Irina Velicu is a political scientist working on socio-environmental conflicts in post-communist countries. She is currently the Principle Investigator of the JustFood FCT project, expanding her work by looking at food justice in Europe. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii (USA) and an MA in International Studies from the University of Warwick (UK). Her work has received funding from national and international research organisations (including the EU-FCT, Marie Curie, Chevening). Dr. Velicu worked as a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher within the ENTITLE European Network of Political Ecology coordinated by Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). Her recent publications can be found in Antipode, Environmental Politics, Theory, Culture and Society, Ecological Economics, Geoforum, New Political Science, Globalizations.

Personal identification

Full name
Irina Velicu

Citation names

  • Velicu, Irina

Author identifiers

Ciência ID

Email addresses

  • irinavelicu@ces.uc.pt (Professional)


Mobile phone
  • 934077648 (Personal)

Knowledge fields

  • Social Sciences - Political Sciences


Language Speaking Reading Writing Listening Peer-review
English Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
Romanian (Mother tongue)
Spanish; Castilian Elementary (A2) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1) Upper intermediate (B2) Beginner (A1)
Portuguese Beginner (A1) Elementary (A2) Beginner (A1) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1)
Degree Classification
Political Science (Doutoramento)
Major in Political Science
University of Hawai'i at Manoa Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, United States
"To Sell or Not to Sell: Resistance to Capital Economy in Post-communist Romania" (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
Very good
PAIS, University of Warwick, UK (Mestrado)
PAIS, University of Warwick, UK, United Kingdom
"Theoretical Foundations for an Open Society as a Basis for the Reform of Global Governance." (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
Political Science (in English) Department, University of Bucharest, RO (Licenciatura)
Political Science (in English) Department, University of Bucharest, Romania
"Regional Integration versus Global Disenfranchisement: Enhancing the EU as an International Democratic Actor." (THESIS/DISSERTATION)


2019 - Current Auxiliary Researcher (Research)
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2018 - 2021 Principal Investigator (Research)
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal


2014/07/01 - 2019/07/01 Post-doctoral Researcher
Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
2013/06/01 - 2014/06/01 Post-doctoral Researcher, Entitle, Marie Curie Project, ICTA-UAB Conduct original research on (post-communist) environmental movements, Deliver Master lectures on Political Ecology Coordination of the
ICTA, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain


Designation Funders
2018 - 2021 JustFood: From Alternative Food Networks to Environmental Justice
Principal investigator
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2013 - 2014/06/01 Environmental Justice Movements in PostCommunism
Post-doc Fellow
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Spain
European Commission


Designation Funders
2019 - 2025/01/31 Democracy and Socio-environmental justice movements in Central and Eastern Europe
DL 572016/CP1341/ CT0022
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
Associação para a Inovação e Desenvolvimento da FCT


