Marco Grasso

Marco Grasso graduated in Economics from Bocconi University, Milan and received his Ph.D. in Geography from King’s College London.

He is currently Associate Professor in Political Geography with ‘National Scientific Qualification’ as Full Professor at the Department Sociology and Social Research, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca. His research interests include – broadly understood –  international climate change policy, politics, and governance. He currently works on a project on the role and responsibilities of the fossil fuel industry, and the consequent implications for climate policy and politics and for the governance of climate change.

More information can be found at: Marco Grasso  

Research project: Confronting the Polish coal industry’s responsibility for climate change: the role of agents of destabilisation

The general objective of the research project is to understand how the Polish fossil fuel regime can be exogenously ‘destabilised’ in order to increase the chances that the largest Polish coal companies move towards  the necessary large-scale transformation to reduce carbon emissions from their business model as well as  to financially rectify the most socially vulnerable groups affected by climate change for their wrongful actions which resulted in negative climate impacts.
To understand how the Polish coal industry can undergo the radical transformations demanded by the above-mentioned duties of decarbonisation and reparation, the projects explores how to undermine its power, which is the ultimate basis of its resistance against the fundamental changes required by the impending climate crisis. Essential for eroding the Polish coal industry’s power are the pressures deriving from ‘agents of destabilisation’. Their actions relate to the external social, political, and cultural context (spreading of norms and practices and undermining of resistance to change) as well as to market and technologies (financial disincentivising and facilitation of research on and diffusion of clean technologies). Agents involved in spreading norm and undermining power and resistance are considered as ‘primary’ forces; those who use markets and regulations for steering/changing the Polish coal industry’s behaviour are referred to as ‘operational’ forces.

In light of these considerations a detailed account of the objective of the proposed research project is threefold. It intends to i) develop a general framework of the agents of destabilisation – primary and operational – most likely to have chances to erode the Polish coal industry’s power and resistance through fundamental pressures on the fossil fuel regime;  ii) to highlight such agents’ potential roles with regard to the Polish socio-political context; and iii) to analyse the nature, objectives, and strategies of primary and operational agents of destabilisation in relation to the Polish coal industry.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2020 - 31 July 2021