November 2021 Updates

Dear POLLEN Members and Friends, 

This month we are delighted to introduce and share the great work of another POLLEN node in Africa at the University of Cape Town. If your node is keen to feature your fantastic work in upcoming newsletters, please write to us at

We are keen to share and generate dialogue around your work. As always, we are happy to post the latest publications, CfPs, and more from our lively community. We also welcome proposals for blog posts on the POLLEN blog – please contact us at the same email address with any ideas!

Please note once again that the deadline of the call for proposals for the POLLEN Biannual Conference 2022 has been extended to 15 December 2021. You can check the submission details here:
Exciting calls for paper for POLLEN 2022 are circulating from among the network. You can find updated information in the link here:

With regards from your POLLEN Secretariat:
Sango Mahanty | Sarah Milne | Ratchada Arpornsilp

Getting to know your fellow POLLEN members

Each monthly newsletter includes a brief introduction to one of our many POLLEN nodes, to build connections across our community. This month we would like to introduce you to our node at the University of Cape Town.

POLLEN node at the University of Cape Town!  


One of the POLLEN nodes at the University of Cape Town is situated in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science with researchers from the DSI/NRF Bio-economy Research Chair and the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI). With a focus on agriculture and biodiversity-based value chains, the research of the Chair raises critical questions around the economic and political drivers behind the bio-economy, the involvement of local and Indigenous communities, and who stands to benefit. ACDI researchers pay attention to the impacts of climate change on landscapes and livelihoods, and critically explore the equity of adaptation options. To address these concerns, pathways towards more transformative, sustainable and equitable futures that are supportive of agrobiodiversity, local knowledge and cultural practices are explored drawing on decolonial, multi-species and feminist approaches. Scholar activism is a key component of the node’s work and researchers actively engage with civil society and policymakers to address poverty, inequality and social and environmental injustices.

Node members 

Professor Rachel Wynberg is an academic and policy analyst with a special interest in bio-politics and the biodiversity-based economy, sustainable agricultural futures and agroecology. She is a Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, and holds a national Research Chair on Social and Environmental Dimensions of the Bioeconomy. With a background in the natural and social sciences, she has a strong interest in interdisciplinarity and policy engagement across the humanities, arts and sciences.

Professor Sheona Shackleton is Deputy Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town. With more than 35 years of inter- and transdisciplinary research experience focusing on the interconnections between people and ecosystems, her current focus is on understanding landscape and livelihood change, with particular attention to climate change and how it intersects with other shocks and stressors to influence future livelihood trajectories. Other research areas include, amongst others, assessing different adaptation options for their equity and transformative outcomes and unpacking the equity/ inequity dimensions of nature-based solutions. Other activities relate to supporting transdisciplinary research and training, and the development of climate change curricula for Africa. 

Dr Maya Marshakrecently received her PhD in Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. Her work explores relationships between people, knowledge and agroecosystems. She is also an artist and enjoys finding ways to bring environmental research and creative practice together through interdisciplinary collaborations. At present Maya is based in Eswatini where she is helping to establish a small-scale agroecological farm. She also works part-time for the Seed and Knowledge Initiative. 

Dr George Sekonyarecently completed his PhD on the regulatory mechanisms, actor politics and social networks in the mopane worm informal trade. By “following the worm” across the borders of Botswana and South Africa, the research offers stimulating approaches to look at mopane worm trade and livelihoods. George’s research was inspired by his rural upbringing in which the harvesting and use of wild foods was a strong feature. He now lectures at Nelson Mandela University.

Dr Jessica Lavelle is a postdoctoral research fellow exploring power and justice in the bio-economy through the lens of wild harvested plants in Namibia. Linked to this is engaged scholarship and a desire for research undertaken to have meaningful impact by opening the space for Indigenous and local communities to directly engage with policymakers and industry in ways that embrace alternative ways of knowing and doing. She is interested in alternative cultural ontologies of nature, conceptualising postcapitalist approaches to conservation beyond trophy hunting and tourism and integrating Indigenous and local knowledge into mainstream conservation practices.

Jen Whittingham is a PhD student exploring the intersections of different knowledge systems and ways of knowing within the marine/ocean space through a postcolonial science and technology studies lens. What really excites Jen is grappling with these ontological challenges to harness the potential of where knowledge systems meet and asking how we can incorporate this learning into the way environmental research is done. She takes a keen interest in bringing the ethics of ‘doing’ research, researcher positionally, and wider ethical engagement to the issues she studies and is also involved in bringing these perspectives to the research activities of the South African branch of the One Ocean Hub.

Tsekiso Ranqhai is a PhD student investigating the political ecology of farming in Lesotho, unravelling the power relations, and determining the drivers of detrimental impacts on local traditional agriculture. The research seeks to explore the disjuncture(s), if any, which exist between policy and reality for farmers, and how can this be ameliorated and remedied. It also seeks to understand the structural or systemic reasons behind the frequent failure of agricultural development initiatives. His interest in ecological farming systems stems from his childhood, growing up in a small rural village in Lesotho.

Sthembile Ndwandwe is a PhD student investigating how marginalised groups have been positioned in the honeybush trade between the local industry of the 1930s to the emergence of export-oriented biodiversity-based economic development by the state in 2010. She is passionate about peoples’ interaction with the environment, especially within the contexts of economic production and rural development, and in relation to social justice. Sthe comes to this research from her experience growing up in KwaXimba, a rural town in KwaZulu-Natal Province and her Masters, which focused on the contribution of Indigenous knowledge practices to food security.

Akshata Mehta is a Masters student studying perceptions of the value of kelp as an ecosystem in South Africa. She is passionate about the ocean and coastal zones and has a keen interest in the impact of climate change on these systems. She is especially interested in the human dimension of ocean and coastal ecosystems and her research takes a transdisciplinary approach to integrate both human and natural dimensions related to kelp as an ecosystem.

Promoting POLLEN collaboration 

Do you write with other members of POLLEN?
To gain visibility for collaborations across our network, we invite you to consider adding something along these lines to your acknowledgments: 
“This paper represents collaborative work with colleagues in the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN).”



Alhadeff, S. and Moseley, W.G. 2021. Canvas Totes and Plastic Bags: The Political Ecology of Food Assistance Effectiveness at Farmers’ Markets in the Twin Cities. In A. Williams, and I. Luginaah (eds). Gender Matters Globally: Geography, Health and Sustainability, pp 161-180. London: Routledge.

Atkins, E. and Menga, F. 2021. Populist Ecologies. online first, <>.


Brock, A. and Stephens-Griffith, N. 2021. ‘Policing environmental injustice – embracing abolition’,Institute of Development Studies Blog, 5 November, <>.

Brock, A. 2021.‘People are preparing for a final showdown to stop coal extraction in the German Rhineland’, The Canary, 12 October,

Moseley, G. 2021. ‘Inclusive science must follow the UN Food Systems Summit’, Al jazeera English. 28September,<>.

Shaw of Tordarroch, I., Svarstad, H., Benjaminsen, TA. 2021. ‘Climate Justice: What recognition has to do with it’. Institute of Development Studies Blog. 3 November, <>.

Weir, D., Neimark, B. and Belcher O. 2021. ‘COP26: how the world’s militaries hide their huge carbon emissions’, The Conversation, 9 November,

Journal articles 

Alba, R. and Bruns, A., 2021. ‘First-Class but not for Long: Heterogeneous Infrastructure and Water Bricolage in Accra’s Kiosk Compounds’. Urban Forum, pp. 1-23.<>.

Apostolopoulou, E. andLiodaki, D. 2021. ‘The right to public space during the COVID-19 pandemic: A tale of rising inequality and authoritarianism in Athens, Greece’. City. <>.

Benjaminsen, TA., Svarstad, H., Shaw of Tordarroch, I. 2021. ‘Recognising recognition in climate justice’. IDS Bulletin, vol. 52, no. 2. Open access

Brock, A. and Stephens-Griffith, N. 2021. ‘Policing Environmental Injustice’. IDS Bulletin, <>.

Clapp, J., Moseley, WG., Burlingame, B. and Termine, P. 2021. ‘The case for a six-dimensional food security framework’. Food Policy, <>.

Dunlap, A. 2021.‘Spreading ‘green’ infrastructural harm: mapping conflicts and socioecological disruptions within the European Union’s transnational energy grid’. Globalizations,pp. 1-25. <>. 

Horowitz, L.S. In press. “Conflicts of interests” within and between elite assemblages in the legal production of space: Indigenous cultural heritage preservation and the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Geographical Journal,

Kowasch, M., Cruz, JP., Reis, P., Gericke, N. and Kicker, K. 2021. ‘Climate Youth Activism Initiatives: Motivations and Aims, and the Potential to Integrate Climate Activism into ESD and Transformative Learning’.Sustainability, vol. 13, no. 21.<>.

Ni’am, L., Koot, S. and Jongerden, J. 2021. ‘Selling captive nature: Lively commodification, elephant encounters, and the production of value in Sumatran ecotourism, Indonesia’. Geoforum, vol. 127, pp.162-170.

Schouten, P., Verweijen, J., Murairi, J., andBatundi, SK. 2021. ‘Paths of authority, roads of resistance: Ambiguous rural infrastructure and slippery stabilization in eastern DR Congo’.Geoforum, <>.

Sultana, F. 2021. ‘Critical climate justice’. The Geographical Journal, vol. 00, pp. 1-7.<>.

Visage, SL. 2021. ‘Making small-dams work: everyday politics around irrigation cooperatives in Turkey’, European Journal of Turkish Studies, Complete List. [OPEN ACCESS] <>. 

Calls for participation

1) Roundtable on the ethics of ‘unwanted’ animal management

Hosted by the Global Research Network, Think Tank Programme: Animals & Biodiversity

When: 4pm (Central European Time) Thursday 13th January

Where: The link will be posted on the GRN website shortly:


This roundtable will address the ethical dilemmas associated with managing animals deemed unwanted as ‘pests’ or ‘invasive’. Managing such ‘problem individuals’, populations or species, inevitably creates trade-offs in society. The extent to which we discipline animals out of place now includes lethal eradication techniques, live-capture trapping, chemical sterilisation, and widespread fencing. These measures reflect not only our deep-seated values about animals, biosecurity, nature aesthetics and xenophobia, but they also create new orders and invite new relations with animals.

This raises the questions: What are our moral responsibilities to such ‘unwanted’ animals? And, how can we ‘manage’ these animals in an ethical way? This is an issue of transnational importance, transcending socially constructed state borders as these animals navigate the globe, often aided by humans (whether intentionally or not). The panel will discuss the moral geography of rights, where animals straddle the divide between invasive/native, domestic/feral/wild and urban/rural. Our own pet cats, for example, are considered by some to be an invasive species of threatening native biodiversity. Managing these animals is inherently political and can be associated with discourses on immigration, biosecurity and globalisation. Such politically sensitive animal welfare issues need to be addressed and, indeed, there is evidence that this is starting to occur; the European Union, which acknowledges animal sentience in the Lisbon Treaty, is currently working with stakeholders to improve the humane treatment of invasive species. Perhaps still lacking, however, is a discussion on the normative question on human-non-human relations and how we should co-exist in the Anthropocene: what is the role of invasive or unwanted species in shared multispecies landscapes of the future?

2) Online workshop: ‘Connecting critical research on water modelling: Towards a reflexive approach’ 19-20 January 2022

The workshop aims to provide an opportunity to share experiences and examples of critical, creative and reflexive engagement with modelling practices and processes that relate to water use, management and governance; and to set the basis for future collaborations. For participating please send a short text (approx.250 words) introducing your research interests, questions and ideas you would like to pitch during the workshop together with a short bio by December 3rd 2021.

Email: and

Call for manuscripts

1) European authors in the field of Environmental Political Theory

Joel Kassiola from San Francisco State University is looking for European authors in the field of Environmental Political Theory (or sometimes called “Green Political Theory”), for writing entries for a Handbook, on the basis of their works. He’s looking for 5-6 authors. Publisher is Palgrave. Please write to Joel
More information here,

2) “Future Rural Africa” Monographs series

In recent years, there has been a socio-ecological transformation in land-use in sub-Saharan Africa, brought about by climate change and the globalization of natural resource management and rural landscapes, such that rural Africa has become a laboratory of global future-making. This new series offers a rich and valuable perspective on the processes and practices that produce and critically reflect upon visions of the future on the continent. Volumes within the series will address socio-ecological, cultural and economic development; climate control, sustainability and migration; land acquisitions and rural governance; rural livelihoods, identities and cultures; conservation, environmental management and community relations. Showcasing cutting-edge research into societal change and the reverberations of global dynamics playing out in sub-Saharan Africa, the series will provide an indispensable resource in this key area of African Studies for scholars, development practitioners,political planners, governmental and non-governmental organisations. 

While initial volumes stem from the University of Bonn and Cologne’s Collaborative Research Centre ‘Future Rural Africa’, funded by the German Research Council (DFG), and partners in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia and elsewhere in Africa, the series also welcomes external proposals in subjects such as: 
• Socio-ecological, cultural and economic development 
• The impacts of climate change and climate control 
• Development, economics and growth 
• Land acquisitions, governance and land law 
• Sustainability: food and energy production, transport, waste, water 
• Rural livelihoods, identities and cultures 
• Agricultural production, intensification and global commodity chains 
• Conservation, environmental management and community relations 
• Migration and population displacements and resistance 
• Connections with the urban: urban expansion and migration, and translocalism 

The series will be mainly monographs, but we also welcome occasional edited volumes that enable a continent-wide, multi-disciplinary approach. Please send proposals to the series editors. Please do not send full manuscripts unless you are requested to do so.;

Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig, University of Cologne, University of Cologne:
Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn, University of Bonn: 
Contact at James Currey:, Commissioning Editor


1) Professor in Rural Development with a focus on the Global South

The position emphasizes on contemporary studies of socio-economic, cultural, and political aspects of questions related to rural production systems, agrarian change, and natural resource governance. This subject area is concerned with changes that are taking place at local, national, and global levels, with attention to how different dimensions of power influence these processes.

It is an excellent (chaired) position with very good terms. Please find more details here:

Please spread the link to all those you think could be interested in applying. Please note the deadline is already before Christmas: 17 December, 2021

2) A fully-funded PhD position at Lund University on the sociotechnical imaginaries and climate justice dimensions of carbon capture and storage in Scandinavia

The successful candidate will work within the Lund University Center for Sustainability Center (LUCSUS)’ 4-year research project entitled “Burying problems? Imaginaries of carbon capture and storage in Scandinavia”
(, which will start in December 2021. The project is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Energimyndigheten. Its overall aim is to analyse existing socio-technical imaginaries of CCS and their embedded tensions, conflicts, and justice implications.

The project will build on a strong critical social science tradition but is interdisciplinary in scope and engages with industry representatives, affected communities, scientists, and policy makers. An important aspect of the project is its justice framing which will be used to highlight justice implications of different governance approaches to CCS.

The deadline is 9 December, the full call text is available at the following link. Thanks for spreading this to anyone that might be interested!

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