  1. Velicu, Irina. Socio-Environmental Conflicts in Central and Eastern Europe: Reflections from Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. East European Monographs, Columbia University Press. 2021.
  2. Velicu, Irina. Just Food Europe: From Alternative Food Networks to Socio-Environmental Justice. 2021.
  3. Velicu, Irina. Political Ecology for Civil Society. 2016.
Book chapter
  1. Velicu, Irina. "The Peasant Way: Reflecting on the Political Logic of the Food Sovereignty Movement". In Urban Political Ecology: beyond the Urbanization of Nature Thesis, edited by Maria Kaika; Roger Keil; Tait Mandler; Yannis Tzaninis. 2021.
  2. Velicu, Irina. ""Direitos rurais: a ressignificação dos direitos humanos nos movimentos camponeses contemporâneos"". In Palavras para lá da pandemia: cem lados de uma crise. Coimbra, Portugal: CES-UC, 2020.
  3. Velicu, Irina. "From Mining to Becomings: Rosia Montana’s Movement for Democratic Justice". In Political Ecology for Civil Society. 2015.
  4. Velicu, Irina. "Becoming something else: Emergent socio-environmental movements in Romania, in Dialogues Against Crisis". In For the Commons (in Greek). Free Flights Publishing: Athens, 2014.
  5. Velicu, Irina. "An(Other) Part of the Fall: Stories of Anonymous Women in (Post)communism, in Andreescu". In From Communism to Democracy: Transformations of the Eastern European Female Ideal. Routledge, 2014.
  6. Velicu, Irina. "Peopling the Globe: New Social Movements". In The SAGE Handbook of Globalization, 629-643. SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014.
  7. Velicu, Irina. "Parliamentary Elections and the Economic Crisis". In Elections 2008 – Campaigns, Leaders and Opinion Polls. Bucharest, Romania: Polirom Publishing House, 2009.
  8. Velicu, Irina. "Public Participation and the Environmental Decision". In Integrated Strategies for Natural Resources Use. Soros Foundation- Romania, 2008.
Dictionary entry
  1. Velicu, Irina. "Commons". In ALICE, 2019. https://alice.ces.uc.pt/dictionary/?id=23838&pag=23918&id_lingua=1&entry=24255.
Journal article
  1. Velicu, Irina; Mikulas Cernik. ""We are the limits´ Performing Climate Justice in the Czech Klimakemp"". Geoforum (2021):
  2. Velicu, Irina. "Quiet no More: The Emergence of Food Sovereignty Movement in Romania". The Journal of Rural Studies (2021):
  3. Velicu, Irina. "Just Food: A Comparative Analysis between Portugal and Romania". Sustainability journal (2021):
  4. Velicu, Irina; Stefania Barca. "The Just Transition and Its Work of Inequality". Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 16 1 (2020): 263-273. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15487733.2020.1814585.
    Open access • Published
  5. Velicu, Irina; Camil Ungureanu; Lucia Alexandra Popartan; Maria Jose Amores; Manuel Poch. "Splitting urban waters: the politicization of water in Barcelona between populism and anti-populism?". Antipode (2020): https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12630.
  6. Velicu, Irina. "Prospective environmental injustice: insights from anti-mining struggles in Romania and Bulgaria". Environmental Politics (2019): 1-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2019.1611178.
    Published • 10.1080/09644016.2019.1611178
  7. Velicu, Irina. "De-growing environmental justice: Reflections from anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe". Ecological Economics 159 (2019): 271-278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.01.021.
  8. Velicu, Irina; García-López, Gustavo. "Thinking the Commons through Ostrom and Butler: Boundedness and Vulnerability". Theory, Culture & Society 35 6 (2018): 55-73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0263276418757315.
    Published • 10.1177/0263276418757315
  9. Velicu, Irina; Kaika, Maria. "Undoing environmental justice: Re-imagining equality in the Rosia Montana anti-mining movement". Geoforum 84 (2017): 305-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.10.012.
    Published • 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.10.012
  10. Andreucci, Diego; Beltrán, María Jesús; Velicu, Irina; Zografos, Christos. "Capital Accumulation, Hegemony and Socio-ecological Struggles: Insights from the ENTITLE Project". Capitalism Nature Socialism 28 3 (2017): 18-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10455752.2017.1355930.
    Published • 10.1080/10455752.2017.1355930
  11. García López, Gustavo A.; Velicu, Irina; D’Alisa, Giacomo. "Performing Counter-Hegemonic Common(s) Senses: Rearticulating Democracy, Community and Forests in Puerto Rico". Capitalism Nature Socialism 28 3 (2017): 88-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10455752.2017.1321026.
    Published • 10.1080/10455752.2017.1321026
  12. Velicu, Irina. "Demonizing the Sensible and the ‘Revolution of our Generation’in Rosia Montana". Globalizations 12 6 (2015): 846-858.
  13. Velicu, Irina. "Moral versus Commercial Economies: Transylvanian Stories". New Political Science 36 2 (2014): 219-237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07393148.2014.883804.
  14. Velicu, Irina. "The Aesthetic Post-Communist Subject and the Differend of Rosia Montana". Studies in Social Justice 6 1 (2012): 125-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.26522/ssj.v6i1.1072.
    Published • 10.26522/ssj.v6i1.1072
  15. Velicu, Irina. "To Sell or Not to Sell: Landscapes of Resistance to Neoliberal Globalization in Transylvania". Globalizations 9 2 (2012): 307-321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2012.658253.
    Published • 10.1080/14747731.2012.658253
Journal issue
  1. Velicu, Irina; Andreucci, D., Beltrán; M. & Zografos. "Political Ecologies of Capital and Struggle". Capitalism, Nature and Socialism (2017):
Magazine article
  1. Velicu, Irina. "We are the limits! Performing Climate Justice in the Czech KlimaKemp", Undisciplined Environments, 2021, https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2017/07/20/limity-jsme-my-we-are-the-limits-the-first-international-climate-camp-in-czech-republic-horni-jiretin/.
  2. Velicu, Irina; António Carvalho. "Pandemic Ontologies of Isolation", Undisciplined Environments, 2020, https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2020/04/28/pandemic-ontologies-of-isolation/.
  3. Velicu, Irina. "Whoever does not have Peasants, Should find Them: The Food Injustice of Pandemics", Undisciplined Environments, 2020, https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2020/04/09/whoever-does-not-have-peasants-should-find-them-the-food-injustice-of-pandemics/.
  4. Velicu, Irina. "O sistema alimentar industrial e a Soberania Alimentar", Buala, 2020, https://www.buala.org/pt/a-ler/o-sistema-alimentar-industrial-e-a-soberania-alimentar.
  5. Velicu, Irina; Barca, Stefania; Armieri Marco. "Undisciplining Political Ecology: A Minifesto", Undisciplined Environments, 2019, https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2019/10/01/undisciplining-political-ecology-a-minifesto/.
  6. Velicu, Irina. "Producing Humans and Natures – A Feminist Comment to Kallis and Swyngedouw", Undisciplined Environments, 2017, https://entitleblog.org/2017/05/30/producing-humans-and-natures-a-feminist-comment-to-kallis-and-swyngedouw/.
  7. Velicu, Irina. "Rosia Montana’s Movement for Democratic Justice", Undisciplined Environments, 2016, https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2016/09/13/rosia-montanas-movement-for-democratic-justice/.

