Announcement for the 2019 Eric Wolf Prize

Feel free to share; apologies for cross-posting.

The Political Ecology Society (PESO) announces the 2019 Eric Wolf Prize for the best article-length paper.  We seek papers based in substantive field research that make an innovative contribution to political ecology.  Clear links to some specific set of political ecology ideas and literature is important.  To be eligible for the competition, scholars must be no more than two years past the Ph.D..  A cash prize of $500 accompanies the award, which will be presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (the committee is open to discussing arrangements for the award at an alternative meeting as suited to the winning candidate).  The paper will be published in the Journal of Political Ecology; the prize reviewers may suggest revisions before the item is published.

The preferred format for papers is electronic.  (But, please contact us, if you need to send in some other format.)  Please use the style guidelines provided on the Journal of Political Ecology webpage:

Electronic copies should be sent to Dr. Thomas K. Park ( ).

The deadline for submission is July 15, 2018.

Joe Heyman
on behalf of the Political Ecology Society

Environmental Justice Conference: Early Bird Registration open until 14 April

Early bird registration for the 2019 Environmental Justice Conference ‘Transformative Connections’ is now available until 14 April 2019.

To register go to the UEA online store.

The conference will take place at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, on 2 July – 4 July 2019.

A Draft Conference Programme is now available to view on the conference website.

Contact for more information.

Conference programme title page social media

April updates from POLLEN

A pdf version of this newsletter can be found here

Dear POLLEN members and friends (with apologies for X-posting), 

Greetings and welcome to our monthly POLLEN update. We would like to start with exciting news! 


We are happy to announce that the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Third Biennial Conference will be held in Brighton, United Kingdom, June 24-26, 2020 on the theme of Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration. POLLEN20 will be organized by the ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and co-hosted by Radical Futures at the University of Brighton and the Institute of Development Studies, with support from the BIOSEC project at the University of Sheffield. More information can be found here


Many thanks to everyone who sent in their valuable contributions again this month. We hope everyone enjoys reading all about it in this newsletter.  


Trophy hunting for conservation and development in Namibia? The limitations of economic benefits and the role of science by Stasja Koot 

New collaborative works on political ecology, authoritarianism, and populism by POLLEN and ENTITLE 

Populism as the final outcome of liberalism bAlvaro Gaertner Aranda 


From our friends at Entitle

Reflections on Authoritarian Populism: Democracy, Technology and Ecological Destruction by Alexander Dunlap 

Political ecologies of urban nature in Bogotá, Colombia by Germán A. Quimbayo Ruiz 

The Internet – a case for political ecology? by Annika Kettenburg 

Grassroots initiatives in climate change-adaptation for justice and sustainability by Roberta Biasillo 

About Permaculture Songs and the Food (In)security Narrative by Elena Louisa 

The Loneliest Man on Earth bJuan Francisco Moreno 

From the Political Ecology Research Centre at Massey University, New Zealand: 



An editorial clarifying the Geoforum editors’ position on the Open Access discussion: 

The Editors, 2019. The future of scholarly publishing: Paywalls and profits or a new plan? Geoforum, 102, pp.1–4. Available at:

Apostolopoulou, E. and Cortes-Vazquez, J. (eds.) 2019 The Right to Nature. Social movements, environmental justice and neoliberal natures. Routledge – Earthscan. 

Special Issue 
“Rights to Nature: Tracing alternative political ecologies to the neoliberal environmental agenda” (Guest editors: Jose A Cortes-Vazquez and Elia Apostolopoulou), link: 

Introduction to the special Issue: Cortes-Vazquez, J.A., Apostolopoulou, E., 2019. Against Neoliberal Natures: Environmental Movements, Radical Practice and “the Right to Nature”. Geoforum 98, 202-205. 

Ashraf, U., 2019. Exclusions in Afforestation Projects in Pakistan. Economic and Political Weekly, pp.17–20. Available at: 

Zafra Calvo, N.; E. Garmendia; U. Pascual; I. Palomo; N. Gross-Camp; D. Brockington; J.A. Cortes-Vazquez; B. Coolsaet; N. Burgess. 2019. Progress towards Equitably Managed Protected Areas in Aichi Target 11: A global survey. BioScience (available online). doi: 

Cortes-Vazquez, J. and Apostolopoulou, E. 2019. Rights to Nature: Tracing alternative political ecologies to the neoliberal environmental agenda. Geoforum, 48 (Special Issue) 

Cortes-Vazquez, J. and Apostolopoulou, E. 2019. ‘Against Neoliberal Natures: Environmental Movements, Radical Practice and the Right to Nature’ Geoforum,48: 202-205. doi: 

Dunlap, A., 2019. ‘Agro sí, mina NO!’the Tía Maria copper mine, state terrorism and social war by every means in the Tambo Valley, Peru. Political Geography71, pp.10-25. 

González-Hidalgo, M. and Zografos, C., 2019. Emotions, power, and environmental conflict: Expanding the ‘emotional turn’ in political ecology. Progress in Human Geography, p.0309132518824644. 

Koot, S. and Hitchcock, R. (2019). In the way: Perpetuating land dispossession of the indigenous Hai//om and the collective action law suit for Etosha National Park and Mangetti West, Namibia. Nomadic Peoples 23 (1): 55-77: 2019 – Koot and Hitchcock – In the way 

Mallin, M.A.F., Stolz, D.C., Thompson, B.S. and Barbesgaard, M., 2019. In oceans we trust: Conservation, philanthropy, and the political economy of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Marine Policy


Brown Journal of World Affairs 23 (2) 2017. Political Ecology Of Development 

Lily Zeng, Deepti Chatti, Chris Hebdon, and Michael R. Dove 2017 The Political Ecology Of Knowledge And Ignorance. BJWA 23(2) 159-176

William G. Moseley 2017 The New Green Revolution For Africa: A Political Ecology Critique BJWA 23(2) 177-190

Ivan R. Scales 2017 Tropical Forests, Politics, And Power: From Colonial Concessions To Carbon Credits. BJWA 23(2) 191-206

Susan Paulson 2017 Power and Difference in Conservation Policy: Changing Masculinities and Andean Watersheds BJWA 23(2) 207-224

Alain Lipietz 2017 2017. Contextualizing Political Ecology In Europe Within A Global Regulation Approach. BJWA 23(2) 225-234


Nordia Yearbook on Affirmative Political Ecology, just out from the (electronic) press. The whole issue is freely available online here:  

Table of Contents 

(The whole issue is freely available here:

Affirming political ecology: seeds, hatchets and situated entanglements. Tuomo Alhojärvi & Heikki Sirviö 

The affect of effect: affirmative political ecologies in monitoring climate change adaptation interventions. Kelly Dombroski & Huong Thi Do 

Meaningful engagement and oral histories of the indigenous peoples of the north. Tero Mustonen 

Row: a thinkivist art intervention. Massa Lemu & Emmanuel Ngwira 

Transcending binaries: a participatory political ecology of the Faroese foodscape. Elisabeth Skarðhamar Olsen & Rebecca Whittle 

Land in transitions: the needs of Finnish households striving toward self-sufficiency. Eeva Houtbeckers 

Pluriversal learning: pathways toward a world of many worlds. Susan Paulson 

Affirmative and engaged political ecology: practical applications and participatory development actions. Simon Batterbury 


CFP: 2019 AAA/CASCA “Pollution/Toxicity: Political Ecologies of Matter Out of Place” 

Call for abstracts for the fifth annual FLARE meeting at The University of Michagin, Ann Arbor. August 23-25, 2019 

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right, 15-17 Nov 2019 

Dear colleagues, 

As part of the annual IGS seminar on political ecology, we are organizing a research seminar on “political agronomy”, entitled “Political Agronomy: Knowledge production and policy framing in the era of Super- and Miracle Food”, which will take place on June 5 and 6 at the University of Lausanne. The program is currently being finalized. It will include a half-day plenary conference, a half-day workshop and a visit to a quinoa farm in French-speaking Switzerland. 

The final program and registration link will soon be available on the event page: 

We would be delighted to welcome you to this event, so please save the date! 

For the organizing committee, Florence Bétrisey

Registration open for #EJ2019 Conference. We are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2019 Environmental Justice Conference ‘Transformative Connections’, being held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, on 2 July – 4 July 2019.  

To register go to: UEA online store 

Early bird registration is available until 31 March 2019, with reduced rates available for students and delegates from low and middle income countries. 

Call for abstracts: WaterPower Symposium 2019 

Under the theme of “Transformative Development Pathways – Critical Perspectives on Urbanisation, Land and Water”, the WaterPower project invites you to participate in the project’s final symposium. Hosted by the Governance and Sustainability Lab at Trier University, the event aims to connect participants for discussions and exchanges on what efforts in knowing and governing the urban may be needed for transformative change. We invite researchers and early career professionals working across diverse sub-fields in Geography, Urban Studies, Development Studies, Environmental Sociology, Ecology, and related fields. The symposium will be held in English. The deadline for applications is 07 April 2019. More information can be found here

PhD position on Negative Emissions at LUCSUS, Lund University 

NEW NODES – Welcome to POLLEN! 


