POLLEN 2020: Call for session proposals

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

When: 24 – 26 June 2020
Where: Brighton, UK
Organized by: The ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and The Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Secretariat (based at Lancaster University 2017 -2019; and moving to the University of Copenhagen 2019 – 2021). The conference is co-hosted by Radical Futures at the University of Brighton, with support from the BIOSEC project (European Research Council) and SIID at the University of Sheffield.
Session proposal submission deadline: 31 October 2019
Session proposal submission form: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/POLLEN2020
Notification of accepted sessions: January 2020
Conference web site: https://pollen2020.wordpress.com/

Call for session proposals

The POLLEN 20 organizing committee is pleased to announce a call for proposals for organized conference sessions. The deadline for submission of session proposals is 31 October 2019, and all proposals should be submitted via online form.

Conference theme

The contested notion of ‘nature’ is one of the central themes in political ecology, and the third biennial conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN), Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration, aims to explore plural natures and plural futures as sites of struggle and possibility whilst critically engaging with and ‘unpacking’ multiple and overlapping crises of our times.

As 2020 is the fifth anniversary of the POLLEN network, the organizers aim for the conference to be a time for taking stock and looking forward; for welcoming provocation and critique; questioning established notions of who is ‘the expert’ and associated epistemological hierarchies; exploring classic questions through novel concepts, lenses, imaginaries, (re)enchantments and embodied and decolonizing practices; and for finding inspiration in emerging debates and new alliances.

The conference will be structured to encourage critical reflection around the entanglements and encounters of political ecology with a variety of theories, approaches and philosophies, including but not limited to post-structuralist and Marxist to anarchist, feminist and queer perspectives within political ecology. As in previous meetings, POLLEN 2020 will combine the objectives of a traditional meeting with the collegiality and dynamism of a less structured, more participatory gathering.

To these ends, this call encourages proposals for themed sessions in a variety of both conventional and novel formats, aspiring to bring together perspectives and ways of sharing from across disciplines and geographic traditions, and welcoming contributions from within and outside the academy.

We particularly encourage transdisciplinary engagements and collaborations in political ecology (i.e. involving, for example, researchers in social sciences, natural / environmental sciences, environmental humanities and development studies; artists; journalists; practitioners; policy professionals; laypersons; activists; environmental justice campaigners and others).

Circulating calls, proposal preparation and submission

Information about the full conference theme, session formats and participation, guidance for preparing and submitting proposals for organized sessions and frequently asked questions are available on the POLLEN 20 conference web site. You will also find information of the conference venue, travel, accommodations, and accessibility that will be updated regularly in the coming months.

The conference committee and POLLEN secretariat can assist with posting calls to the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) web site and the conference web site. If you would like to post a call for papers or presenters, please send your call as an email attachment in .DOC format with proposed session title, session details / abstract and instructions for submitting potential contributions to session organizers to POLLEN@sussex.ac.uk with ‘CfP POLLEN 20’ in the subject line. Make sure to include all relevant information for potential participants in your session.

Inquiries about the conference

Inquiries about the conference, co-hosting, or questions about contributions to the Solidarity Fund for travel bursaries can be sent to POLLEN@sussex.ac.uk (please note that this is not the email address for the POLLEN secretariat).

A note on child care

We are exploring options for child care and compiling a list of local child care providers, but we need to gauge the level of interest. Please email POLLEN@sussex.ac.uk by 1 September 2019 if you think you will need child care to attend the conference. In the email, please provide the number of days, age(s) of child/children and any special needs, including special dietary needs, and include ‘POLLEN 20 child care’ in the subject line.



POLLEN newsletter: July/August

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

Greetings and welcome to a new POLLEN update. A mid-summer newsletter for some, and a mid-winter newsletter for others! We are happy to have received such a great number of interesting new publications and opportunities, which have been inspiring for us to read. We hope everyone enjoys reading this month’s newsletter and we thank everyone who sent us contributions.

A pdf version of the newsletter can be found here.


The organizing committee of the Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) will soon be circulating a call for proposals for organized sessions, workshops and exhibitions for next POLLEN conference (#POLLEN20). The conference, titled Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration, will be held in Brighton, UK on 24-26 June 2020, hosted by the ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and The Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Secretariat, and Radical Futures at the University of Brighton, with support from the BIOSEC project and SIID at the University of Sheffield. For inquiries about co-hosting or getting involved, please email POLLEN@sussex.ac.uk.


Eco(in)movilismo. Movilidad urbana e inmovilismo cultural. By Massimo Paolini

Why no change? Sustainable development, extractivism and the environment in Bolivia by Jessica Hope

From our friends at Entitle:

Pupils at the forefront: the school-work interchange on climate change between university and high school in Naples by Maria Federica Palestino, Simona Quagliano and Elena Vetromile

Why ‘Game of Thrones’ was about ecomodernism by Chris Giotitsas & Vasilis Kostakis

What is “good practice” in academia? By Bregje van Veelen, Richard Lane & Laura Tozer

Open letter to the President of Colombia denouncing threats and murder of social leaders // Carta abierta al Presidente de Colombia denunciando amenazas y asesinatos a lideres sociales

From PERC in New Zealand (where it is mid-winter) is a blog post detailing Dr. Trisia Farrelly’s time at the UNWRAPPED conference in the US, which bought together top researchers in ecotoxicology and food packaging with leaders of international advocacy groups to discuss the latest findings on food and beverage contamination from plastic packaging: https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=3CAD4D59-36F7-4C4F-8908-07046BBFD680


Andreucci, D. and Engel-Di Mauro, S., 2019. Capitalism, Socialism and the Challenge of Degrowth: Introduction to the Symposium. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 30(2), pp.176-188. https://doi.org/10.1080/10455752.2018.1546332

The rest of this special section of Capitalism Nature Socialism labelled “Symposium on Socialism and Degrowth” can be found here: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcns20/30/2?nav=tocList

Belcher, Oliver, Patrick Bigger, Ben Neimark, and Cara Kennelly. (2019) “Hidden carbon costs of the “everywhere war”: Logistics, geopolitical ecology, and the carbon boot‐print of the US military.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12319

Bluwstein, J., 2019. Resisting Legibility: State and Conservation Boundaries, Pastoralism, and the Risk of Dispossession through Geospatial Surveys in Tanzania. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History, 6(1). https://www.rurallandscapesjournal.com/articles/10.16993/rl.53/

Brown, B. and Spiegel, S.J., 2019. Coal, Climate Justice, and the Cultural Politics of Energy Transition. Global Environmental Politics, 19(2), pp.149-168.

Clement, F., Harcourt, W.J., Joshi, D. and Sato, C., 2019. Feminist political ecologies of the commons and commoning. International Journal of the Commons, 13(1). Editorial to a Special Feature which can be found here: Feminist political ecologies of the commons and commoning

Dunlap, Alexander. (2019) Renewing Destruction: Wind Energy Development, Conflict and Resistance in a Latin American Context, London: Rowman & Littlefield.

Dunlap A. (2019) Book Review: Jaume Franquesa. Power Struggles: Dignity, Value, and The Renewable Energy Frontier in Spain. Interface: a journal for and about social movements 11: 228-231.

Harris, M.L. and Carter, E.D. 2019. Muddying the waters: A political ecology of mosquito-borne disease in coastal Ecuador. Health & Place, 57: 330-338. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.05.010

Hennings, A., 2019. From Bullets to Banners and Back Again? The Ambivalent Role of Ex-combatants in Contested Land Deals in Sierra Leone. Africa Spectrum, 54(1), pp.22-43. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002039719848511

Onur İnal (University of Vienna) and Ethemcan Turhan (KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory) edited a volume titled “Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey: Landscapes, State and Environmental Movements” out from Routledge Environmental Humanities Series on 26 July 2019. The volume brings together contributions from an emerging cohort of environmental history and political ecology scholars.

Kolinjivadi, V., 2019. Avoiding dualisms in ecological economics: Towards a dialectically-informed understanding of co-produced socionatures. Ecological Economics, 163, pp.32-41.

