SEC Lecture / Umweltkolloquium, 25.05.2023

An Introduction to the Social Ecology of Capital


The Social Ecology of Capital gathers the analytical material necessary for the study of the materiality and ecology of capitalist societies by focusing on the metabolic structure of their economic process. This has implied drawing together from social ecology as developed by the SEC and combining them with elements from the postkeynesian, marxian and feminist analysis of the economic process. A defining feature of these approaches is to consider the imperative of accumulation as the core determinant of the economic process. The lecture will focus on the concepts of accumulation at the point of extraction and dissipation and what this implies for the analysis of the material flow. I will then present my model of "capitalist metabolism" which occupies the second half of my book, and discuss how it relates to the typology of metabolic regimes developed at SEC (Fischer-Kowalski and Schaffartzik 2015), and more generally enriches the socio-metabolic analysis of contemporary societies.

Éric Pineault

Éric Pineault is professor at the Environmental Sciences Institute of UQÀM, president of its scientific committee as well as professor at the department of sociology at UQÀM. He teaches ecological economics and environmental sociology. His recent research has focused on the structure and economic dynamics of extractive and fossil capital in Canada. He also works with civil society organizations on socio-ecological transition in a degrowth perspective. The Social Ecology of Capital results from study and discussions during a yearlong sabbatical as fellow of the Postwachstum Kolleg in Jena Germany.

Presentation: Éric Pineault, Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Quebec à Montréal

Moderation: Helmut Haberl, Institute of Social Ecology (BOKU)

Time: Thursday, May 25th, 2023, 06 p.m.

Place: Institute of Social Ecology, SR 3a, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Wien & Zoom: ID: 94542630233

The Lecture is a public event, jointly organised by the Institute of Social Ecology and the Department of Political Science (University of Vienna).