On behalf of the POLLEN secretariat, we would like to lend out support to the courageous students who have been taking to the streets in protest of climate inaction and other environmental injustices. These global strikes should be an inspiration to us all! 

Find out more here: 

And on Twitter 

We encourage other POLLEN nodes to lend their support – for some, this means supporting our children when they want to go on strike instead of attending school on Fridays! 

Best wishes, 

Marleen Schutter, Ben Neimark, John Childs, Simon Batterbury, Patrick Bigger, James Fraser, Giovanni Bettini, Katharine Howell 

POLLEN secretariat, Lancaster University


Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Third Biennial Conference – Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration

Brighton, United Kingdom

June 24-26, 2020


We are happy to announce that the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Third Biennial Conference will be held in Brighton, United Kingdom, June 24-26, 2020 on the theme of Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration. POLLEN20 will be organized by the ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and co-hosted by Radical Futures at the University of Brighton and the Institute of Development Studies, with support from the BIOSEC project at the University of Sheffield.

Whether framed as object, commodity, construction, actant, resource or relation, the contested notion of ‘nature’ is one of the most central themes in political ecology. The conference aims to explore plural natures and plural futures as sites of struggle and possibility, while critically engaging with the multiple and overlapping crises of our time. What does it mean to decolonise knowledge in political ecology? Questioning established notions of who is ‘the expert’, and associated epistemological hierarchies, we ask: What can we learn across sites of experimentation and through transdisciplinary engagements about ways of ‘doing’ transformation? At the current juncture, how do we make sense of evolving society-nature relationships? How are natures being (re)made through and against crises? How are technological, systemic and value transformations entangled in the process? What novel political ecologies are – or might be – emerging?

Our aim is for the conference to be a space for taking stock and looking forward, exploring classic questions through novel lenses, imaginaries and embodied practices, and finding inspiration in emerging debates and forms of practice that are only beginning to engage with political ecology scholarship and practice. The conference will be structured to encourage critical reflection around the entanglements and encounters of political ecology with a variety of approaches and philosophies from post-structuralism and Marxist to anarchist, feminist and queer perspectives – the ways of knowing, seeing, representing, challenging that often define our work.

To these ends, POLLEN20 will combine the objectives of a traditional meeting with the collegiality and dynamism of a less structured, more participatory gathering. As will be outlined in the call for proposals to be circulated in May 2019, we will be encouraging proposals for themed sessions in a variety of conventional and novel formats, aspiring to bring together perspectives and ways of sharing from across disciplines and geographic traditions, welcoming dialog with our allies within and outside the academy.

We are committed to diverse and equitable participation, so we aim to keep registration costs low. POLLEN members and session organizers who are able are urged to seek funding for participants who have difficulty accessing travel funds (e.g. un/underemployed or under-supported participants, participants from the Global South, self-funded PhDs, non-academic participants, early career scholars, etc.). We will establish a general ‘solidarity fund’ to which POLLEN nodes and groups may contribute to support travel bursaries, and we will offer the option of ‘solidarity registration’ for participants who wish to contribute individually to registration and travel costs of others who do not have access to organizational funds.

A detailed call for session proposals with submission instructions will be circulated in May of 2019. All proposals will be reviewed by a panel and registration will open in late Autumn of 2019. Updates and news will be announced on the POLLEN web site and on a dedicated conference web page. Inquiries about the conference or questions about contributions to the Solidarity Fund for travel bursaries can be sent by email to (please note that this is not the email address for the POLLEN secretariat).

CFP: 2019 AAA/CASCA “Pollution/Toxicity: Political Ecologies of Matter Out of Place”

Organizers:  Josh Fisher, Mary Mostafanezhad, and Sarah Marie Wiebe

The livable surface of earth is polluted in unprecedented ways.  Images abound of plastic bags riding the currents of the Pacific ocean and collecting in the Mariana Trench; stockpiles of nuclear waste pumped deep into earth’s outer crust; smoke and smog (a fusion of particulate matter and ozone) settling in above sprawling urban colonies; spent oxygen containers pockmarking the snows of Everest; and billions of pieces of space debris endlessly falling in Low Earth Orbit, just beyond a thin and rapidly changing breathable atmosphere.  So goes the narrative of the Anthropocene, a purportedly new geological epoch demarcated by the planetary effects of human activity.

