Job opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian School of Business

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow – “Institutional networks and self-organized adaptation: Tracing the democratic architectures of climate response”

Location: Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Position Description:

We are recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to work on the project “Institutional networks and self-organized adaptation: Tracing the democratic architectures of climate response”, a multi-collaborator effort led by Harry Fischer (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Forrest Fleischman (University of Minnesota), Dil Khatri (South Asian Institute of Advanced Studies), and Ashwini Chhatre (Indian School of Business). The project aims to study how individuals, households, and communities access state support mechanisms to confront climate risk and change, and the political channels that enable (and often preclude) their success. We seek an early-career scholar with training in humanistic social sciences or interdisciplinary development studies. The ideal candidate would have experience conducting intensive qualitative fieldwork with a focus on rural livelihoods and the politics of government service delivery coupled with knowledge of the South Asian context and comfort working in Hindi. Some familiarity with quantitative methods would be desirable. The postdoctoral fellow would be expected to spend at least 12 months in the field in Northern India (Himachal Pradesh) and Nepal. We wish to involve the postdoctoral fellow as a collaborator in developing the larger project, while also giving them a significant role in defining the research that they wish to focus their attention on. 

For more information on the project, please see: https://www.slu.se/en/departments/urban-rural-development/research/rural-development/ongoing-research/institutional-networks/

Employment and Institutional Affiliations: 

The postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with the larger research team led by Harry Fischer. However, their primary affiliation will be the Indian School of Business on their Hyderabad campus, where they will work under the direct supervision of Prof. Ashwini Chhatre. ISB is a leading management education institution in India, with an active portfolio of research on environment and development issues, including the Digital Identity Research Initiative and an active Forest Governance research program. ISB’s campus in Hyderabad provides state-of-the-art facilities for research and houses more than 150 faculty and researchers across disciplines. The postdoc will also maintain close contract with the Nepal research team led by Dil Khatri, based at the Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies

Appointment details: 

The position will start in September 2019. It is expected to last for two years, and we hope to offer one additional year of support, contingent upon performance and funding. Remuneration for this position is competitive, and the position also includes funding for international conferences (1 per year) and travel support for fieldwork.

The position is ideal for someone who wants to focus their attention on developing a new research project as part of an interdisciplinary research team, with generous support for intensive fieldwork. 

For further information, do not hesitate to contact:

Harry Fischer – harry.fischer@slu.se  or

Sangeetha Hariharan – Sangeetha_Hariharan@isb.edu

To apply:

We will begin reviewing applications on July 7 on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please send the following to harry.fischer@slu.se: a 1-2 page cover letter describing your qualifications and potential interest in the position, your CV, and contact information for 3 references.

Job opportunity: Lecturer in Political Ecology

The School for Field Studies is looking for a lecturer in Political Ecology for the Peru program in the NE Peruvian Amazon for the 2019-2020 academic year. We’re looking for a PhD, but will also consider someone with a Masters and university-level teaching experience in areas related to political ecology, cultural anthropology, human geography, or related field. Teaching is in English and fluency in Spanish is a plus but not an absolute requirement. We hire internationally, so there is no Peruvian or US citizenship requirement.

More information can be found here

POLLEN newsletter: June

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

Greetings and welcome to our monthly POLLEN update. We are happy to have received a number of interesting new publications and opportunities, and to once again welcome new nodes!  

Our teaching resources page is still expanding. If you have anything that you would like to add, please let us know!  

We would like to remind you of our drive to expand the POLLEN network, especially to include interested institutions from the Global South or any other under-represented regions. Please have a think about inviting institutions you work with who might benefit from being part of POLLEN. To aid this process, we have drafted an email that you can use if you would like to invite colleagues. We would like to thank Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen for suggesting this great idea. We hope this draft email will encourage existing nodes to ask their global partners to start their own node: 

Dear…, 

In attempts to branch out across the globe, we would like to invite you to start an institutional or individual ‘node’ in our network – Political Ecology Network (POLLEN). 

POLLEN is a global network, consisting of a large variety of researchers, groups, projects, networks and other ‘nodes’ around the world, that work at the interface of political, economic and social factors with environmental and social justice issues and change. 

As the name suggests, the aim of POLLEN is to facilitate interaction and creativity through ‘cross-fertilization’ and to promote the important field of political ecology worldwide, among academics as well as others. Historically, the term ‘political ecology’ has not been confined only to an analytical approach and research program, but also to the theories and narratives that mobilize social and political movements with an ecological agenda. 

