Facebook ČKZ 


Archive of past issues of the Journal for critique of science

Issue No. 262 – Green Politics / Refugees Welcome (4/4 2015)

Issue No. 262 – Green Politics | Refugees Welcome (4/4 2015)


Zelene politike

Danijela Tamše and Simona Zavratnik (pp. 7-9)

Download PDF

Towards Multiple Green Politics


Drago Kos (pp. 13-37)

Download PDF

An Essay on “Pre-elements” for the Renovation of Environmental


The article discusses blind spots in the knowledge about the historical development of
nature-culture relations. The result is a weak and anthropocentric “warped” understanding of the
basic historical stages of the social relationship to nature. This default stance has an impact on
modern versions of environmental reflection, and consequentially impacts the efficiency of solving
today’s environmental dilemmas and problems. The topic is extremely extensive and complex,
therefore an essayist and selective approach is inevitable. The purpose of the article is not to offer
a new and more comprehensive “truth”, but to promote discussion and dialogue on alternative
interpretations, which have been and are still largely marginalized. The ultimate objective is to
draw attention to discussions on the revitalization of the fundamental constitutive elements of the
relationship to nature that would also allow for the revitalization of environmental reflections, and
thus perhaps also the revitalization of contemporary environmental theories and trends.

Keywords: social construction of nature, domestification of nature, privatization of nature,
neolithic agrar revolution, industrial revolution

Drago Kos is a professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Simona Zavratnik (pp. 38-54)

Download PDF

Environmental Changes and Migrations: Routing the Discussions on Environmental Refugees


The article addresses climate change and the consequently altered mobility patterns or migrations
of people due to environmental factors. It focuses on routing key discussions on environmental refugees/migrants in scientific production; the latter is marked by a two-way debate in the academic
sphere, in which the differences between the advocates and critics of the environmental refugees/
migrants hypothesis arise from the disciplines of the analysts. In particular, the initial discussions
take place in line with the polarized relationship of environmental vs. migration analysis or the “catastrophic vs. the sceptical scenario.” In spite of the indisputable starting point that environmental
changes (co)influence migrations, it is advisable to discard simplistic explanations of causality from
the very beginning, and position environmental migrations in the context of the complexity and
multidimensionality of migration processes, and this is the starting point adopted in the article.
Environmental refugees somehow just seem “to be there”, but they are caught between theoretical
inconsistencies, which leave the field of their protection vacant, and the environmental changes
taking place in their local living spaces.

Keywords: environmental refugees, environmental migrants, environmental change, conceptual
dilemmas, ecology and migration

Simona Zavratnik is a researcher at the Centre for Spatial Sociology at Faculty for Social Science,
University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Tomislav Tkalec and Andrej A. Lukšič  (pp. 55-72)

Download PDF

Energy Transition and Barriers on the Path to its Introduction


Energy transition is a concept originating from the necessity of solving environmental problems
and conflicts in the energy sector. It originates from environmental tradition and advocates transition
from environmentally and socially controversial sources of energy to renewables. That also
means a shift from large centralized production units (mainly based on fossil and nuclear energy)
to smaller, dispersed ones. This decentralization process inherently leads to a democratization of
the electricity sector, as large energy companies are losing their power and position in the energy
policy arena, as more and more smaller actors emerge. However, when trying to change the electricity
system, many obstacles arise – from the economics, old energy paradigm, path dependence,
inertia of electricity system, power relations between actors, institutional lock-in, to perceptions
and values of the dominant players. All barriers are reflected in the energy policy arena, dominated
mainly by large energy companies, reluctant to accept changes. Demands for a change come from
non-dominant actors, mainly from civil society actors and others, who are pushed to the margins
of the political arena. Therefore, decision-makers should recognize their role, change institutional
structure of the energy policy arena, and open it to various actors that can add new qualities to
decision-making processes and outputs.

Keywords: energy transition, energy policy arena, policy actors, barriers for change, renewable
energy sources, decentralization

Tomislav Tkalec is a PhD candidate in environmental protection, University of Ljubljana. He works at
Focus, an association for sustainable development. His main interests lie in energy and environmental
policies and project work. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Andrej A. Lukšič is a professor at the Chair of Theoretical Political Science, Faculty od Social Sciences,
University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Katja Cankar (pp. 73-88)

Download PDF

Democratization of Agricultural Policy and Sustainable Local Self-



The author discusses the question of a divide between the goals of the Slovene agricultural policy
and the actual situation regarding sustainable local self-sufficiency. An insight into farmers’ reality
helps illuminate misunderstandings between them and the state. The author believes their actions
are conditioned by the system as well as by their imaginaries: values, notions, expectations,
and convictions about themselves, about farming and about the role of the state. Entering their
imaginaries, the author tries to reveal the existing obstacles impeding farmers from acting more
efficiently. Farmers expect the state to enable their survival, however, they are convinced that the
state does not do anything to improve their operating conditions. The representatives of the state
on the other side stress that measures have been adopted to address the situation, but farmers
are not responding. The author tries to explain the existing misunderstandings, and show that for
an effective agricultural policy we have to first start removing the existing obstacles. In order to
achieve that, we need democratization enabling the excluded agents to be systematically included
in the policy-making process, and we need discussions confronting different views – not only about
the content of the policy, but firstly about the systematic options for entering the policy-making
process, and what is more, about the notions, convictions, and expectations of the agents.


