CfP POLLEN18: The political ecology of environmental peacebuilding

POLLEN18 – Political Ecology, the Green Economy, and Alternative Sustainabilities, 20-22 June 2018, Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo, Norway

CfP POLLEN18: The political ecology of environmental peacebuilding –
Exploring its values and critiques in the context of the green economy

Organizers: Teresa Lappe-Osthege (University of Sheffield) and Lisa Trogisch (University of Wageningen)

We invite papers which explore the political ecology of environmental peacebuilding and critically assess its theoretical values and pitfalls in the context of the green economy. The aim of this panel is to critically reflect on the concept of environmental peacebuilding that the dominant peacebuilding paradigm promotes as a ‘greener’ solution to reductionist “resource war” approaches (Homer-Dixon, 1999). The peace potential of the environment has gained prominence in academic debates over the last two decades (Ali, 2007; Bernauer et al., 2012; Conca and Dabelko, 2002; Conca and Wallace, 2012; Collier and Hoeffler, 2004; Le Billon, 2008). These scholars emphasize the potential of the environment to contribute to post-conflict peacebuilding as part of the “Green Economy”, predominantly focussing on two central themes: post-conflict resource risk and environmental co-operation (Krampe, 2017a).

In this regard, a wide range of works investigated the distribution of revenues from high-value resource commodities in post-conflict settings (Lujala and Rustad, 2012); issues stemming from land control, territory and the management of land-based resources (Le Billon and Baird, 2012; Unruh and Williams, 2013); water resources, sanitation and related infrastructure systems (Weinthal et al., 2014; Jägerskog et al., 2015; Krampe, 2017b); and good governance of natural resources and local livelihoods (Young and Goldman, 2015; Le Billon, 2014; Bruch et al., 2016). Opposed to these promoted potentials, a growing body of critical literature challenges the environmental peacebuilding concept as a new ‘greening’ rhetoric for old liberal peacebuilding approaches based on economic growth and market liberalization (Cramer, 2006) and its contribution to measures of ‘green’ violence and militarization (Duffy, 2015; Lunstrum, 2015; Büscher, 2015; Marijnen and Verweijen, 2017).

Although such a vast body of research has generated much-needed empirical data, a coherent theoretical conceptualisation of underlying dynamics for environmental peacebuilding remain largely absent from these debates. Recent works by Ide (2017), Le Billon (2017), and Krampe (2017a) indicate the pressing need to examine the interaction of the socio-economic, political and ecological spheres at a theoretical level, aiming for more cross-disciplinary research comprising (human) geography, peace and conflict studies, psychological anthropology or criminology. This panel aims to give different interdisciplinary insights on the interaction of these spheres to discuss critically the role of environmental peacebuilding as part of the “Green Economy”.

We aim to shed light on questions such as, what impact will the move towards a global green economy have on the concepts and practices of environmental peacebuilding, and vice versa? Does it provide an opportunity to foster and develop non-neoliberal forms of peacebuilding based on ‘alternative sustainabilities’? What are the theoretical (dis)advantages of more interdisciplinary approaches to environmental peacebuilding? What are the decisive features of the current, diverse concepts and definitions of environmental peacebuilding?

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to Teresa Lappe-Osthege ( and Lisa Trogisch ( by Friday, December 6th. Panelists will be notified by December 10th.


Ali, S. (ed.; 2007). Peace Parks – Conservation and Conflict Resolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Conca, K. & Dabelko, G. (2002). Environmental Peacemaking. Washington, D. C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

Conca, K., & Wallace, J. (2012). Environment and peacebuilding in war-torn societies:    Lessons from the UN Environment Programme’s experience with post-conflict             assessment. In Jensen, D, & Lonergan, S. (eds.; 2012). Assessing and Restoring Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (London: Earthscan), pp. 67-68.

Bernauer, T., Böhmelt, T. & Koubi, V. (2012). Environmental changes and violent conflicts. Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 7.

Bruch, C., Muffett, C., & Nichols, S. S. (2016). Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Abingdon: Routledge.

Büscher, B. (2015). The Ironies of Progress and Plunder: a Review of the Africa Progress Report 2014. Development and Change, Vol. 46(4), pp 949-960.

Collier, P. & Hoeffler, A (2004). Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 56(4), pp. 663-595.

Cramer, C. (2006). Civil war is not a stupid thing. Accounting for violence in developing countries, London: Hurst and Company.

Duffy, R. (2015). Nature-based tourism and neoliberalism: concealing contradictions. Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 17(4), 529-543.

Homer-Dixon, T. (1999). Environment, Scarcity and Violence (Chichester: Princeton University Press).

Ide, T. (2017) Space, discourse and environmental peacebuilding, Third
World Quarterly
, Vol. 38(3), 544-562, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1199261

Jägerskog, A., Swain, A., & Öjendal, J. (2015). Water Security: Volume II. Water Security – International Conflict and Cooperation. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Krampe, F. (2017a). Toward Sustainable Peace: A New Research Agenda for Post-Conflict Natural Resource Management. Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 17(4), pp. 1-8.

Krampe, F. (2017b). Water for peace? Post-conflict water resource management in Kosovo.  Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 52(2), pp. 147-165.

Le Billon, P. (2008). Diamond Wars? Conflict Diamonds and Geographies of Resource Wars. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 98, No. 2, pp. 345-372

Le Billon, P. & Baird, I. G. (2012). Landscapes of political memories: War legacies and land negotiations in Laos. Political Geography, Vol. 31(5), pp. 290-300.

Le Billon, P. (2014). Natural resources and corruption in post-war transitions: matters of trust. Third World Quarterly. May2014, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p770-786.

Le Billon, P. (2017). Peacebuilding and white-collar crime in post-war natural resource sectors. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2017.1365626

Lujala, P. & Rustad, S. A. (2012). High-Value Natural Resources and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Abingdon: Routledge.

Lunstrum, E. (2015). Green grabs, land grabs and the spatiality of displacement: eviction from Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. doi: 10.1111/area.12121

Marijnen, E. & Verweijen, J. (2016). Selling green militarization: The discursive (re)production of militarized conservation in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Geoforum 75: 274-285.

Unruh, J. & Williams, R. C. (2012). Land and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Abingdon: Routledge.

Weinthal, E., Troell, J., & Nakayama, M. (2014). Water and post-conflict peacebuilding. Abingdon: Routledge.

Young, H. & Goldman, L. (ed.; 2015). Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Abingdon: Routledge.

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