The famed symbolic anthropologist Mary Douglas (1966) understood pollution as “matter out of place,” a kind of disorder that that necessarily prompts efforts to ”organize” the environment.  Anthropology, geography, and allied fields have since pushed this conversation forward by inquiring into the materiality of pollution, the toxicity that manifests in situated encounters between bodies and environments, and the co-production of pollution/toxicity — two sides of the same coin, in our reading, one overflowing boundaries and the other seeping in — through those extended networks of physico-chemical, organic, and sociocultural life that constitute local and global political ecologies.  Yet, questions about the source and form of pollution and the nature of its toxicity remain:

  • How is the materiality of pollution/toxicity smelled, tasted, felt, experienced, embodied, or symbolized, both in moments of crisis and in daily life?
  • How and by whom are its impacts — material, sociocultural, political, ethical, etc. — measured or otherwise accounted for  in technoscientific or other socioculturally and historically particular terms?
  • How is it governed through policies, infrastructures, and everyday acts of care and containmentare (sweeping, cleaning, planting, repairing)?
  • How its accounts give rise to  more overt political mobilizations?
  • How does it come to  reshape socio-political life?

We seek papers that explore current thinking about pollution and toxicity at the intersection of symbolic anthropology, political ecology, and science and technology studies.  We are interested in a broad range of scholarly perspectives, theoretical alliances, and methodological and epistemological approaches that contribute to historical and contemporary understandings of pollution and toxicity.  Our aim is to understand the discursive and material co-production of pollution and toxicity, as well as the stakes of such an analysis for diverse communities of human and nonhuman beings.

Potential topics could include but are not limited to:

– The many biotic and abiotic forms that pollution/toxicity (or other pathogens) may take

– The material and symbolic “poles” of pollution/toxicity

– The affective, sensory, and “felt” dimensions of pollution, including feelings of uncertainty surrounding exposure

– The embodiment and experience of pollution/toxicity, and the narratives that are formed through social discourse

– The political ecologies of pollution/toxicity and the stakes of analysis for different communities of humans/nonhumans

– The implications of policy, infrastructure, and other design elements in the propagation and/or mitigation of pollution/toxicity

– The technoscience of pollution/toxicity, including the measurement and abatement of polluting matter, the medicalization of its embodied effects, or the formation of policy and/or sociopolitical mobilizations

– The geographic and spatial politics of pollution/toxicity and their implications in terms of the local, national, and global scales of analysis

– The new social, economic, and ecological  milieus that are produced within the dynamic context of pollution/toxicity.

Abstracts should be sent to  Josh Fisher (, Mary Mostafanezhad (, and Sarah Marie Wiebe ( April 1st.

Lastly, if you can’t make it to the 2019 conference, be sure to look out for our CFP for the 2021 Special Issue of Environment & Society.

PhD position on Negative Emissions at LUCSUS, Lund University

We currently have an open position for a PhD candidate within our new four-year research project, entitled ‘Negative Emissions and the Politics of a Projected Future’. This project critically investigates emerging discourses and practices on large-scale carbon dioxide removal/negative emissions, including but not limited to Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). We are looking for excellent candidates that are keen to pursue a broadly-defined research interest in the politics of climate change mitigation and integrated assessment modelling from a political economy, political ecology and/or STS perspective.

The successful candidate will be situated at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) and be part of an international research team including Wim Carton, Andreas Malm and Emily Boyd in Lund; Holly Jean Buck at UCLA; and Silke Beck at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. This is a fully-funded, 4-year position with the possibility of up to 20% teaching (compensated by extension of the contract for up to one year). The application deadline is 9 April.

More details about the application procedure can be found at Enquires can be sent to .

Book Presentation | Liquid Power

  • 15 Mar 2019
  • 15:00 – 17:30
  • Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft
Western Europe

IHE Delft, Library Reading Room

Every political project is also an environmental project, and every environmental project is deeply inserted in specific political projects. This is only one of the many strong ideas proposed by Erik Swyngedouw in his book Liquid Power, which can be seen as a generative and provocative intervention in the reconceptualisation of the multiple relationships between nature, society, and power.

Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities

in Twentieth-Century Spain.

Cambridge: MIT Press. 2015.

By Erik Swyngedouw

Through a detailed and careful historical argument, the books demonstrates how Society and Nature are always deeply entangled and should not be analysed through transcendental binaries that separate nature from society.  

If you are interested in learning, discussing, and thinking about how socio-physical transformations unfold through myriad of interrelated social power relations and dynamics, please join us to discuss with the author about this and other political implications implied in this book.   

Pieter van der Zaag and Hermen Smit, both from IHE Delft, will act as discussants. 

If you are interested in participating of this event please write an email to Cristobal Bonelli