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Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe

Eszter Krasznai Kovacs


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1 Renata Blumberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Montclair State University, in Montclair, NJ. She has a BA in Anthropology from Columbia College, Columbia University, an MS in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota. Most of her research has been on alternative food networks in eastern Europe, but she has recently started a project in the USA on efforts to improve access to farmers’ markets. Her other research interests include feminist pedagogy and critical dietetics.

2 June Brawner is a Policy Adviser at the Royal Society of London, UK. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Georgia in 2019. She has conducted research in Hungary since 2010, receiving a Mellon-Council for European Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2018–2019) and Fulbright Study Award (2016–2017). She earned an MS in Crop and Soil Sciences from UGA (2018) and an MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary (2011). She has worked and published on many interdisciplinary projects related to food justice, human rights, rural development and musicology.

3 Mikuláš Černík is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Environmental Studies of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. His research focuses on resistance to coal mining in the Czech Republic and Poland. He is also involved in the climate justice movement Limity jsme my, and is a member of Re-set, a platform for socio-ecological transformation.

4 Alexandra Coțofană’s research explores intersections of politics, modernities and ontologies of governing. Alexandra’s scholarly interests focus on political ecologies, the ontological turn, the study of political elites and ways of governing, as well as the occult as a tool for governing, and discursive techniques employed in populist imaginaries to form racial, gender, and political Others.

5 Jovana Dikovic is a social anthropologist currently running her postdoctoral research project at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies of the University of Zurich, where she also teaches. In her career, she has focused on and studied the rural Balkans. Her research and publications are mainly concerned with understanding change in rural areas, the ethics of production and soil, institution building and cooperation. In her ongoing project ‘Farming under barricades: Study of cooperation in post-conflict Kosovo’, she analyses farming in the context of post-war institutional anguish and stabilisation of inter-ethnic relationships.

6 Jana Hrckova is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest. Her current research focuses on air pollution and green infrastructures in Warsaw.

7 George Iordăchescu currently researches illegal logging and the timber trade as part of the BIOSEC Project at the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. He approaches forest crime from a political ecology perspective while tracing the socio-economic entanglements of deforestation and related illicit businesses in Romania and the EU. Over the last few years, George has undertaken fieldwork in the Romanian Carpathians and Poland, focused on private conservation projects, customary land governance and forest livelihoods. His Ph.D. thesis, completed at the IMT School for Advanced Studies in Lucca, investigated the production and protection of wilderness in eastern Europe. In the coming years, George will start a new research project investigating the illegal wildlife trade in European species, in which he will combine approaches from political ecology and green criminology.

8 Eszter Krasznai Kovács is a Lecturer in Environment, Society and Politics at University College London. Her research looks at how conservation and environmental management are thought about and realised between ‘centres’ and ‘peripheries’, such as between the urban and rural, the European west and east, the Global North and South. She has a particular interest in farming and food systems and agricultural policy’s effects on biodiversity, water and farmers’ livelihoods.

9 Balsa Lubarda is an environmental sociologist and a doctoral student at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University (Hungary). His research explores the ways in which the far right engages with environmental and agricultural politics in post-socialist realms. Balsa is principally interested in how ideological amalgamations, conveyed through metaphors and framing, mobilise social action.

10 Éva Mihalovics is a Ph.D. researcher at the Geography Department of Durham University. Her Ph.D. project, ‘A Quest for the Local in the Hungarian Countryside’, aims to explore how different ontologies and different understandings of other-than-humans become recognised and acknowledged or ignored and denied in sustainable agricultural social enterprises in rural Hungary. Éva deploys a decolonial approach to the CEE (semi) peripheries in her work.

11 Arnošt Novák is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Sociology at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University in Prague. His main research interests include environmental movements and environmental politics, commons, urban activism, and autonomous politics. He is the author of The Dark Green World: Radical Ecological Activities in Czech Republic After 1989 (SLON, 2017, in Czech). His texts have appeared in Journal of Urban Affairs, Social Movements Studies, Communist and Post-Communist Studies and Baltic Worlds.

12 György Pataki is a Senior Researcher for the Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG), an independent research SME. He belongs to the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) and is interested in diverse research streams ranging from biodiversity and ecosystem services to solidarity economy and social innovation. He is committed to participatory and action-oriented research methodologies and practices.

13 Imola Püsök, University of Pécs, Hungary, is currently a Ph.D. student in anthropology, carrying out research in villages that are a part of the commune of Roșia Montană, with a special focus on Corna. She is interested in (post) industrial communities and post-socialism, modes of living, economic anthropology, dwelling and the landscape, the production of space and place and understanding change.

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