Keywords: agricultural policy, sustainable self-sufficiency, democratization, systematic conditions,
imaginary, action

Katja Cankar is PhD student of environmental studies at the University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Aktivisti Eko kroga (pp. 93-107)

Download PDF

A Tale about Science Assuring the Inhabitants of the Zasavje Region they Live in a Safe Environment—within as well as Beyond Threshold Limit Values


The article focuses on the misuse of the concept of threshold limit values in the case of incineration
emissions in the Zasavje region. It describes the role that was played by “science”, which supported
and still supports practices polluting the environment, and the long-lasting apathy of state institutions
that were supposed to guarantee a safe living environment

Keywords: Eco Circle, Zasavje, threshold limit values, emissions, waste, Lafarge Cement, state institutions

Eco Circle is an environmental initiative. For years they have been struggling against the pollution and the poisoning of Zasavje. For more information, see their webpage: www.ekokrog.org.



Danijela Tamše and Andrej Kurnik (pp. 108-115)

Download PDF

What is Happening in the Petišovci Fields? An Edited Conversation with an Activist of the Initiative “Stop the Fracking in Slovenia”


The article is an edited conversation with an activist of an initiative “Stop the fracking in Slovenia”.
In order to start the process of fracking for natural gas extraction in the Prekmurje region, companies
still have to obtain some environmental permits from the government environmental agency,
which seems to have taken the companies’ side. The initiative is struggling to stop this. The conversation was focused on the developments in the Petišovci fields, formal procedures connected to
obtaining permits, and the companies involved. The article also contains the explanation of what
fracking is.

Keywords: fracking, Petišovci, natural gas, environmental permits

Danijela Tamše is a PhD candidate at the Faculty for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, an activist, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal for the Critique of Science. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Andrej Kurnik is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)




Tomislav Tkalec (pp. 116-134)

Download PDF

The Mining of Uranium–Cases from Namibia, Niger, Brazil, and


The text is a dossier focusing on the problems of uranium mining. The first part deals with some
general issues and dilemmas associated with nuclear energy production and its environmental impacts;
the second deals with case studies of uranium mining in Namibia, Niger, Brazil, and Bulgaria.
The dossier is based entirely on the reports and documents of the EJOLT international project. Most
of the research and studies mentioned in the article was carried out by CRIIRAD, a French organization, which participated in the EJOLT project .

Keywords: uranium mining, radioactivity, environmental conflicts, health, water

Tomislav Tkalec is PhD student of Environmental studies at the University of Ljubljana. He works in Focus, Association for Sustainable Development, in the field of energy and environmental policies and projects. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Mojca Puncer (pp. 135-147)

Download PDF

Artistic Researches of Urban Life and New Spatial Ecologies


This paper deals with the ecological potential of participatory art practices in the context of everyday
urban life. The author examines the range of their contribution in the fight for the recognition
of their different modes of creation, thinking, acting and use of an urban public space in terms of
connectivity in the community. Such thought and action can be productively integrated into the
concept of new spatial ecologies. We are not talking only about certain environmental initiatives,
which are especially close to heart of individual artists (the current practices of artist from the circle
of Celje Fine Artists Society serve as a case study in this paper), but also about understanding ecology
in much broader sense relating to the relationship of people towards urban space as dwelling
area, living space, or domicile. In order to have an urban space capable of offering optimal conditions
in a given crisis situation, its inhabitants should think and act sustainably, strive for dynamic
balance and harmony, and persistently develop ethical consumption models and also embark upon
a unique ecology of mind and body in a space which is becoming increasingly limited in size. Therefore, we need to open interspaces or invent new spaces in the abstract and capitalistically alienated urban space—the space that would be founded in reality and utopia at the same time. City dwellers create their own spatial fictions, invent eco living solutions and wave a net of inventive, mobile, and sometimes impossible connections. The contribution of cross-disciplinary, research-focused, participatory, activist and eco-oriented art, as practiced by the DLUC artists, who strive with their own unique methods for a more open—both mentally and physically—urban public space, is far from negligible, and also cannot be overlooked on the Slovenian artistic scene.

Keywords: urban space, community, ecology, contemporary art, artistic research, Fine Artists Association Celje.

Mojca Puncer, PhD, is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Maribor. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Lidija Živčič (pp. 151-168)

Download PDF

A response to Social, Economic and Environmental Limits to Growth: A Presentation of Degrowth and its Use in Practice


Although the concept of degrowth has been present in the global scientific community already for
several decades, it is not present in the scientific discourse in Slovenia. The purpose of this article is
to introduce the concept of degrowth. Sustainable degrowth is defined as the downscaling of production and consumption, which increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions
and equity on the planet. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with
open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic
institutions (Research and degrowth, 2015). Sustainable degrowth is a multi-faceted political
project that aspires to mobilize support for a change of direction, at the macrolevel of economic
and political institutions, and at the micro level of personal values and aspirations. Income and material
comfort is to be reduced for many along the way, but the goal is that this is not experienced
as welfare loss (Kallis, 2011). To make an introduction to the topic of degrowth, the article sketches
the social, economic, and environmental limits to growth, briefly summarizes the different definitions
of the degrowth concept, presents a rough framework for degrowth in practice, and discusses
the possibility of implementing degrowth in today’s complex world. The article summarizes the key
pieces of existing literature in the field of degrowth.

