Call for papers extended – #EJ2019

The deadline for submissions of abstracts and sessions for the Environmental Justice Conference 2019 – Transformative Connections at University of East Anglia in July 2019 has been extended to 14 February 2019.

Find out more:

There are also a number of open panels looking for participants here:

Get in touch:



Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020

Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy
Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times of Extinction, Exception and Enmity

Organized by: Prof. Bram Büscher (Wageningen University, the Netherlands).

Date: 10-16 May 2020

Place: Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy (an old abbey two hours from Rome, which now functions as an eco-friendly organic farm and a venue for a variety of gatherings). For more information, see

The topic:

Conservation and crisis are no strangers. Conservation science has long been seen as a ‘crisis discipline’ while conservationists often have to respond to or work in crisis situations. And while conservation has booked successes, the sense of crisis has not gone away. To the contrary, it has rapidly increased, especially over the last years. Three elements seem particularly pertinent. First, a cascading extinction crisis. Many scientists now believe we have entered the sixth extinction event in the history of the planet, the first one that is human-induced. Second, we are seeing an increasing number of high-pressure situations around the world where urgent action is required to safeguard important species or ecosystems from destruction. These disparate crises seem to be the outcome of a recent surge in large-scale resource extraction and wildlife crime. They have in turn elicited new types of conservation responses, leading to myriad ‘spaces of exception’ where violence, illegality and uncertainty drastically change environmental governance. Third, all this is taking place in a global political climate that increasingly revolves around deep-seated forms of antagonism. An increasing number of authoritarian leaders openly flirt with fascism, dismiss democratic institutions and base their politics on distinctions between friends and enemies.[1] This politics of enmity does not make it easier to focus our attention on conservation crises deemed so urgent that they threaten humanity’s very survival.

As part of this work/writeshop, we are interested to investigate and theorize crisis conservation in times of extinction, exception and enmity. We are interested in papers that make empirical and/or theoretical connections between all or some of these elements and seek to understand the changes they lead to and their (potential) impacts on people and nature. The workshop will be used to discuss advanced drafts of papers in order to produce a coherent special issue for a top political ecology, human geography or related journal.

The idea: through this CfP, I would like to invite scholars working on crisis conservation and interested in the links between extinction, exception and enmity to submit an abstract for a dedicated work/writeshop in May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto in Italy. The idea is to come together with a small group of scholars (max. 10-12) to present and discuss draft papers on this topic and have them ready for submission to a journal by the end of the week or very soon thereafter. The workshop will be held in a beautiful agriturismo (Abbazia di San Giusto), with plenty of time and space for hikes, discussions, good dinners and creative leisure time.

If you feel that your research fits this description, or that you can quite easily extend your current research to fit the topic, do consider submitting an abstract. From the abstracts, we will choose 4-6 participants to join 6 others already involved in the crisis conservation project (see for this exciting workshop. If your abstract is selected, your participation will be fully funded. Scholars from the global south are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

Deadline for abstracts: We request paper abstracts by 4 March 2019. Please send a 250 word abstract, with title, contact information, and three keywords as an attachment to<>. If approved, full papers are due 1 March 2020.

More information: if you want more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch:<>.

For more content info, see also the following papers, which can be downloaded from<>:

*   Büscher, Bram and Robert Fletcher (2018). Under Pressure: conceptualising Political ecologies of “Green Wars”. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 105-113<;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=105;epage=113;aulast=Buscher>.
*   Büscher, Bram (2018). From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime and the New Geographies of Conservation. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 157-169.<;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=157;epage=169;aulast=Buscher;type=0>
*   Büscher, Bram and Maano Ramutsindela (2016). Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks. African Affairs 115, 458: 1-22<>.
*   Duffy, R., F. St John, B. Büscher and D. Brockington (2015). The Militarization of Anti-Poaching: Undermining Long Term Goals. Environmental Conservation <> 42, 4: 345-348.


[1] See, accessed 11 November 2018.

CfP: Space in time: changing patterns of land use, land rights, and landscape narratives. ECAS, 11-14.06.2019, Edinburgh.

The 8th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS19)

Panel Env09: Space in time: changing patterns of land use, land rights, and landscape narratives

Short Abstract:
Rivers are in the centre of dynamic landscapes in Southern Africa marked by competing narratives of land use and land claims. The panel addresses continuities and ruptures of these changing uses and claims by exploring interdisciplinary archives of river landscapes in Southern Africa and beyond.

The panel explores the interlinkages of landscapes and archives along African rivers. Irrespective of how landscape is conceptualised, materially or discursively, landscape is always subject to change, and as such reflects continuities and disruptions: Natural processes (geological, fluvial, climatic) and human interactions (agriculture, settlements, mining, infrastructure) leave physical traces in the landscape. Whereas changing regimes of representations (paintings, maps, story-telling) generate new and often competing discursive landscapes. In other words, the panel asks how information stored in river landscapes allows for reconstructing narratives of the past. The panel hence welcomes papers that explore narratives lodged in river landscapes from diverse disciplines using and combining varieties of data, as well as theoretical contributions that seek to bring together competing narratives of river landscapes.
The panel convenors are involved in the interdisciplinary research project Space in Time that explores landscape narratives and land management changes along the Lower Orange River marking the border between Namibia and South Africa. This region’s patterns of water and land use have experienced profound changes over the last centuries. Today, large-scale nature conservation and agriculture projects both benefit from the river (and the border) and are at the same time the driving forces behind a further restructuring of the region, in which large parts of the population remain poor. The panel seeks to broaden the regional, conceptual and theoretical scope of this project and invites papers that contribute to interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical engagements with changing patterns of land use, land rights and landscape narratives along rivers.