Oral presentation

Presentation title Event name
Host (Event location)
2020/12/19 Transdisciplinary Research Seminar on Just Food: From Alternative Networks to Socio-Environmental Movements´, PhD Program in Political Economy, Centro de Estudos sobre a Mudança Socioeconómica e o Território (DINÂMIA'CET)
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. (Lisbon, Portugal)
2020/12/19 Revisiting Environmental Justice https://politikwissenschaft.univie.ac.at/details/news/online-ipw-lecture-irina-velicu-revisiting-environmental-justice-lessons-from-romania-and-bulgar/?tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=News&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=e72966ea51ae3c9afae96db44016aac1 Political Ecology Course
Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna (Vienna, Austria)
2020/03/03 ´From Peasants to Urban Workers and Back: Debating Agro - Ecology As Socio-Environmental Justice in Romania´, Conference presentation, https://ambiente68.wixsite.com/environment-society/program International Seminar on Environment and Society, Lisbon
University of Lisbon, Institute of Social Sciences, ISS Lisbon (Portugal)
2019/12 Borders and Commons, Seminar of Migrating Rights od the DeOthering 2020 Migrating Rights, FCT project
Centro de Estudos Sociais Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
2019/11 Undoing Environmental Justice, in Workshop on Face à vulnerabilidade da vida: criatividade social e novas compreensões do ser humano Facing the vulnerability of life: social creativity and new understandings of the human being, https://ces.uc.pt/en/agenda-noticias/agenda-de-eventos/2019/face-a-vulnerabilidade-da-vida & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ILbKn84a0&feature=emb_title
Centro de Estudos Sociais Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
2019/10 JustFood: From AFNs to Socio-Environmental Justice Lecture for MA course on Inovação social e empreendedorismo social e solidário, https://mestradoisie.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/ciclo-de-conversas-inovacao-social-e-empreendedorismo-social-e-solidario/
FEUC UC (Coimbra, Portugal)
2019/10 From Peasants to Urban Workers and Back. Debating Agro-Ecology as Socio-Environmental Justice in Romania As múltiplas faces do Antropoceno: política, agência e crise ontológica, Workshop organized by FCT funded project TROPO, event here https://ces.uc.pt/pt/agenda-noticias/agenda-de-eventos/2019/as-multiplas-faces-do-antropoceno
Centro de Estudos Sociais Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
2019/10 Book discussion «Towards a political economy of degrowth» Book discussion «Towards a political economy of degrowth» https://ces.uc.pt/en/agenda-noticias/agenda-de-eventos/2019/towards-a-political-economy-of-degrowth-ed
Centro de Estudos Sociais Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
2019/05 The convergences of two movements, food sovereignty and justice, as theories in praxis workshop Pensar a comida, pensar o mundo, ALICE, CES-UC, https://ces.uc.pt/pt/agenda-noticias/agenda-de-eventos/2019/oficina-i
Centro de Estudos Sociais Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal)
2018/10 Polenta and Cyanide: PostCommunist Insights on Justice Environmental Humanities conference, “(Um)weltschmerz: An exercise in humility and melancholia”
Rachel Carson Centre (Munich, Germany)
2018/09 Presentation @ Summer school of political ecology Summer school of political ecology
Centre for Political Theory, University of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
2017/08/15 Degrowthing Environmental Justice: Insights from Anti-mining Struggles in Romania and Bulgaria Post-Socialist/Post-Colonial Rurality
Center for Modernity and the Rural World, Telciu, Romania (Telciu, Romania)
2017/04/04 Desiring Limits or How Might Earth Live, American Association for Geographers, USA
American Association for Geographers, USA (Boston, United States)
2016/06/02 Post-socialist Environmental Justice? A ‘Here and Now’ Approach for Romania and Bulgaria” Political Ecology in the Centre and East of Europe: Green Past, Present and Prospects”,
Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol, Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB). (Bruxelles, Belgium)