We, therefore, aim to function as a vehicle to promote, encourage and facilitate political ecological research with other academic fields and disciplines, as well as civil society. The members of POLLEN are both individuals and ‘nodes’. 

These nodes are really what POLLEN is all about: autonomous groups of researchers and practitioners working in and on different traditions. It is established mainly to coordinate between, but also to support, the various nodes in ensuring that political ecology messages, lessons and insights are shared, broadcasted and heard more widely. This is done mainly on our blog 

One of the main activities of POLLEN is to hold a biennial conference. For more information see our website. 

To start your own POLLEN node, please fill in your details on our open Google Sheet membership database, and email the POLLEN secretariat (currently hosted by the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University) at politicalecologynetwork@gmail.com to request that your node is added to the website. 

That’s it. We are not a listserve – but do ask for contributions once a month for our newsletter. 

This draft email can also be found on the POLLEN website.  

We hope everyone enjoys reading this month’s newsletter and we thank everyone who sent us contributions! A pdf version of this newsletter can be found here.

BLOG POSTS 

Doing Political Ecology Amid Disaster by Jared Margulies 

Travel policy reduces travel costs and CO2 emissions by Jens Friis Lund 

Why is vanilla so expensive? | The Economist with Benjamin Neimark 

From our friends at Entitle

Statement of the Encounter of Critical and Autonomous Geographies of Latin America // Pronunciamiento del Encuentro de Geografías Críticas y Autónomas de América Latina 

Environmentalism is not a metaphor by Remy Bargout 

PUBLICATIONS 

Clement, F., Harcourt, W.J., Joshi, D. and Sato, C., 2019. Feminist political ecologies of the commons and commoning. International Journal of the Commons13(1). Editorial to a Special Feature which can be found here: Feminist political ecologies of the commons and commoning 

Kolinjivadi, V., 2019. Avoiding dualisms in ecological economics: Towards a dialectically-informed understanding of co-produced socionatures. Ecological Economics163, pp.32-41. 

Lund, J.F., Amanzi, N., Baral, S., Basnyat, B., Chhetri, B., Eilenberg, M., Hansen, C., Lund, C., Mbeyale, G., Meilby, H. and Ngaga, Y., 2019. Towards Participatory Forestry: Policy Briefs-Copenhagen Centre for Development Research, University of Copenhagen. Policy Brief1(May). 

Neimark, Benjamin Address the roots of environmental crime Science  12 Apr 2019: Vol. 364, Issue 6436, pp. 139 https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6436/139.1 

Ramcilovic-Suominen, S., Lovric, M., Mustalahti, I. 2019. Mapping policy actor networks and their interests in the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement in Lao PDR. World Development 118: 128-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.02.011 

Tănăsescu, M., 2019. Restorative ecological practice: The case of the European Bison in the Southern Carpathians, Romania. Geoforum

NEWS, CONFERENCES AND OPPORTUNITIES 

CFP SI: The species turn in South Asian identity politics 

The Canadian Society of Ecological Economics 12th Biennial Conference entitled “Engaging Economies of Change” took place from the 22-25 May, 2019 in Waterloo, Ontario. To view recorded keynotes, including a debate between degrowth and ecomodernism by Giorgios Kallis and Ted Norhaus, and other speakers raising issues on Indigenous sovereignty in Canada, feminist economics, radical care and commoning, and related themes, please visit this link at the David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/science-learning-centre-article/engaging-economies-of-change-canadian-society-for-ecological-economics-12th-biennial-conference-may-22-25-2019/?fbclid=IwAR0SQ43HKEDpmynAYVqY4So5QyAXeflc-nqjRGQzKljqF8bJuLveNJ8ezT4 

Reminder: The Political Ecology Society (PESO) announces the 2019 Eric Wolf Prize for the best article-length paper. The deadline for submission is July 15, 2019. 

The Future Pasts research project led from Bath Spa University (UK) is currently curating the exhibition Future Pasts: Landscape, Memory and Music in West Namibia at a Community Arts Venue in Swakopmund, Namibia (for info, see here). The project explores the cultural and conservation landscapes of west Namibia in connection with historical processes of colonialism and conquest. 

NEW NODES – Welcome to POLLEN! 

Best wishes, 

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

POLLEN secretariat, Lancaster University 

politicalecologynetwork@gmail.com 

https://politicalecologynetwork.org

@PolEcoNet 

Draft/example email for inviting partners

We have drafted an email that you can use if you would like to invite colleagues to join POLLEN. We would like to thank Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen for suggesting this great idea. We hope this draft email will encourage existing nodes to ask their global partners to start their own node: 

Dear…, 

In attempts to branch out across the globe, we would like to invite you to start an institutional or individual ‘node’ in our network – Political Ecology Network (POLLEN). 