Vijay Kolinjivadi. 6 Jun 2019. Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable. Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/hipster-vegan-green-tech-economy-sustainable-190605105120654.html

Koot, S. and Büscher, B. (2019). Giving land (back)? Dwelling, indigeneity and the ontological politics of the South Kalahari Bushmen land claim in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies: 2019 – Koot and Buscher – Giving Land (Back)

Koot, S. Film review of When lambs become lions (2019). Kasbe, J. (dir.). 2018. 79 minute documentary film. USA: Kasbe Films / The Documentary Group. www.whenlambs.com. Journal of Political Ecology 26 (1): 2019 – Koot – When lambs become lions (film review)

Koot, S. Hitchcock, R. and Gressier, C. (2019). Belonging, Indigeneity, Land and Nature in Southern Africa under Neoliberal Capitalism: An Overview. Journal of Southern African Studies: 2019 – Koot, Hitchcock, Gressier – Belonging, Indigeneity, Land and Nature (editorial)

Lai, H.L., 2019. Situating community energy in development history: Place-making and identity politics in the Taromak 100% green energy tribe initiative, Taiwan. Geoforum, 100, pp.176-187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.01.006

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 Brief, 1(May).

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

Benjamin Neimark, Oliver Belcher, Patrick Bigger. 24 June 2019. US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries – shrinking this war machine is a must. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/us-military-is-a-bigger-polluter-than-as-many-as-140-countries-shrinking-this-war-machine-is-a-must-119269

Nightingale, A.J., Eriksen, S., Taylor, M., Forsyth, T., Pelling, M., Newsham, A., Boyd, E., Brown, K., Harvey, B., Jones, L. and Bezner Kerr, R., 2019. Beyond Technical Fixes: climate solutions and the great derangement. Climate and Development, pp.1-10

Ramcilovik-Suominen, S., 2019. REDD+ as a tool for state territorialization: managing forests and people in Laos. Journal of Political Ecology, 26(1), pp.263-281. https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/JPE/article/view/23357/22186

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

Spiegel, S.J., 2019. Visual Storytelling and Socioenvironmental Change: Images, Photographic Encounters, and Knowledge Construction in Resource Frontiers. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, pp.1-25. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24694452.2019.1613953

Scott E, Kallis G, Zografos C (2019) Why environmentalists eat meat. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0219607. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219607. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0219607

Sullivan, S. 2019Reading ‘Earth Incorporated’ through Caliban and the Witch, pp. 119-134 in Barbagallo, C., Beuret, N. and Harvie, D. (eds.) Commoning with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis. London: Pluto Press.

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

Vaccaro, I. and Beltran, O., 2019. What Do We Mean by “the Commons?” An Examination of Conceptual Blurring Over Time. Human Ecology, pp.1-10. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10745-019-00081-z

Van der Wulp, C. and Koot, S. (2019). Immaterial Indigenous Modernities in the Struggle against Illegal Fencing in the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy, Namibia: Genealogical Ancestry and ‘San-ness’ in a ‘Traditional Community’. Journal of Southern African Studies: 2019 – Van der Wulp and Koot – Immaterial Indigenous Modernities

Judith Verweijen and Saidi Kubuya Batundi. July 5th, 2019. Virunga National Park: rethinking ‘law and order’ in conservation. LSE blog: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2019/07/05/virunga-national-park-law-conservation-drc/

Judith Verweijen, Esther Marijnen and Janvier Murair. 5 June 2019. Why more women should be included in the leadership of Virunga National Park (commentary). Mongabay: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/why-more-women-should-be-included-in-the-leadership-of-virunga-national-park-commentary/

Special issue of Geoforum on the theme of The New Politics and Geographies of Scarcity:

  1. Mehta, L., Huff, A., & Allouche, J. (2019). The new politics and geographies of scarcity. Geoforum, 101, 222-230.
  2. Scoones, I., Smalley, R., Hall, R., & Tsikata, D. (2019). Narratives of scarcity: Framing the global land rush. Geoforum, 101, 231-241.
  3. D’Souza, R. (2019). Environmentalism and the Politics of Pre-emption: reconsidering South Asia’s environmental history in the epoch of the Anthropocene. Geoforum, 101, 242-249.
  4. Hendrixson, A., & Hartmann, B. (2019). Threats and burdens: Challenging scarcity-driven narratives of “overpopulation”. Geoforum, 101, 250-259.
  5. Selby, J. (2019). Climate change and the Syrian civil war, part II: the Jazira’s agrarian crisis. Geoforum, 101, 260-274.
  6. Witter, R., & Satterfield, T. (2019). Rhino poaching and the “slow violence” of conservation-related resettlement in Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. Geoforum, 101, 275-284.
  7. Bharucha, Z. P. (2019). This is what Nature has become: Tracing climate and water narratives in India’s rainfed drylands. Geoforum, 101, 285-293.
  8. Hildyard, N. (2019). Scarcity,‘polite society’and activism. Geoforum, 101, 294-298.


Call for chapter contributions: An Eastern European Political Ecology of Environment-State Relations. Deadline 22 July!

Call for papers: Special Issue “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literatures and Comparative Insights”

Call for Papers: Special issue on “Putting Culture back into Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES): Case Studies on CES and Conservation from the Global South”


Dear colleagues and friends,

I hope you might be interested in the international conference STREAMS. Transformative Environmental Humanities we are organizing at the Environmental Humanities Laboratory in Stockholm (5-8 August 2020).

You can find the call for Contributions through this link. Please feel free to spread the call among your contacts. I hope to see many of you in Stockholm next year!

Marco Armiero

Upcoming conference: Political Ecology in Asia 2019: Plural Knowledge and Contested Development in a More-Than-Human World

On 10-11 October 2019, a conference on Political Ecology in Asia will be held in the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Keynotes for the conference are Lyla Mehta (Institute of Development Studies, UK) and Thanes Wongyannava (Thammasart University, Thailand). Themes to be covered by the conference range from: hydrosocial rivers and their politics; to interspecies cohabitations in Asia; to reshaping governance and justice in conservation.

The conference is co-organized between the Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS), Chulalongkorn University; the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC); the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD); the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP); and IRN-SustainAsia; and in collaboration with POLLEN.

Further details on the conference can be found here: http://www.csds-chula.org/political-ecology-in-asia. There are a limited number of spaces remaining for self-funded participants to join the conference either as a paper presenter or participant. For further information, please contact PoliticalEcologyinAsia@gmail.com.

Simon Batterbury (University of Melbourne/Lancaster University) has won Melbourne’s prize for excellence in post-graduate student supervision (2019). The US$7,000 award will enable collaboration and publication with former and present political ecology students. https://melbourne-cshe.unimelb.edu.au/awards/university-of-melbourne-awards-for-excellence/honour-roll/2019-winners

Leah Horowitz, professor of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin was interviewed in a recent (7/4/19) podcast from the Women’s Liberation Radio News that discusses climate change’s impacts on women, and their responses (excerpts from the interview with Leah Horowitz are included about halfway through): https://soundcloud.com/wlrn-media/wlrn-edition-39-women-climate-change

Job opportunity: tenure-track position in ‘Indigenous Resurgence and Development’ at Queen’s University, Canada

Job opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian School of Business

Job opportunity: Lecturer in Political Ecology

Assistant Professor (tenure track) in Societal Challenges of Climate Change Impacts – The University of Lausanne

Vacancy: Associate Professor Forest and Nature Conservation Policy at Wageningen University & Research

Assistant Director of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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




Call for chapter contributions: An Eastern European Political Ecology of Environment-State Relations

*** Call for chapter contributions to An Eastern European Political Ecology of Environment-State Relations ***

We are seeking a couple more chapters for our edited volume that seeks to survey the current state of social inquiry into environment-state relations in Central and Eastern Europe. The volume engages with ‘political ecology’ as a particular way of thinking and analysing, and as an employed, applied framework to issues concerning contemporary relationships between people, the environment and knowledge-production in Europe.The proposed book will be structured around three main themes, namely:      

I.        Knowledge production and its place in EE: the emergence (or not) of ‘native’ critical social science inquiry in the Eastern European (EE) region, including an overview of the current position and attacks on academic freedoms and institutions in EE, with attention to the consequences for critical social science and its forms. For this section, we are looking for book chapters around transformations in the lives of ‘knowledge producers’ through universities and research institutions as these institutions themselves are transformed (from public to private, or as they come under ‘research supervision’ or outright attack); the public role and limitations of social inquiry outputs; research in EE relative to and dependent on EU sources; trends and realities of research funding in the social-environmental sphere; the forms critical social science research takes today, and contextual opportunities for its uptake.    

II.        ethnographically-rich, grounded contributions on the shifting relations between the state, its resources & people in the conservation and environment sectors in this increasingly populist political moment. Official ‘development’ in EE occurs primarily through state- and EU- led investment. Investment and new legal structures drastically change opportunities of access and reward, where political ecologists may offer the tools of engagement to document and critically analyse in whose primary interests laws and investments are made and changed. The emergence and consolidation of new elites, with the legal tools and aids of the state, transform the use and value of EE countrysides and their possibilities, which has enormous ramifications for the workability of the European/EU project.For this section, potential chapters may focus on the geopolitical nature of conservation and extractivism in EEurope; changing legal frameworks for access to land and associated resources; forms and consequences of land privatisation and land grabbing; the impacts of green and other farm subsidies; the political economy of conservation; the realisation of the EU’s rural development programmes and financing in EE.   

III.        Geographies of hope, contestation and responsibility: While rural areas are typically depicted as socio-economically disadvantaged and ‘backward’, questions around rural agency, contemporary livelihoods and opportunity are central to understanding rural development and the needs of extractive investment and management, and changing perceptions and values towards nature and the role of the state in EE societies. Potential chapters are welcome around scholar/activist/rural entrepreneur collaborations and experiments; experiments in (local) democracy, alternative business/livelihoods, in the maintenance of ‘traditional’ cultural land use practices; the manifestations and sources of political hope and humour; and reflections on the rural nature of these ‘experiments’.

We encourage authors to draw from domestic, non-English sources of philosophy, theory, politics to enrich their accounts, and welcome strongly grounded, ethnographically rich contributions.

A few words underlying the philosophy of this collection: the idea for the volume has been largely motivated due to the fragmentation of researchers living and working in Eastern Europe, and the recognition that it is becoming increasingly difficult to persist with critical lines of social inquiry in our work. Our publication plans for the volume are to reflect the funding difficulties and realities of EE, and we plan to approach the Cambridge-based Open Book Publishers (https://www.openbookpublishers.com) once we have a confirmed chapter outline. An important priority is to make our work accessible and affordable to the people with whom we work and regions that we are actively engaged with.

We will also invite all contributing authors to a two-day workshop in Budapest in November 2019, where travel and accommodation expenses will be covered. 

At this stage, we ask interested contributors to submit a max. 300 word abstract of their proposed chapter contributions, stating which book section the contribution would aim to fit within. The deadline for abstracts is 22 July. Abstracts will be reviewed as soon as possible, and upon acceptance we ask authors to submit a draft version of their chapter by 31stOctober 2019, so that these may be shared and circulated amongst your co-collaborators before our November workshop. Final chapters will need to be submitted by February 2020 (and will be max. 5000 words). 

If you would like any further information, or have any questions, please get in touch with Eszter Kovacs at eszter.kovacs@geog.cam.ac.uk

Reminder: monthly POLLEN newsletter

Dear POLLEN members,

It is nearly time for our mid-Summer POLLEN newsletter! Many thanks to those who have already sent in their contributions. If you have anything that you would like to see circulated – CfPs, job adverts, blog posts, publications, petitions, etc., please email to us and we will include it.

Please send us anything that you would like to share in the newsletter by 17 July.

Best wishes,

Marleen Schutter

POLLEN Secretariat

Lancaster University, UK



Call for papers: Special Issue “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literatures and Comparative Insights”

Special Issue “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literatures and Comparative Insights”

 (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section “Human Geography and Social Sustainability“. An online version of this call can be found here

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor Dr. Michael L. Dougherty
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4660, USA 
Website | E-Mail 
Interests: environmental sociology; rural development; extractive industries; environmental conflicts; global commodity industries; agrarian change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Human Geography and Social Sustainability section of the international scholarly journal Sustainability invites contributions for a Special Issue entitled: “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literature, and Comparative Insights”.

Over the past twenty years, investment in primary resource production has grown dramatically across the globe. This has been the case with the production of precious and semi-precious metals as well as industrial metals. We have also seen booms in rare earth mineral production and novel forms of energy development. Few regions of the world have been spared the experience of this global scramble for resources. Scholarship of resource conflicts has followed suit, and we know quite a bit now about the factors that drive these conflicts and the character of collective movements to challenge these industries; however, there are three challenges to this body of scholarship that this Special Issue aims to take up.

First, the extant literature has been somewhat contained within disciplinary boundaries with little cross-talk among disciplines. This Special Issue is particularly interested in manuscripts that bring disciplinary/conceptual/methodological and literature-specific themes to the fore to begin to think through how scholars might harness the strengths of the variegated approaches to these issues. Topics within this rubric might include:

  • Case studies/reflections on methodological approaches to studying resources industries and conflicts;
  • Reviews of the literature within certain disciplinary or cross-disciplinary parameters;
  • Conceptual and theoretical approaches to thinking through resource industries and conflicts.

Second, the extant literature has also made relatively few efforts to conceptualize specific resource conflicts within global webs of geopolitical contests in the context of climate change, resurgent nationalist populism, mass migrations, and late fossil capitalism. To this end, this Special Issue seeks papers that aim to link site-specific cases (be these mines, conflicts, or countries) within such global webs. These papers could take the form of:

  • Commodity chain/production network analyses of particular primary commodities;
  • Global geopolitical strategy and competition in land grabs and resource production;
  • Global flows of finance/financialization of the ground/underground;
  • Competition, embedded fossil energy, and the future of energy production;
  • Linking energy and mineral production with expulsions and migrant flows.

Finally, the extant literature would benefit from more comparative work. Intraregional and cross-regional comparative analyses highlight points of convergence and divergence in ways that make compelling stories with salient conclusions. This Special Issue is keen to include comparative analyses including but not limited to any of the following:

  • Comparing state engagement with extractive industry across countries;
  • Comparing collective movements to challenge resource industries;
  • Comparing industry social and environmental engagement across commodities;
  • Comparing development impacts of extraction in various countries or world regions.

Dr. Michael L. Dougherty
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • China
  • Energy
  • Rare earths
  • Fracking
  • Renewable energy
  • Gold
  • Extractive industries
  • Environmental conflicts
  • Global commodity chains
  • Political ecology
  • Extractivism

Job opportunity: tenure-track position in ‘Indigenous Resurgence and Development’ at Queen’s University, Canada

Please see in the following link the call for our tenure-track position in ‘Indigenous Resurgence and Development’ at Queen’s University, Canada:https://www.queensu.ca/devs/indigenous-resurgence-and-development-tenure-track-position-applications-due-9sept2019

Applications are due by September 9th, 2019.

Please contact Marcus Taylor (taylorm@queensu.ca) if you have any questions on this vacancy.


CFP: A 2-day workshop on illicit geographies hosted at the University of Alabama

This is a 2-day workshop, hosted at the University of Alabama May 4-5, 2020. Organized by Jared Margulies (University of Alabama), Francis Massé (University of Sheffield), and Brittany Gilmer (University of Alabama)

We invite abstract submissions for an intensive two-day workshop on illicit geographies and environmental change. We welcome interest from researchers engaging with critical, leftist, and/or more radical scholarly traditions from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to political and environmental geography, green criminology, political ecology, political economy, and anthropology. The aim of the workshop is to share ideas and engage in critical dialogue within a collaborative and supportive intellectual space, and to forge a nascent community interested in studies of the illicit, their intersections with environmental processes, and emancipatory politics. A more tangible output of the workshop is that all papers will be included in a special issue on illicit geographies, subject to successful peer-review. For this reason only unpublished abstracts by authors interested in being included in this special issue will be considered for the workshop.

While the study of illicit activities largely remains within the purview of criminology and sociology, an increasingly diverse field of disciplines have begun to engage with illicitness and the effect of illicit activities on socio-environmental relations. Our particular interest here is in the growing interest by critical scholars who are engaging with politically-motivated research on and within illicit geographies attuned to concerns about environmental change. This would include researchers interested in more foundational, historical, and political contours of what defines illicitness, and how the framing of certain practices, behaviors, and economies as ‘illicit’ produce environmental inequalities. More emancipatory and radical perspectives on theorizing illicitness are emerging across a range of subdisciplinary fields for critically and creatively pursuing pertinent questions about environmental change and the political ecologies of illicit economies. This is not to say that we should not take the existence of illicit activities seriously in and of themselves. Indeed, new markets, increasing demand for natural resources, and the ongoing pursuit of avenues for capital accumulation are producing novel geographies, flows, environments, and political-economic configurations that are themselves illicit, or blur the lines between what is and is not legal. Beyond producing their own economic, social, and ecological inequalities and injustices, these new dynamics provoke important questions about how we understand the relationship between licit and illicit in different contexts, and why this matters.

Workshop Proposal: The workshop will run for a full 2 days hosted at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. Participants will come to the workshop prepared with a working draft of their manuscript and will then present and receive feedback as part of a dedicated critical response session. Each participant will have 1-hour dedicated to working through their manuscript among a supportive peer group working on similar topics. Papers will be circulated two months in advance for all participants to read. Each participant will have 15-20 minutes to present their paper followed by a 40 minute critical response session in which participants will provide feedback, ask questions, and engage in discussion through a facilitated dialogue. The feedback and critical response session has two objectives: 1) Providing feedback and asking questions to help the author further prepare their draft for submission to a special issue; and 2) Identifying emerging and cross-cutting empirical, conceptual, and methodological themes from the various papers and discussions to help frame the special issue and thinking around illicit geographies and their environmental consequences.

Accepted participants will be expected to circulate ~4,500-7,000 word drafts to workshop participants with an expectation that they will become full-length manuscripts for submission to a special issue (approximately 8,000-9,000 words depending on the journal). We intend to first submit the SI proposal to the journal Antipode.

Through empirical contributions highlighting new geographies and configurations of (il)licitness, and how the illicit shapes and co-produces environments, papers might engage in and advance a variety of theoretical and conceptual subjects. These might include such topics/themes as:

  • Methodological innovations in studying illicit activities.
  • Contributions to theorizing ‘illicitness’ from a variety of intellectual perspectives.
  • Reflections on ethics and praxis in engaging with communities/individuals/research subjects engaged in illicit activities/economies.
  • Intersections of the illicit with environmental change. This might include but is certainly not limited to such subjects as illicit mining, illicit geographies at sea, forms of white collar or financial crime, illegal wildlife trade, narco-economies, and illegal dumping/waste economies.

From the submitted abstracts we will choose 6-9 paper to participate in this workshop. If your abstract is selected, your participation, including travel and accommodation, will be fully funded. We particularly encourage submissions from scholars in the global south, early career researchers, and otherwise underrepresented backgrounds in academia.

Deadline for abstract submissions by July 31, 2019

Please send a document including paper title, authors, contact information, a 300-word abstract, and up to 5 keywords to illicitgeographies@gmail.com by July 31, 2019. We will send notifications of acceptance by August 20, 2019.

For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch via email: illicitgeographies@gmail.comj.margulies@sheffield.ac.ukf.masse@sheffield.ac.uk, or bvgilmer@ua.edu

The workshop will be held on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL May 4-5, 2020. All accommodation (up to 3 nights), meals, visa fees (if applicable) and transportation costs will be covered by the workshop. There is a small possibility of minor date adjustments to the workshop, but this will be communicated to accepted contributors at the earliest.