PhD Studentship in Environmental Political Philosophy – University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

unil(français plus bas)

The institute of geography and sustainability of the faculty of geoscience and environment at the University of Lausanne is offering a PhD studentship in environmental political philosophy.

Application deadline: September 20, 2013

Université de Lausanne
Faculté des géosciences et de l’environnement
L’institut de géographie et durabilité met au concours un poste de
Doctorante ou Doctorant en philosophie politique environnementale

Entrée en fonction: 01.11.2013 ou à convenir
Fin de contrat: 31.10.2014
Durée du contrat: 1 an renouvelable 1 X 3 ans
Taux d’activité: 100 %
Lieu de travail: Institut de géographie et durabilité, Lausanne-Dorigny

Profil souhaité:
Le candidat devra construire un sujet de thèse dans le cadre de la démocratie écologique/green political theory et inscrire ses travaux dans le contexte plus général de la pensée écologique et des humanités environnementales, lesquelles conçoivent les interactions avec la nature comme un élément déterminant de la construction des sociétés. La détermination du sujet est ouverte pour autant qu’elle relève de ce cadre (de l’histoire des idées à une problématique contemporaine).
Le candidat ou la candidate devra être titulaire d’un Master, de préférence en philosophie politique ou en sciences politiques, et posséder une solide culture dans les domaines des idées politiques, de la pensée écologique et des problèmes écologiques scientifiquement étayés.

Description des tâches:
Outre son travail de recherche, le/la doctorante devra participer à des tâches de soutien à l’enseignement, et tout particulièrement à l’organisation, à la coordination et au suivi pédagogique du cours et du séminaire « Durabilité pour tous », lequel s’inscrit dans le programme d’enseignements de l’Unil. Il/elle devra encore participer à l’organisation de manifestations académiques et prendre part aux activités du groupe de recherche « humanités environnementales » au sein de l’IGD.

Dossier de candidature:
Envoi d’un dossier électronique auprès de comprenant :
– lettre de motivation
– curriculum vitae
– coordonnées de deux personnes pouvant fournir des références (adresse, numéro de téléphone, e-mail) (c’est-à-dire le/la directrice de mémoire de master ou l’institut dans lequel ont été effectuées les études de master.)
– copie des titres et notes universitaires
– version électronique d’un travail de recherche (mémoire de master) et de publications éventuelles

Pour tout renseignement complémentaire, veuillez contacter Dominique Bourg :

Délai de candidature: 20.09.2013

BLOG – Rosia Montana: Are We Drawing to a Close?

Ethics for a Green Futureby Ileana Dascalu

On the 9th of December, a referendum was organized in 35 small Romanian localities within the mining region where the Roşia Montană project is supposed to take place. The decision to hold the referendum on the same day as the legislative elections was obviously neither coincidental, nor just a sensible cost-savings measure. Rather,the not-so-secret hope was that merging two deliberative issues for the same ballot would secure a good turnout and push the controversial project beneath the door and then up the decision makers’ table. After all, there are other examples from the recent past that consolidated this mechanism. But it so happened that the referendum had to be invalidated due to an insufficient turnout.

In the event that the referendum expressed the will of the local people to restart mining in the area, the corporation, project advocates, and politicians who have over the last years been reciting the mantra of job creation would have hailed its outcome as a clear triumph of democracy over demagogy and misinformation. But would it have really been so?

If, in 2002, when the Local Council voted that Roşia Montană should be transformed from a residential area into an industrial area, thus making it virtually impossible for any alternative economic activity to develop there, a referendum had been organized and the ‘will of people’ had spoken in one voice, it would have been more difficult to criticize now this proof of sham democracy.  But the major questions still remain, and, moreover, no significant effort is being made to answer them. Why should this project be simply a matter of securing jobs and temporary welfare for a community who is indeed very poor? After all, there should be more talk about non-renewable resources, environmental and legal protection mechanisms, and fair distribution of stakeholder responsibilities. Such issues are not strictly of local interest, but if the referendum had been held at national level, it is very plausible to say that not only  it would have been valid, but the project itself would had been rejected. It is still unclear to me whether a referendum, be it national, would be the best alternative to decide on such an issue. From one angle, it would just serve to cover decision makers in the voice and authority of the ‘people’, while preserving the same hazy distribution of responsibilities at policy level.

If, at the beginning of my posts on Roşia Montană, I saw this research topic riddled with questions, the answers to which would really make a difference, I rather tend to believe now that this project poses deep structural problems which must be addressed at their core, and not on a case-to-case basis.  Even if for the moment there is no definite answer on what is going to happen in that area, the fact that the referendum was invalidated should not be seen as a good sign by opponents of the projects. After all, it is a precedent procedurally approved, and it may be just a matter of time until it becomes successful.