POLLEN is a global network, consisting of a large variety of researchers, groups, projects, networks and other ‘nodes’ around the world, that work at the interface of political, economic and social factors with environmental and social justice issues and change. 

As the name suggests, the aim of POLLEN is to facilitate interaction and creativity through ‘cross-fertilization’ and to promote the important field of political ecology worldwide, among academics as well as others. Historically, the term ‘political ecology’ has not been confined only to an analytical approach and research program, but also to the theories and narratives that mobilize social and political movements with an ecological agenda. 

We, therefore, aim to function as a vehicle to promote, encourage and facilitate political ecological research with other academic fields and disciplines, as well as civil society. The members of POLLEN are both individuals and ‘nodes’. 

These nodes are really what POLLEN is all about: autonomous groups of researchers and practitioners working in and on different traditions. It is established mainly to coordinate between, but also to support, the various nodes in ensuring that political ecology messages, lessons and insights are shared, broadcasted and heard more widely. This is done mainly on our blog 

One of the main activities of POLLEN is to hold a biennial conference. For more information see our website. 

To start your own POLLEN node, please fill in your details on our open Google Sheet membership database, and email the POLLEN secretariat (currently hosted by the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University) at politicalecologynetwork@gmail.com to request that your node is added to the website. 

That’s it. We are not a listserve – but do ask for contributions once a month for our newsletter. 

Why is vanilla so expensive? | The Economist

With Benjamin Neimark

In recent years, natural vanilla has sometimes been more expensive than silver by weight. Vanilla farmers in Madagascar are cashing in—but violence, theft and volatile markets are threatening their prospects. Read more here: https://econ.st/2W5qwNB.

From ice cream to cakes and even perfume, vanilla is the go-to flavour the world over. In recent years the price of natural vanilla has shot up. At one point it was more expensive than silver by weight. 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown in the perfectly suited climate of the north-east region of Madagascar. It’s the country’s primary export crop. For the farmers, like Beni Odon, life is far sweeter when the vanilla price is high. In 2014 vanilla was $80 a kilo. Three years later it was $600. Today it’s around $500. The price rise is due in part to global demand. The trend of eating naturally means that food companies have shunned synthetic flavouring in favour of the real deal. Beni and the other farmers are cashing in. But things can change very quickly. Price fluctuations affect producers of agricultural commodities everywhere but vanilla is particularly volatile. In just a few weeks the price can jump, or plummet, by over 20% Liberalisation is one reason for such movements. The Malagasy government once regulated the vanilla industry and its price. But now the price is negotiated at the point of sale which makes for a freer market but a more volatile one. It’s also a tiny industry. A single cyclone can knock out the entire crop within Madagascar. It’s also a difficult and delicate crop to grow. The growers have to contend with another problem. Thieves are targeting the vanilla crops. Some farmers have resorted to harvesting the beans before they’re ripe but this produces a poorer quality vanilla and ultimately pushes down the price. The combination of deteriorating quality and high prices is having an effect. The vanilla price bubble may burst. Big buyers that provide vanilla for the likes of Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s are now working directly with farmers in a bid to gain greater control over quality. Other companies have started to look elsewhere for their natural vanilla. Indonesia, Uganda and even the Netherlands are growing the crop. For a century Madagascar has enjoyed a near-monopoly on vanilla. But this industry may be in line for a radical overhaul.

Travel policy reduces travel costs and CO2 emissions

From Jens Friis Lund at the University of Copenhagen:

In 2015, my department at University of Copenhagen created a simple travel policy that aimed to reduce travel costs and employees CO2 footprint from travelling. The policy sought to create awareness and to put a cap on numbers of flights financed by internal sources. Since it was put in place in late 2015, both direct transport costs and CO2 emissions from flying have been reduced by 15% per scientific staff year. Currently, our department is evaluating the possibilities for initiatives that can result in further reductions, e.g. no longer financing domestic flights, strongly encouraging employees to choose bus or train for destinations within 12 hours, and boosting video-conference facilities. The policy can be found here . I can also recommend Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies’ policy, which is more ambitious. There are no doubt many others.

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right – **Deadline extended for applications: Friday 31st May** https://www.pefr.event.lu.se/ Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/665553393879568/

Lund University, 15-17 November 2019
An interdisciplinary academic-activist conference organized by the Human Ecology Division at Lund University in collaboration with The Zetkin Collective and CEFORCED at Chalmers University
Confirmed speakers: Cara Daggett (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick), Bernard Forchtner (University of Leicester), Kari Norgaard (University of Oregon), Jens Rydgren (Stockholm University).
Far-right political parties, ideologies and social movements are increasingly exercising influence across the world. At the same time, ecological issues, such as climate change, deforestation, land use change, biodiversity loss, and toxic waste are intensifying in their urgency. What happens when the two phenomena meet? How, when and why do they intersect? How are party and non-party sectors of the far right mobilizing ecological issues and discourses to their advantage, whether through championing or rejecting environmentalist claims? What are the ecological underpinnings of far-right politics today? This understudied topic forms the basis of this interdisciplinary conference on the political ecologies of the far right.

From Trump and Bolsonaro to the Sweden Democrats and AfD, a radical anti-environmentalism is most often championed by the contemporary far right. This stance resonates with a conspiratorial suspicion of the state, science, elites, globalism, and supposed processes of moral, cultural and social decay. This is most clearly pronounced in climate change denialism and defense of fossil fuels, which have undergone a global resurgence in recent years. But the same position is also articulated in, for example, anti-vegetarianism or opposition to renewables. How can we understand the causes of far right rejection of environmentalism and environmental concerns where it occurs? What broader ideologies, interests, psychologies, histories, narratives and perceptions does it reflect? What might the implications be for ecological futures if far-right parties continue to amass power? How can the climate justice and other environmental movements and anti-racist, anti-fascist activism converge and collaborate?

On the other hand, it is an inconvenient truth that there is a long-standing shadowy legacy of genealogical connections between environmental concern and far-right thought, from links between conservation and eugenics in the early national parks movement in the US, to dark green currents within Nazism. Hostility to immigration informed by Malthusian thinking and regressive forms of patriotic localism have often surfaced in Western environmentalism. Today, the mainstream environmental movement is more usually aligned with leftist, progressive policies, yet the conservative streak that always lies dormant in overly romanticized conceptions of landscape and nature, or fears about over-population, lie ripe for mobilization in new unholy alliances between green and xenophobic, nativist ideologies. In what forms does this nexus appear around the world today and with what possible consequences? What frames, linkages and concerns are central to eco-right narratives? How can environmental thinking ward off the specter of green nationalism?

How to apply:

The conference aims to bring together not only scholars working at the interface of political ecology and far right studies but also activists from environmental, anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and movements. We believe there is still much work to do to bring together these often separate strands of scholar and activist work together, and much opportunity for collaboration, mutual learning, and networking. This conference aims to hold a space for such engagement.

Scholars: We welcome contributions from all disciplines (geography, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, cultural studies, sustainability studies, STS, philosophy, art history, media studies, communication studies, et cetera). Apart from individual papers, we also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.

Activists: At least one day of the conference (Sunday – TBC) will focus on activist practices, with an emphasis on sharing and developing ideas and synergies between green and anti-fascist thinking and working, and on ways to collectively prevent a scenario of ‘ecological crisis meets fascist populism’. We invite activist groups and individuals to submit proposals for workshops, discussions, and presentations.

In line with recent calls for radical emissions reductions at Swedish universities, we encourage prospective participants to consider other travel options than aviation if possible. We are also open to presentations via video link.

Submission of abstracts: Please send abstracts (max. 350 words) to pefr@hek.lu.se by Friday 31st May (**extended deadline**). There are a limited number of travel bursaries available (we will prefer non-aviation means where possible) for those who are most in need of support. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• climate denialism/climate change, fossil fuels and the far right
• anti-environmentalism of far right
• linking environmental, anti-fascist, anti-racist activism and social movements
• ‘cultural marxism’, conspiracy theories and the environment
• gender, sexuality, the far right and environment (eco, hegemonic or industrial masculinities, anti-feminism, normative heterosexuality, patriarchy)
• renewable energy, vegan/vegetarianism, animal rights, agriculture, toxic waste, land use change, biodiversity extinction, pollution etc and the far right
• environmental science, epistemology and the far right
• racism, xenophobia, nature, conservation, ecology, wilderness and far right
• whiteness as/and ‘endangered’ species
• scenarios of a far-right ecological future
• religion, ecology and the far right
• populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, alt-right, far right
• greenwashing, industry links, capital and funding for the far right and links with environmental issues
• far right narratives on development, progress, and futures and their ecological conceptualization
• environmental history of green ideas in far right politics
• dark green histories and genealogies of environmentalism
• infiltrations of and unhappy alliances between the contemporary far right and environmentalists
• ecofascism, bio-nazism, green nationalism