All paper proposals must consist of: a title, name/s and email address/es of author/s, a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters, a long abstract of fewer than 250 word.


Please submit your paper directly on ECAS website:

Deadline: 21 January 2019

CfP Political Ecologies of Green Energy at RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Political Ecologies of Green Energy: troubling the realities of being green

Convenors: Dr Jessica Hope & Dr Ed Atkins, University of Bristol

Sponsored by DARG & ENGRG

The 2015 Paris Agreement binds world leaders to a commitment to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius this century. If this is not achieved, climate scientists predict significant disruptions to earth systems that will radically alter life as we know it (IPCC 2018). In this context, green energy offers hope. Firstly, as moving away from fossil fuels is crucial for reducing carbon emissions. Secondly, as green energy offers opportunities for a revised politics of energy and an alternative material basis for social, environmental and political life. However, the transformative potential offered by green energies is troubled by continuing patterns of exploitation, extraction, and dispossession. Hydropower mega-dams, for example, require large-scale infrastructure in the Amazon that cuts into and through indigenous territories and conservation areas (Atkins 2018). The tech-minerals required for energy storage from wind and solar power, as another example, are driving new frontiers of mining in Latin America (see Andreucci & Radhuber forthcoming)..

Political ecology provides a productive lens for investigating these shifts and tensions. It reveals the contested and multi-scalar politics of nature(s), spanning debates about how nature(s) are conceptualized and governed.  Broadly, it enables us to foreground and analyse the interconnections between natures, cultures, knowledges, power, and history (see Escobar 2017) and politicize ecologies that are often rendered apolitical within popular and policy discourse (Robbins 2011: 7). In this panel, we invite papers that use a political ecology approach to interrogate and extend how we view so-called ‘green’ energies – from solar and wind to hydropower and new biofuels. At a time when the urgency of climate change is increasingly apparent (IPCC 2018), we seek to broaden our understandings of these emergent energy infrastructures to better understanding their relationship – be it positive or negative – with both social wellbeing and environmental health. With the complex realities of green energies often hidden by de-politicised CO2 metrics, we seek papers that open-up our understandings of what constitutes ‘green’ energy and the role of power and exclusion in such a definition.

We invite papers that take this as their starting point that energy is a particularly important site of study for political ecology, one that is not interchangeable with other ‘natural resources’ as energy provides the material basis of politics more broadly (Huber 2011). We invite authors to interrogate, examine and extend a political ecology of ‘green’ energy systems and technologies. Papers that look at the Global North or South are welcomed. Similarly, we are interested in hearing about a diversity of energy sources.

Papers might ask:

·      How do green energy technologies restructure the spatiality / materiality of incumbent energy systems?

·      To what extent do green energies differ from dynamics of extractivism and the uneven development produced by incumbent energy systems?

·                           How do new ‘resources’ come into being (to become commodities              and extractable resources)? For example, through which knowledges, practices and discourses?

·      How do green energies rework or confront colonial histories, neocolonial practices and decolonial agendas?

·      How are alternative ontologies of nature and place encountered and treated by green energy initiatives?

Please send a 300 word abstract and brief bio to Dr Jessica Hope ( and Dr Ed Atkins ( by Feb 12th 2019

CfP RGS-IBG 2019: Trust in Rural Land Governance

RGS-IBG 2019 (28th – 30th August 2019, London)


Sponsor: Rural Geographers Research Group (RGRG)

Convenors: Sam Staddon, Clare Barnes, Rachel Hunt (University of Edinburgh)

Trust is at the heart of questions of rural land governance which involve interactions between actors from different sectors (the public, state, non-state and corporate), across multiple levels. Land governance arrangements are often characterised by conflicting perspectives, experiences and interests across and within these sectors, making it imperative to understand processes of establishing, maintaining or losing trust, in such arrangements. Through their ‘typology of trust’ Stern and Baird (2015) argue that trust promotes the efficacy and resilience of natural resource management institutions, however others caution against a naïve focus on promoting good governance as a way to improve trust and relationships (Grindle 2017). Increasing scrutiny of ‘street-level bureaucracy’ (Lipksy 2010) and of the practices and performances of ‘intermediary’ actors (Funder & Marani 2015, Flachs & Richards 2018) highlights the importance of understanding how trust emerges, or flounders, in everyday encounters between actors. Geographers have been challenged to question what trust doeswhere and how it works, and to what end; in part by paying attention to the ‘technologies’ of trust’, in which trust is inscribed through words, numbers, instruments, and space (Withers 2018). Feminist geographers and political ecologists point to the importance of the ir-rational, of emotions, of informal spaces and of embodied everyday encounters and practices in the building of subjectivities, of relations, and thus of trust and cooperation around land governance (Nightingale 2011, Nightingale 2013, Wynne-Jones 2017, Pickerill 2009). Such work advances a perspective attentive to the situated, relational and emergent properties of trust, along with its political, historical, social and cultural dimensions and its material and symbolic expression.

Trust, trustworthiness and distrust are of growing interest to geographers (Withers 2018), but whilst “trust is one of the most fascinating and fundamental social phenomena [it is] at the same time one of the most elusive and challenging concepts one could study” (Lyon et al. 2012 p.1). This session aims to unpack this elusive concept in relation to rural land governance, bringing together experience and insight in relation to the questions such as:

  • How does trust emerge between the range of actors present across difference sectors?
  • How is trust maintained/lost over time, and how is it expressed?
  • What factors, processes, spaces and ‘technologies’ facilitate or inhibit the building of trust?
  • What role does trust play in on-going rural land governance?
  • How might trust be actively promoted and enhanced?
  • How can trust be understood methodologically and conceptually?

We particularly welcome submissions from PhD and ECRs, and those is a variety of formats.

Please submit an abstract of around 250 words to Sam Staddon (, Clare Barnes ( and Rachel Hunt ( by 8th February. Any questions do get in touch!


  • Flachs A. & Richards P. (2018) Playing development roles: the political ecology of performance in agricultural development. Journal of Political Ecology, 25, 638-646.
  • Funder M. & Marani M. (2015) Local Bureaucrats as Bricoleurs. The Everyday Implementation Practices of County Environment Officers in Rural Kenya. International Journal of the Commons, 9, 87–106.
  • Grindle M.  (2017) Good Governance, R.I.P.: A Critique and an Alternative. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 30, 17-22.
  • Lipsky M. (2010) Street Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services.30th Anniversary Expanded Edition. The Russell Sage Foundation: New York, NY.
  • Lyon F., Mollering G. & Saunders M.N.K. (2012) Handbook of Research Methods on Trust. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.
  • Nightingale A. (2011) Beyond design principles: Subjectivity, emotion, and the (ir)rational commons. Society & Natural Resources, 24, 119-132.
  • Nightingale A. (2013) Fishing for nature: the politics of subjectivity and emotion in Scottish inshore fisheries management. Environment & Planning A., 45, 2362-2378.
  • Pickerill J. (2009) Finding common ground? Spaces of dialogue and the negotiation of indigenous interests in environmental campaigns in Australia. Geoforum, 40, 66-79.
  • Stern M.J. & Baird T.D. (2015) Trust ecology and the resilience of natural resource management institutions. Ecology and Society, 20, 14.
  • Withers C.W.J. (2018) Trust – in geography. Progress in Human Geography, 42, 489–508.
  • Wynne-Jones S. (2017) Understanding farmer co-operation: Exploring practices of social relatedness and emergent affects. Journal of Rural Studies, 53, 259-268.


8th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) – Africa: Connections and Disruptions

Edinburgh, June 11-14 2019

CFP New surplus populations in Africa: Ruptures and continuities in rural transitions

Panel Soc02, convened by Michela Marcatelli (Stellenbosch University) and Lerato Thakholi (Wageningen University and Research)

Contemporary land and green grabbing, both accelerated by global environmental challenges and capitalism’s response to them, have brought about a new phase of dispossession and displacement in Africa. These dynamics are highly uneven and context-specific. In some places, they are better understood in connection with the colonial past, whereas in others they represent ruptures within broader processes of rural and environmental change. The consequences on the rural poor differ too, but there is evidence of relative surplus populations emerging, with serious effects on these people’s access to land, natural resources, labour, and livelihoods – while the neoliberal socio-economic system often does not provide any alternatives.

This panel aims to reflect on how the complementary processes of dispossession and displacement are unfolding across present-day Africa. We welcome both theoretical contributions that point out common logics underpinning these phenomena and rich empirical case studies that highlight local differences. We seek to bring together contributors from different disciplines and especially encourage scholars working in the fields of critical agrarian studies, political ecology, and sociology of development to submit their proposals.

The panel intends to address the following questions, among others:

  • What are the connections between dispossession, displacement, environmental change, and capital accumulation in times of land and green grabbing?
  • Who is being made surplus, how, and to what?
  • How are dispossession and displacement affecting rural populations and their social reproduction?
  • What discourses are employed to justify these processes?

To submit a paper proposal online, please visit the following ECAS pages: 

The deadline for submission of paper proposals is January 21.

“Entangled Natures: A Conference on Human Ecology” 

We are happy to inform you that the School of Human Ecology at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) is organising a conference titled “Entangled Natures: A Conference on Human Ecology during 14th to 17th February 2019.
The conference will have five thematic panels, speed talks, posters, photo exhibition celebrating a decade of SHE, and an open house and photography competition for undergraduate students. We have just issued a call for papers, which is available on the conference website
Please circulate among those interested. 
Asmita Kabra.