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Methodologies of the commons toward/in green transitions: Uncommoning, knowledge commons and social justice 
Maria Bareli (University of Crete, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network)
Kathryn Newfont (University of Kentucky)
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Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 02/011
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This roundtable focuses on a case study to addresses methodological issues of research on processes of un-/commoning triggered by energy transitions. It addresses the questions; can such research become an instrument of un-/commoning? What would a methodology of decolonizing the commons look like?

Long Abstract:

This roundtable will address methodological challenges arising from anthropological research on processes of un-/commoning triggered by energy transitions. Amidst neoliberalism, green energy transitions often presuppose acts of uncommoning, or what Marx described as primitive accumulation, which is a continuous process inherent to capitalism (Luxemburg 1913), almost always followed by counter acts of commoning (Polanyi 1944). The green transition, promoted as an answer to environmental, health and financial crisis, without placing principles of social justice at its core, risks unleashing processes of uncommoning and triggering transformations that reproduce and widen existing inequalities. In response, collective subjects are arising to resist the usurpation of their commons. Admist such struggles, community-based research collaborations can become instruments of commoning. However, the colonization of the "commons" by neoliberal imaginaries can as well make action and research on the commons an instrument of uncommoning and a handmaiden of neoliberalism.

Researchers working on diverse commons and localities will think through a case-study, the green transition of a Greek island, which, much like many rural areas of the Mediterranean, has a long tradition of community governance of forests, grazelands and water, now required for the green transition. The questions we will address are; what are the methodological prerequisites for producing critical knowledge for projects of commoning? What would a methodology that decolonizes the commons look like? What are the political implications of research conducted amid and against neoliberal imaginaries of "commons" and global/local processes of uncommoning, and what are the alternatives for supporting such research?

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -