POLLEN20 – Submitting a session proposal (due 22/11/2019)

We have been getting a lot of questions by email, so have prepared a handy TLDR guide that addresses the most common questions about submitting a session proposal for POLLEN20 in Brighton.

Please note that full and complete proposals for organized sessions are due by midnight UK time on Friday, 22 November 2019.

  • Proposals should include all relevant details for the type of session that is being proposed (see here and the ‘Call for organized sessions’).
  • Proposals should be submitted via online form.
  • If you are proposing a double session, please submit it as two sessions. Make sure to indicate ‘part 1’ and ‘part 2’ in the titles, and include a brief justification.
  • Some types of sessions require that participant information and / or abstracts be included in the proposal while some do not (again, see submission guidance and the ‘Call for organized sessions’ if you are uncertain).
  • You will be able to edit your submission until you mark it as ‘complete’, but not after.
  • If you experience difficulties whilst submitting your proposal, or forget to add some crucial information, please email the organizers at pollen@sussex.ac.uk. The secretariat can’t help, only the organizers.
  • Please note that you will not receive a confirmation email immediately. These will be sent out to all organizers shortly after the deadline.

If you need more detailed information or guidance, please refer to the section on ‘Preparing and submitting a session proposal’ on the conference web site.

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 Y.Wu1@ids.ac.uk  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.

CfP POLLEN20 – Land, environment and nature: politics of resources*

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

Charles-Alexis Couvreur (University of Oxford). Please send abstracts of 250 words of less to chalexiscouvreur@gmail.com no later than November22nd.

Session description

Critical agrarian studies has focused on land as the central resource for agrarian production, driving the dynamics of accumulation. However, as with much scholarship originating in Marxist thought, it has been widely critiqued for its failure to engage with environmental questions more broadly. As the ‘environment’ is itself a contested and multi-layered notion, we are interested in further fleshing out how non-human ‘natures’ interact with processes of agrarian change and, more broadly, capital accumulation in rural settings with the following questions:

  • How can the role of nature(s) be incorporated into a re-theorisation of agrarian/rural economy dynamics?
  • Can diverse knowledge systems recast conventional understandings of the relationships between people, production and nature?
  • What are the political and ontological implications of ‘greening’ conventional understandings of agrarian/rural capitalistic transformations?

Contributions from wider rural settings (e.g. fisheries) and disciplinary realms (e.g. geography, anthropology) are particularly encouraged too, for the complementary light they shed on the importance of nature(s) in the multiple processes of capital accumulation that still need to be further unpacked.

CfP POLLEN20 – How can agrarian movements address the global food and environmental crises?*

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

Thomas Cooper-Patriota ((Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex). Please send abstracts of 250 words of less to T.Cooper-Patriota@ids.ac.uk no later than November 22nd.

Session description

Peasants, agricultural workers, middle farmers, indigenous peoples – alternatively referred to as ‘small-scale food producers’, ‘peasants and other people living in rural areas’, or ‘peasant and indigenous family farmers’ make up close to 40% of the world’s population. Women and men of all ages involved in small-scale agriculture, pastoralism, fishery, or forestry activities, predominantly living in the Global South, still make up the planet’s largest labouring constituency. They are also the most vigorously organised, with the decline of industrial labour unions since the 1980s, and the rise of transnational agrarian movements since the 1990s.

Yet, the last decades have seen an increasing concentration of production, processing and distribution processes in the hands of a reduced number of agri-food giants across largely unaccountable and often predatory ‘global value chains’ reproducing and accentuating core-periphery dependency. Peasant movements mobilising their energy in influencing non-binding international treaties (CFS Tenure Guidelines, UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants), campaigns (International Year and Decade of Family Farming) and goals (SDGs) have drawn attention to their causes and mobilized policy momentum with significant achievements in some areas of the world. This has partly been possible by demonstrating that peasant family farmers are responsible for the production of most of the world’s food and the main stewards for sustainable use of natural resources, despite representing the majority of the world’s undernourished and most vulnerable populations to climate change, biodiversity loss, and soil degradation.

Nevertheless, most national government budgets and strategies – let alone international trade and financial flows – still remain oblivious to people living in rural areas, whom they by and large perceive as reserve armies of cheap labour. Though increasing portions of urban populations begin to perceive peasants/family farmers as part of the solution to the global food and environmental crises, we are still very far from a paradigm shift.

This panel will look at experiences highlighting relationships between agrarian movement action and significant policy change. It will relatedly explore how agrarian movement policy drives towards economic, social and environmental sustainability may contribute in shaping the contours of a post-neoliberal era.

CfP POLLEN20 – Renewable Energies and Agrarian Change: Contestations over Low Carbon Investments*

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

Gerardo A. Torres Contreras (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex). Please send abstracts of 250 words of less to g.torrescontreras@ids.ac.uk no later than November22nd.

Session description

Renewable Energies are expected to play a significant role in the energetic transition towards the development of greener energy production systems. Climate change mitigation investments are supposed to reduce environmental degradations related to fossil fuels, ensure energy security and to foster both economic and social development. However, these transitions have to be situated in the local time and space.

With this in mind, little attention has been put to the role renewable energies play out in land dynamics and land use change because of the ‘materialities’ of these projects. Only in wind energy projects, for instance, infrastructure only occupies between 5 to 7 percent of the total extension of land required for a project. This means that not only the land within the wind farm projects remains productive while windmills harvest energy but that also we assist to processes of agrarian change resulting from these new land dynamics.

The energetic transition, in this sense, draws attention to the need for land and the pressures that such spatial requirement exert on rural lands and people by displacing or hindering existing or alternative land uses (Huber and McCarthy, 2017, p. 11). In this sense, it is worth exploring the following questions:

  • How do politics around renewable energies interact with land dynamics?
  • How do they foster or undermine patterns of accumulation within and across host communities?
  • How are these dynamics associated with processes of class formation and social differentiation?
  • How are they modifying local relations of production?

CfP POLLEN20 – Lost in transition? Capturing the impacts of conservation and development interventions on relational values and human well-being in the forested tropics

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

Session organizers

Rachel Carmenta (University of Cambridge), Julie G. Zaehringer (University of Bern, CH) & Judith Schleicher (University of Cambridge). Please submit your abstract (Max 250 words) to Rachel Carmenta (rc730@cam.ac.uk), Julie G. Zaehringer (julie.zaehringer@cde.unibe.ch) and Judith Schleicher (schleicher.judith@googlemail.com) by midnight (GMT) on Thursday 21st November.

Session description

Around the world tropical landscapes are in transition. Perhaps nowhere more so than in the forest frontiers of the global south. From Indonesian peat swamp forests to the arc of deforestation in Northern Brazil, landscape change is rapid, drastic and driven by distant claims on land connecting disparate geographies (Liu et al, 2013). The rate of change has catalysed a number of interventions for mitigating further forest loss, reversing past legacies and for reforesting lands at large scales. These conservation and development interventions follow particular strategies (e.g. agricultural intensification, renewable energy projects, and forest conservation and restoration) which influence, modify and in some cases recast access, use and the rights of rural communities to the land and to resources. Although recent and increasing pressure has been placed on conservation and development interventions to assess and monitor their impact, the metrics of such appraisals are often externally derived and follow standardized criteria (e.g. Oldekop et al, 2016). Notably, particular dimensions of place-based realities often remain invisible in conventional evaluation approaches, creating the space for environmental injustices to go unrecognized. These include the non-material flows from nature to people, such as the place-based attachments (including the emotive bonds to place, the identities derived from place and the dependence on place) and relational values that may be prioritized locally, yet remain largely unmeasured (Chan et al, 2016). The relationship between place and the multi-dimensionality of locally defined human well-being is often overlooked in favour of standardised approaches (McKinnon et al, 2016). These approaches emphasize objective instead of subjective and relational measures, particularly within the conservation and development sectors. This lack of recognition explains how little is known about the ways in which environment and development interventions and landscape change impacts the relationship between people and place (Rasmussen et al, 2018). The invisibility of place-based values, precludes the contribution of people to co-designing their futures partly because ‘what gets measured gets pursued’ (Jacobs et al, 2018). It also ignores the distributional impacts of the lived reality of landscape change- including those induced through interventions- in a telecoupled world (Ellis et al, 2019; Boillat et al, 2018). Plural valuation processes can inform more equitable intervention strategies and give recognition to the values that matter for place-based alternatives to mainstream development (Zafra-Calvo et al, in review). Further, plural valuation can give voice to those often most marginalized when relational values are omitted. This session will draw together contemporary research that addresses this emerging area in the conservation and land sciences, and illustrate the diverse impacts of landscape changes and intervention strategies at the forest agricultural nexus. Such insights are necessary for dialogue, transparency and to move towards a more equitable and just Anthropocene. In this session, we will present a number of unique approaches to evaluations and quantification of relational values and human wellbeing and present leading contemporary academic, policy, and practitioner approaches that offer ways forward towards equitable and sustainable futures. The contributions are concerned with the contested frontier landscapes of the forested tropics in the global south.

References

Boillat, S., Gerber, J. D., Oberlack, C., Zaehringer, J. G, Ifejika Speranza, C., & Rist, S. (2018). Distant interactions, power, and environmental justice in protected area governance: A telecoupling perspective. Sustainability10(11), 3954.

Chan, K. M., Balvanera, P., Benessaiah, K., Chapman, M., Díaz, S., Gómez-Baggethun, E., … & Luck, G. W. (2016). Opinion: Why protect nature? Rethinking values and the environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113(6), 1462-1465.

Ellis, E. C., Pascual, U., & Mertz, O. (2019). Ecosystem services and nature’s contribution to people: negotiating diverse values and trade-offs in land systems. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability38, 86-94.

Jacobs, S., Martín-López, B., Barton, D. N., Dunford, R., Harrison, P. A., Kelemen, E., … & Kopperoinen, L. (2018). The means determine the end–Pursuing integrated valuation in practice. Ecosystem services29, 515-528.

Liu, J., Hull, V., Batistella, M., DeFries, R., Dietz, T., Fu, F., … & Martinelli, L. A. (2013). Framing sustainability in a telecoupled world. Ecology and Society18(2).

McKinnon, M. C., Cheng, S. H., Dupre, S., Edmond, J., Garside, R., Glew, L., … & Oliveira, I. (2016). What are the effects of nature conservation on human well-being? A systematic map of empirical evidence from developing countries. Environmental Evidence5(1), 8.

Oldekop, J. A., Holmes, G., Harris, W. E., & Evans, K. L. (2016). A global assessment of the social and conservation outcomes of protected areas. Conservation Biology30(1), 133-141.

Rasmussen, L. V., Coolsaet, B., Martin, A., Mertz, O., Pascual, U., Corbera, E., … & Ryan, C. M. (2018). Social-ecological outcomes of agricultural intensification. Nature Sustainability1(6), 275-282.

Zafra-Calvo, N; Balvanera, P; Pascual, U; Merçon, J; Martin-Lopez, B; van Noordwijk, M; Mwampamba, T; Lele, S; Ifejika Speranza, C; Arias-Arevalo, P; Diego, C; Caceres, D; O`Farrell, P; Subramanian, Suneetha M; Soubadra, Di; Krishnan, S; Carmenta, R; Guibrunet, L; Elsin, Y K; Moersberger, H; Cariño, J; Diaz, S. Plural valuation of nature for equity and sustainability: Insights from the Global South. In review. Global Environmental Change.

POLLEN20 storytelling session proposal – Facing authoritarian designs: our emotions, trajectories and methodological reinventions among political ontologies

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

Session organizers

Marco Malagoli (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brasil) and Lúcia Fernandes (Centro de Estudos Sociais,  Portugal). Please send abstracts of 250 words or less to marcomalagodi@id.uff.br and luciaof@gmail.com no later than November 21st.

Session description

At the present global context with a new wave of neoliberal violences anchored in democratic crisis, worldwide elites propose once again authoritarism as a consensual value and the solution for the presumed social order, giving support to (neo)colonial geopolitcal reinventions – and their “glocalized” systemical forces. With this background a greater reinvention effort of our research and militant agendas is asked, in order to let us be opened to other connections, subjectivities, knowledges, strategies, praxis, network actions and agencies… to go on in the fight for other social transformative models.

The sociabilities, knowledges, memories, innovations and confrontations promoted by the political ecology (PE) offer relevant pathways to rethink our praxis in the world. We desire that they are intertwined multi dimensionally (institutional spaces, temporalities), from renewed epistemological and ontological matrixes.

We invite our participants to put into context their narratives through one or more of the diverse PEs. Among them, we would like to generate discussions from latino-american PEs, urban PEs and feminist PEs, all understood as (radical) contributions that go to the roots of actual dilemmas, focusing the many ways of oppression still concentrated on the (geopolitical, symbolic, intersectional) “South”, such as dominant urbanities and their problematic imaginaries, the subjugation and erasing attempts of subversive/rebel/different othernesses. Such PE currents seem to point out consistent and defying praxiological concepts and strategies to strengthen the militancies, at the same time that they point out for a major empiric-methodological commitment (like in David Harvey and Erik Swyngedouw), a best acknowledgment of the sociocultural diversity of ontological designs (the pluriverses by Arturo Escobar), and the possibility that we can recognize a major complexity by considering the humans/non-humans/super-humans hybrid agencies (as the cyborgs by Donna Haraway).

How the renewed – mainly due to social activisims – notions of praxis, design and agency are contributing to the (re)connection, (re)invention and strengthening of our militancies? How every researcher (re)elaborates her/his praxiological categories and alterities (behind the curtains) in the middle of new threats and emergent solidarities? Until which point we can act and be “not so western”, “not so purely humans”, “not so white and male” in our theoretical-methodological proposals (both academic and political ones)? What other senses and forces we could put into play as to reach, this way, our empirical approaches on environmental conflicts, disasters, social cartographies, pollutions/epidemics, spoliations, imaginaries, socio-ecological militancies, class/gender/ethnic violences, de(re)territorializations, assassination of community leaders, coups d´etat, and dictatorships?

This way we call our participants to review the methodological situations and contexts of their research investigations and militancies, in order that we can reflect alltogether on the heuristic power and limitations of these and other approaches of the PEs, to project – and asking for – a new horizon of new design of transformative praxis. And for that, we suggest a not-fragmented review of our biographies, with their baggage of intuitions and emotions, discoveries, solidarities, utopias, precarities and anxieties (normally wasted by actual academy and politics).