratives | 17.11.2021 | 13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST

“Scientific Coffee Human-Forest-Relationships”

17. November 2021
13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST

Lukas Fehr,Eberhard Karls University Tübingen:
“Narratives and interpretations of forests in the forestry and timber sector between recreation and wood production”

 Forests offer a variety of ways in which they can be used. Timber grows in them, they can be used for recreational activities, provide protection from avalanches, are home to many creatures or are used as CO2 sinks. These uses are difficult to separate from each other in the forest and overlap in many cases. In this session of „Scientific Coffee“ I will explore the different experiences in the forest of people working in the forestry and timber sector. Connected to these experiences are disputes between different interest groups such as visitors and forest workers. This involves narratives of what a forest is, how it should be used and by whom. This includes valuations of the demands of the population on the various forest functions of use, recreation and protection.


Participation via zoom

https://uni-jena-de.zoom.us/j/66018542066
Meeting ID: 660 1854 2066 Passcode: 816180


The “Scientific Coffee” sessions continue our cooperation and exchange on the relations between society, humans and forests that we started with the workshop “Contested Society-Nature-Relations. Forest related Emotions, Practices & Conflicts in Times of Societal Change” in May this year. They give room for open and relaxed discussions on current research subjects related to human and society relations to forests. The Scientific Coffee sessions take place as often as we find the time to organise another session – but at least one session per semester is planned.

If you are interested in contributing to the next “Scientific Coffee HFR”, please contact jana.holz@uni-jena.de with info on your subject (title and short abstract) and preferred Wednesday (13-15 CET / 14-16 EEST).