Event organisation

Event name
Type of event (Role)
Institution / Organization
2020/10/14 - Current Que estratégias para a justiça alimentar em Portugal? Debate a caminho da Cimeira da ONU sobre Sistemas Alimentares (2020/10/14)
Seminar (Co-organisor)
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2020/10/13 - Current Romania and the EU Agricultural Strategies https://www.facebook.com/ecoruralis/videos/351480069406951 (2020/10/13)
Eco Ruralis, Romania
2020/01 - Current Seminar on Food Justice and the Peasant Question, ECOSOC https://www.ces.uc.pt/pt/agenda-noticias/agenda-de-eventos/2020/food-justice-and-the-peasant-question-in-europe (2020/01)
Seminar (Co-organisor)
Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
2018 - Current Organisation of International Workshop: Micro-Politics of Justice (2018)
Workshop (Co-organisor)
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2016 - Current International Conference: Undisciplined Environments (2016)
Conference (Other)
KTH Royal Institute of Technology Centre for Autonomous Systems, Sweden
2016 - Current Political Ecology Reading Group: Environmental (In)Justice (2016)
Meeting (Other)
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2020/03/02 - 2020/03/03 Two panels on Ecologia Critica, with ECOSOC scientific group, https://ambiente68.wixsite.com/environment-society/program (2020/03/03)
Conference (Co-organisor)
Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Committee member

Activity description
Institution / Organization
2014/06/01 - Current Member of the editorial collective of the platform Undisciplined Environments, a space of debate of scholars and activists working on political ecology - https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2014/06/01 - Current POSTRADE aims primarily at promoting the development of critical reading and of new perspectives on problems that affect today’s societies: welfare State sustainability, the market and the civil society roles on social protection, fragmentation of labour markets, demographic evolution, global environmental change, quality of life and equality of opportunities.
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2013/06/01 - Current Ecosoc, Oficina de Ecologia e Sociedade
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal

Course / Discipline taught

Academic session Degree Subject (Type) Institution / Organization
2015 - 2021 "Democracy in the Twenty-First Century" The Ecological Crisis (Doutoramento) Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2013 - 2014 Political Ecology Political Ecology (Mestrado) ICTA, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
2010 - 2013 Theories of IR Globalization, Theories of IR (Licenciatura) Universitea Spiru Haret, Romania
2010 - 2011 Political Inquiry, Introduction to Global Politics Political Inquiry, Introduction to Global Politics University of Hawai'i at Manoa Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, United States
2007 - 2007 Political Inquiry and Analysis Political Inquiry and Analysis (Licenciatura) University of Hawai'i at Manoa Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, United States
2005 - 2007 Introduction to Political Science, World Politics Introduction to Political Science, World Politics (Licenciatura) University of Hawai'i at Manoa Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, United States

Interview (newspaper / magazine)

Activity description Newspaper / Forum
2014/09/21 The Gold-mine of Rosia Montana, Mass protests agains one of the largest open cast gold mine in Europe, <Rosia Montana, Romania Undisciplined Environments , Transnational Scholar-Activits Platform on Political Ecology, republished from Oikotrives
2013/12/01 The Gold-mine of Rosia Montana also in English, in X-pressed, http://www.x-pressed.org/?xpd_article=interview-with-researcher-irina-velicu-on-the-gold-mine-of-rosia-montana-romania Oikotrives, Greece
2013/12/01 Mass protests again one of the largest open cast mine in Europe, Rosia Montana, Romania Oikotrives

Mentoring / Tutoring

Topic Student name
2019 - Current Doing European Citizenship: Eco-villages From Policy to Everyday Practice Anastasia Oprea
2019 - Current The conditions for coal mining resistance in Poland and the Czech Republic Mikuláš Cerník
2019 - Current Commoning State Democratic Institutions: Addressing trans-formations in Political Subjectivities Riccardo Buonanno
2019 - Current Mães proibidas: A retirada de crianças Guarani-Kaiowá, maternidade indígena e etnocídio Karina Almeida Guimarães Pinhão

Other jury / evaluation

Activity description Institution / Organization
2018 - Current External reviewer or member of selection panel to: project JUSTFOOD - From Alternative Food Networks to Environmental Justice, CES, UC; Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal
2017 - Current Peer-reviewer for the international academic journals: Sustainability Science; Environmental Humanities Journal, Annals of American Association of Geographers, International Journal of the Commons, Studia Politica, Journal of Political Ecology, Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal

Other distinction

2014 FCT Postdoctoral fellowship
2013 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship
2009 Soros Fellow- Doctoral research
2004 Teaching Assistant
2003 Chevening Scolar, OSI and British Council
University of Warwick, United Kingdom