Keywords: degrowth, sustainable and unsustainable degrowth, social metabolism, degrowth in
practice, vision

Lidija Živčič is a senior expert at the Focus Association for Sustainable Development in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her topics are sustainable development, climate, energy, transport, consumption, active citizenship and as of recently also degrowth. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Klemen Ploštajner, Rok Ramšak and Nina Vombergar (pp. 169-180)

Download PDF

The Bicycle as a Tool of Ecological Emancipation


Sustainable development and ecological politics too often act as a mechanism for strengthening
alienated state institutions or as a way for developing new market niches for the accumulation
of capital. The article tries to offer a critique of technocratic visions of sustainable development
by using the bike as a tool of emancipatory politics, and think about political ecology as means
for building a community. The bicycle can be seen as an autonomous means of transportation
stimulating the construction of ecological urban landscape, which is oriented towards users and
community. It stimulates compressed and rationally used urban space, enforces heterogeneous
urban plans, increases mixing of diverse practices and needs, liberates public space, which is now
subordinated to parking spots and roads, and promotes rights and powers of the users, their autonomy and spontaneity, by enabling the development of open public streets, which are more than
just a movement channel. The city, at present subordinated to ecological and social devastation of
automobility, is—through extensive usage of bike—re-created as a space for the construction of
social, autonomous and ecological community.

Keywords: bicycling, community, urbanism, political ecology, social ecology

Klemen Ploštajner is a postgraduate student of sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Rok Ramšak is a graduate student of sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Nina Vombergar is a postgraduate student of sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of
Ljubljana.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)




Nikolai Jeffs and Maša Tihel (pp. 181-194)

Download PDF

One Million Climate Jobs or 528 Megatons of Greenhouse Gases? An interview with Jonathan Neale and Nancy Lindisfarne


An interview addresses one of the currently most important environmental and political iniciatives
in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – the One million Climate Jobs Campaign.
An extensive programme of change, which was prepared as part of this campaign, is discussed
and with it many of the political and socio-economic areas that are affected by climate change and
that thus directly alter human life. The interlocutors reveal how the barriers to solving the problem
of pollution stem from our reality – capitalism and its corresponding organisation of the economy
and society. Special attention is also given to the fact that some of the world’s crises are usually the
consequence of interests of the fossil fuels elites and the profits inevitably connected to them. All
this means that in order to achieve any real changes in the ways we treat our planet, what is needed
is radical social transformation.

Keywords: pollution, renewable energy sources, systematic solutions, political interests, revolution

Nikolai Jeffs teaches at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska, Koper-Capodistria
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Maša Tihel is a postgraduate student of Linguistic mediation and translation at Faculty of Humanities,
University of Primorska. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).




Refugees Welcome


Nina Kozinc (pp. 199-203)

Download PDF

The Power of the Powerless


Étienne Balibar (pp. 207-215)

Download PDF

Europe and the Refugees: a Demographic Enlargement


Hannah Arendt (pp. 216-224)

Download PDF

We Refugees




Andrej Kurnik (pp. 225-240)

Download PDF

»Thanks for Opening Europe«



Upon lived experience on Balkan refugee and migration route author identifies some theoretical
dilemmas that appear in so-called refugee crisis and proposes some conceptual tools for analysis
and intervention. The clash between movement of refugees and migrants on the one hand and
European border and migration regime on the other highlights the role of the state of exception in
contemporary forms of government, new meanings of racism in relation to hierarchies proper to
nowadays capitalism, inadequacy of objectivist understanding of migration and necessity to grasp
refugee and migrant subjectivity and new forms of political engagement on the border, such that
are affective and capable of creating common beyond rigid identities

Keywords: autonomy of migration, racism of center and periphery, European border regime, state
of exception, political passions

Andrej Kurnik is assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty od Social Science, University of Ljubljana. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Nina Kozinc (pp. 245-249)

Download PDF

Dehumanization Behind the Barbed Wire: An Introduction


As refugees arrived in Slovenia, first in September and then in October, many self-organized individuals
and groups were present on the hot spots, monitoring the situation and work with refugees.
They wrote reports about the situation, which differ from the dominant media accounts. Twenty-eight
reports are published as documentary material for potential subsequent analysis.

Keywords: refugees, surveillance, barbed wire, racism



Reports from Borders and Refugee Camps

Download PDF






Prenesi PDF / Download PDF

Zrcalo/Mirror 1

Prenesi PDF / Download PDF (Mirror)



Zrcalo/Mirror 2

Prenesi PDF / Download PDF (Mirror)