Luca Nitschke

mobil.LAB Fellow

Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation

Phone: +49.89.289.10454

Email: luca.nitschke[at]tum.de

 

Research Focus:

  • Collaborative mobility concepts
  • Mobility justice
  • Critical mobilities research

PhD Project Description

Vehicles of resistance? – Non-commercial carsharing and the socio-ecological mobility transition

Mobility is a core element of capitalist societies in which mobilities of humans, goods, data and ideas are keeping the process of capitalist expansion and accumulation afloat. However, the constant growth of mobilities, driven by a logic of faster, further and more, increasingly impairs the natural and social environment through a lack of livable space, air pollution, long-distance commuting and the escalating climate and ecological crisis. Therefore, a transition towards more social and ecological practices of mobility is urgently necessary.

My dissertation is about a part of this transition in relation to the mobility of people and investigates how practices of non-commercial carsharing are influencing local everyday mobility. I argue that practices of non-commercial carsharing are reconstituting hegemonic practices of automobility through a process of everyday resistance and thereby challenge capitalist mobilities in the realm of everyday life. Non-commercial carsharing reconstitutes practices of automobility along four aspects: 1) Redefine the meaning of the car and automobility 2) Reembed automobility into its environmental context, 3) Foster sociality, and 4) Change ownership relations.

First, for non-commercial carsharers the car becomes an object of utility and looses its role as status symbol. This changing role of the car brings the coercive aspects of automobility to the fore, which are widely recognized by non-commercial carsharers. Thereby, automobility isn’t the sole means of liberation anymore, but rather ridden with ambivalence, fostering a reduction of its use.

Second, non-commercial carsharing is often practiced with an awareness of the environmental damages of automobility. Based on this awareness manifold critiques of automobility, mainstream sharing and consumerism become articulated. Thereby, automobility is re-embedded into its societal and environmental context and non-commercial carsharing emerges as counter-hegemonic practice.

Third, non-commercial carsharing fosters sociality and community. While automobility is mainly aligned with individual movement and atomization, non-commercial carsharing is characterized by collective care, responsibility and voluntary engagement. While this works against individualizing tendencies of capitalism it also  enables the collective alteration of the reproduction of social structures through collective agency.

Fourth and last, new ownership relations emerge from non-commercial carsharing. Through a process of commoning mobility individual car ownership is replaced by actual and perceived shared car ownership and collective management and care.

Overall these four aspects result in reducing car usage, and move mobility away from the hegemony of automobility and private car ownership. Through collectively altering the reproduction of hegemonic practices of automobility in a process of everyday resistance, non-commercial carsharing is challenging capitalist mobilities in the realm of everyday life. Thereby, non-commercial carsharing shows a potential pathway for a socio-ecological just and post-capitalist mobility transition.


CV

Since 2016 PhD candidate in the mobil.LAB doctoral research group funded by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation
2016 Traineeship at Prognos AG in Berlin
2013-2015 Joint European Master in Environmental Studies – Cities and Sustainability (Jemes-CiSu) at Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Aveiro and University of Aalborg
2012-2013 Scientific Assistant at the Wuppertal Institute
2009-2012 Bachelor of Environmental Sciences at University of Bielefeld

Publications

Nitschke, L. (under review) Reconstituting automobility: The influence of non-commercial carsharing on the meanings of automobility and the car. Sustainability.

Zuev, D. and L. Nitschke. (forthcoming) Mobilities and (Un)sustainability in Monika Büscher, Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Sven Kesselring and Nikolaj Grauslund Kristensen (Eds.) Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. (2019) What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197.

Nitschke, L. (2018) Sharing mobilities beyond capitalism? – An exploration into non- commercial sharing practices commercial sharing practicesTransportation Research Procedia, 41, 537–539. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Munich, DE.

Kang, J. and L. Nitschke. (2015) Creating Infographics for the Comparison of Bike Share Programs. Parsons Journal for Information Mapping, VII (2). New York City, New York, USA.

Nitschke, L. (2015) Public bike sharing in Munich: A critical view on bike sharing and redistribution of urban space​​.​Masters Thesis. Erasmus Mundus Master Program, Joint European Master in Environmental Studies – Cities and Sustainability (JEMES CiSu). Aalborg Universitet (DK) and Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen (DE).


Memberships and Activities

Since 2017 Member of the Zentrum Emanzipatorische Technikforschung (ZET)
Since 2017 Member of the trade union education and sciences (GEW) – Member of the Munich City Board
2016-2018 Member of the guiding council of the PhD-students of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation