Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes

Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes
Åbo Akademi University · Organization and Management

PhD

About

19
Publications
3,621
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Citations
Introduction
Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes works at Hanken School of Economics as a Finnish Academy postdoctoral researcher. Maria's research interests include critical examination of CSR and corporate-community relations in extractive industries, how to organise the transition to alternative economies.She also works on issues related to community self-organisation and sustainable and alternative food networks. Issues related to political ontology and the pluriverse are core themes that cut through all of her research.

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
How does transformative change that restructures humans’ relations to the Earth come into being? The proposal for degrowth calls for a drastic reorganization of societies in order to deal with the current planetary socioecological and climate crises. Yet, there is a lack of understanding of how such socioecological transformations are brought into...
Article
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This article examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) through the lens of political ontology. We contend that CSR is not only a discursive mean of legitimization but an inherently ontological practice through which particular worlds become real. CSR enables the politics of place-making, connecting humans and nonhumans in specific territorial...
Chapter
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This chapter argues for the need to account for ontological differences in research on responsibility and sustainability. Ontological assumptions about "the world" influence what kind of organising activities, and relations to nonhumans (e.g., rivers, mountains, animals) are considered responsible and sustainable and has direct implications for wha...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to examine how territorial movements, as distinct forms of place-based social movements, organise in defence of life against the threat of resource extraction on their land. Based on the experiences of Indigenous Lafkenche-Mapuche members of a protracted struggle against a pulp mill in southern Chile, the study seeks to add...
Article
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The modern industrialized food system has faced criticism for several decades. Since the 1990s, various alternative food networks (AFNs) have attempted to increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the food system. A recent innovation in Finland, REKO food rings, was motivated by the desire to enhance the livelihood of farmer...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the politics involved in local struggles against forestry extractivism. The forestry sector is dependent on vast areas of land for tree plantations. This creates deep-rooted conflicts between global corporations that seek access to natural resources and locals whose way of life requires the use of the...
Article
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Self-organization is a term that is increasingly used to describe how engaged citizens come together to create sustainable food systems at the local community level. Yet, there is a lack of understanding of what this self-organizing activity actually means. While previous literature has addressed self-organization as an outcome of building consensu...
Experiment Findings
The experiment consists of 8 loosely connected stories in distinct parts of Finland. These have been recorded and edited into publically available podcasts. The experiment is twofold: 1) make visible the stories of people 'doing transitions' towards more sustainable ways of living to the public. 2) see what happens when people here each other's sto...
Article
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This article critically analyses corporate-community relations in the forestry industry, with a particular focus on cases in the Latin American context. The key conceptual focus is on the legitimacy of corporate activity from the perspective of local communities in the contested field of sustainability. The concept of legitimacy is critically discu...
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This study examines the role of states in developing contemporary extractivism based on recent investments and project plans in industrial forestry in Uruguay. This sheds light on several unanswered questions related to the role of the state and civil society in the governance, politics, and political economy of extractivism. The role played by sta...
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This article critically examines the usability of the concept of ‘social licence to operate’ (SLO) in the Latin American context as an indicator of the social acceptability granted by local stakeholders to multinational forestry companies. We identify four potential problems (risks of co-optation, structural power imbalances, conflicting worldviews...
Article
Full-text available
This study critically examines the concept of political CSR, or legitimacy creation through deliberation, as something that can be universally agreed upon in places where incommensurable differences exist. Through a comparative case study of two local stakeholder groups - one urban and one rural - involved in a conflict over a pulp mill in the sout...
Article
Full-text available
Deliberation is increasingly promoted as a means for producing legitimate decisions in a wide variety of public and private governance schemes. Through a case study of a disputed pulp mill in Chile, the study challenges that assumption by examining what the media representation reveals in terms of how legitimacy is constructed in the public sphere....

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Socioecological transformations seem to be a concept used in degrowth (and marxist) circles to describe the changes that occur as humans and nonhumans interact and impact the ecology which they are part of. What is the concept that is used from a performative /practice oriented approach (e.g. science and technology studies) to deal with systemic change that involves how people connect with the more-than-human world?

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
All research related to the REKO food network can be linked to this project - worldwide. The aim of the project group is to build a network of researchers interested in the REKO food rings and network - to share insights and experiences from different locations of the world. REKO is an innovative alternative food distribution system founded in Finland in 2013. It has since spread around the world and research is catching up on the different expressions of this grassroots form of organizing the trade of local food.
Project
Under this project, researchers and actors interested in supporting transition processes come together to share ideas and information on past and ongoing research and education. The idea is to create a database of information of previous research and educational activities on topics related to grassroots, bottom up solutions to sustainable change, elaborated from all different fields of inquiries in both natural and social sciences. The focus of the group's collaborative efforts is on the Nordic context but knowledge can be shared from empirical research and initiatives around the world. In particular we are interested in topics related to grassroots innovations, degrowth, postgrowth, agroecology, agroforestry, human wellbeing, human/nonhuman biology, ecopreneurships and sustainable organisational processes emerging from below.
Project
This project explores the motivational factors, organising practices and power configurations of movements that emerge in a particular place in response to local and global environmental threats and challenges. Drawing on experiences from both indigenous movements in the Global South and transition initiatives in the Global North, the concept of territorial movements is introduced as a distinct form of social movements where territory plays an important part of the organising practices of the movement. Based on four case studies in Chile and Finland, the research asks how these organising practices can contribute to systemic environmental change and provide sustainable solutions in the future. The outcomes are expected to connect movements and practices from different locations, bridge diverse ways of knowing, and create platforms for other communities and policy makers on how to engage in territorial movements elsewhere.