Peace education for the Anthropocene? Regenerative ecology and the ecovillages movement

CEI-IUL researcher Ana Margarida Esteves has just published a scientific article based on field work carried out in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The article, entitled “Peace education for the Anthropocene? The contribution of regenerative ecology and the ecovillages movement” was published in the international peer-reviewed Journal of Peace Education.

The security risks posed by the Anthropocene requires peace education strategies aimed at developing the skills necessary for the emergence of regenerative social forms, based on sustainable synergies between humans and nature. This article explores how community-building and regenerative ecology frameworks developed in ecovillages can contribute to that goal, through the case study analysis of the peace education initiative carried out in Israel and the West Bank by Tamera – Healing Biotope I, an ecovillage located in southern Portugal.

The findings illustrate the difficulty of creating regenerative social forms through the reproduction of whole system ideal models for sustainable human settlements, due to the vulnerability of intentional communities to the internal reproduction of ethnopolitical loyalties and conflicts. They also illustrate how a combination of local embeddedness and transnational connections contribute to the diffusion of social innovations produced in ecovillages. However, local ethnopolitical organizations and movements tend to promote resistance to the adoption of externally produced frameworks for the development of competences of collaborative sociability and non-violent conflict resolution.

The article concludes with an appeal to a transdisciplinary collaboration among scholars, practitioners and public institutions in the development of synergistic models of peace education that are multipliable, but context-sensitive.

Read the article here.

BedZED ecovillage, Hackbridge, London Borough of Sutton / photo by Tony Monblat / CC BY-SA 2.0

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ana Margarida Esteves

Ana Margarida Esteves is a Research Fellow at the Center for International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon, Iscte and Guest Assistant Professor of the Department of Political Economy of the same institution. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University (Providence, RI, USA) where she was a Fulbright Fellow. Her research and teaching encompass the relations between the social and solidarity economy, the commons and the sustainability transition movements; synergies between nature, culture and technology; and the application of critical pedagogies, as well as strategies of non-formal education, to social mobilization and the promotion of participatory democracy. She is a founder and member of the International Editorial Committee of the journal "Interface: A journal for and about social movements" ( She is also a member the RC47: Social Classes and Social Movements of ISA - International Sociological Association and part of its editorial platform Open Movements / Open Democracy ( ). In 2020, Ana Margarida became a member of SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design), a transdisciplinary and cross-cultural collective of artists, scientists, engineers and activists that is actively engaged in deconstructing dominant paradigms about the future and develops alternative models through a combination of critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation.". Previous to joining CEI-IUL, Ana Margarida Esteves held teaching positions at Brown University, Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil), Tulane University (New Orleans, USA) and Sunway University (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). She is a Visiting Research Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence, Italy).

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