Nir Barak: Ecological City-zenship

Faculty Colloquium


City-based citizenship (city-zenship) and its ecological ramifications increasingly inform people’s social and political lives, rendering the link between ecological citizenship and political city-zenship a topical subject for analysis. The questions analyzed here are: How can and how do citizens of cities promote sustainable urban development? What are their goals and motivations? And how do these forms of engagement reflect the theory of ecological citizenship in cities? The research is based on semi-structured and in-depth interviews with environmental and political activists in German and Israeli cities. The analysis indicates that the city is a meaningful political arena for ecological citizenship, with distinct patterns of political participation in relation to a city’s particular identity. However, political participation in cities is not independent of the state, but dependent on the political and civic rights enshrined therein. Nir Barak is a political scientist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Town Planning and Architecture at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. His present research focuses on the relationship between national citizenship and urban citizenship (city-zenship) in light of the rising power of cities in local and global politics. Nir’s doctoral dissertation (Hebrew University) analyzed philosophical, political, social and policy-related aspects of transitioning cities to sustainable patterns. In 2017, Nir received a Fulbright-ISEF Scholar award and appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University.

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