CfP POLLEN22: Researching social-ecological conflicts – Bringing non-human entities into the analysis

Session proposal for POLLEN 2022

Call for Abstracts

Organisers: Markus Rauchecker1,* ( or & Fanny Frick-Trzebitzky1 (

ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Hamburger Allee 45, 60486 Frankfurt am Main

* Contact organiser


Research on environmental conflicts analyses mainly conflicts between social actors such as conflicts about resource distribution and access. These analyses generally treat nature as an object of contestations or stressor in human-nature interactions. Few authors from different research fields already started to incorporate non-human entities in the analysis asking for their active role and effects in environmental conflicts. As non-human entities, we understand for example animals, plants, soil, rivers, geomorphological formations and things. Incorporating non-humans as agents in the analysis enables to show the entanglements of social actors and non-human entities, which is key for opening up new understandings of the emergence, development and (non-)solution of environmental conflicts. These interrelations can have the form of a network, assemblage, interactions or interdependencies. The interrelations between society and nature are the research topic of Social Ecology and therefore we propose the new term of social-ecological conflicts, whose analysis treats social actors and non-human entities in an integrated way in the conflict analysis. This may involve integration of multiple ways of researching non-humans, ranging from inter- and transdisciplinary approaches combining socio-empirical research methods and natural science methods applied to non-human conflict parties. We want to take stock of the different approaches to non-humans in environmental conflicts to discuss a definition of social-ecological conflicts, the role and effect of non-human entities in conflicts and suitable methods for the analysis of non-human entities as agents in social-ecological processes. We furthermore seek to explore the potential of social-ecological conflict analysis for conflict transformation.

Format of organised session: Paper

Keywords: Environmental conflicts, non-humans, materiality, social-ecological transformation


We invite for paper abstracts addressing environmental conflicts with reference to the topic outlined above. Please send your abstract and additional information as follows:

Name, affiliation, presentation title (maximum 20 words), abstract (maximum 250 words), and 3 keywords

Submission deadline: November 30, 2021

Invitation for contribution: December 15, 2021


Dr. Markus Rauchecker

Wasserressourcen und Landnutzung | Water Resources and Land Use

ISOE – Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung | ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research

Hamburger Allee 45, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Tel. +49 69 707 6919-46

Fax +49 69 707 6919-11

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