CfP POLLEN20 – Degrowth, green economies and agrarian struggle*

Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN20)
Brighton, United Kingdom
24-26 June 2020

*This session is part of ‘Conversations between political ecology and critical agrarian studies’, a series of six linked sessions that will explore complementarities and tensions between political ecology and critical agrarian studies in relation to land, energy, environment and nature, degrowth, green economies and agrarian struggles and agrarian and environmental movements. 

Session organizer

Yi-Chin Wu (Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex). Please send abstracts of 250 words of less to  no later than November 22nd.

Session description

Debates about a new economy, responding to environmental and climate challenges are raging. On the one hand, green economy approaches rely on achieving sustainable futures within win-win-win scenarios based on market and technology based transformations (Bergius et al., 2018). On the other hand, degrowth ideas promoting a downscaling of production and consumption seek to enhance ecological conditions and equity on the planet. Similarly, Environmental Justice movements in the South seek to reshape international agendas by putting forward alternative visions and transformative pathways for society (Rodríguez-Labajos et al., 2019). These three frameworks call for different futures where societies engage in a different way with their ecological means. Although these three frameworks have been broadly studied, little is known about their relationship with the politics of agrarian change. With this in mind, the following questions arise:

  • What do these debates mean for poor and marginalised rural peoples?
  • How are agrarian and environmental debates – whether around a radical degrowth or environmental justice agenda or a more reformist green economy position – being played out?
  • Are there tensions in the way agrarian and environmental futures are being imagined? How are they negotiated and by whom?
  • What does this mean for a new politics of agrarian change that takes environmental questions seriously?
  • How are land, water and climate politics converging and/or clashing in these debates and in relation to agrarian change?

As new climate movements take to the streets, it becomes even more vital to ask what possibilities there are for alliances and interactions between rural (agrarian and fisheries) and climate movements, and between the broader politics of land, water, food, energy and climate. Contributions from wider rural settings (e.g. fisheries) and disciplinary realms (e.g. geography, anthropology) are particularly encouraged here too.

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