CfP POLLEN22: Mobilising political ecology seeds to advance equity and justice for oceans and people: a conversation between academics and civil society

Session organizers: Mialy Andriamahefazafy (University of Portsmouth) and Marleen Schutter (WorldFish & University of Washington)

Format of event: Indaba session

Keywords: marine, fisheries, blue justice, equity, blue economies, blue regrowth

The oceans are receiving unprecedented attention. Countries are establishing blue economy frameworks, there is Sustainable Development Goal 14 dedicated to the ocean and we are within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Political Ecology (PE) research in the marine space is rich and increasing. From critiques of blue economy (Silver et al. 2015; Schutter and Hicks 2019) and calls for blue degrowth (Ertör and Hadjimichael 2020) to highlighting injustice within marine conservation (Bennett 2019) and fisheries management (Nolan 2019; Andriamahefazafy et al. 2020), academics have increasingly published in the field. It seems however that in practice, PE scholarship is not reaching its full potential yet in terms of influencing national or global policy. In conservation for example, the movement to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 is mainstream (Ocean Unite 2021) despite critique of similar approaches in the terrestrial field (Survival International 2021). Also, initiatives against mainstream discourses remain low-key (ICCA Consortium 2020; Blue Ventures 2021). Marine protected areas or fishing quota continues to be pushed as key solutions, despite critical research produced on these. Even more alarming is that the words equity and (blue) justice have now been integrated in public discourses by world leaders while injustices on the ground continue. The aim of this session is to discuss how PE insights on power relations, decoloniality and knowledge co-production could better support social movements in the marine realm. The session will present advances in the field followed by an open discussion between academics and practitioners.

We invite abstracts of no more than 250 words that present your current work in political ecology that applies to the marine field or your work as civil society organisation in promoting equity and justice in marine conservation and fisheries management. We are interested in exploring the following questions and related ones:

·         How has political ecology been mobilised so far in marine conservation and fisheries management?

·         What is the progress in advancing equity and justice by social movement?

·         What are the political ecology research needs to advance justice and equity in the marine field?

·         How can political ecology support and contribute to social movements in the marine space?

·         How do we ensure political ecology insights are taken up in practice?

For this panel, we would like a mix of speakers that would include both researchers and civil society representatives to allow a productive discussion. We would also like to promote diversity in terms of geographic origin, gender and race.

If you are interested to join our session, please send a short abstract (250 words) to or by January 21st. We welcome some information on your positionality along with your abstract submission. Authors will be informed shortly thereafter regarding their inclusion in the session proposal due end of January 2022.


Andriamahefazafy, M., M. Bailey, H. Sinan, and C. A. Kull. 2020. The paradox of sustainable tuna fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean: between visions of blue economy and realities of accumulation. Sustainability Science 15 (1):75–89.

Bennett, N. J. 2019. In Political Seas: Engaging with Political Ecology in the Ocean and Coastal Environment. Coastal Management :1–21.

Blue Ventures. 2021. Living with 30×30. Blue Ventures×30/ (last accessed 17 November 2021).

Ertör, I., and M. Hadjimichael. 2020. Editorial: Blue degrowth and the politics of the sea: rethinking the blue economy. Sustainability Science 15 (1):1–10.

ICCA Consortium. 2020. ‘30 by 30’ is a distraction, keep the focus on Indigenous and locally-led holistic ocean stewardship. ICCA Consortium (last accessed 17 November 2021).

Nolan, C. 2019. Power and access issues in Ghana’s coastal fisheries: A political ecology of a closing commodity frontier. Marine Policy 108:103621.

Ocean Unite. 2021. 30 x 30. Ocean Unite (last accessed 17 November 2021).

Schutter, M. S., and C. C. Hicks. 2019. Networking the Blue Economy in Seychelles: pioneers, resistance, and the power of influence. Journal of Political Ecology 26 (1):425–447.

Silver, J. J., N. J. Gray, L. M. Campbell, L. W. Fairbanks, and R. L. Gruby. 2015. Blue Economy and Competing Discourses in International Oceans Governance. The Journal of Environment & Development 24 (2):135–160.

Survival International. 2021. NGO concerns over the proposed 30% target for protected areas and absence of safeguards for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. (last accessed 17 November 2021).

CfP POLLEN22: Emotional Political Ecologies – Methods, Insights and Potential

(Image: rural protest in Cambodia, taken by Alice Beban)

Convened by Alice Beban (Massey University), Sango Mahanty (The Australian National University) and Sopheak Chann (Royal University of Phnom Penh)


Although emotions are a central facet of lived experience, they have been under-explored in the processes of dispossession, power and capital intensification that political ecologists study. The “affective turn” in feminist geography, feminist political ecology and anthropology underpins a flourishing of work and insights on emotions within social movements (Ruiz-Junco, 2012), in state-society relations (Beban, 2021) and in lived experiences of nature-society disruption (González-Hidalgo and Zografos, 2020). This burgeoning scholarship shows how emotions influence resource access, use, and control, and shape people’s everyday lives and relationships with each other and with the state (Nightingale, 2011; Sultana, 2015). Yet, the emotional is often not regarded as a core concern in political ecology. In this panel, we explore the possibilities that working with emotions offers for advancing the broader field of political ecology. Working with emotion opens possibilities for imagining new kinds of human-non-human relations, more deeply theorising power and resistance, and centering lived experience and relational subjectivities to go beyond binary ways of thinking about development and nature.

This panel will explore current approaches and work on emotions with a political ecology lens. Panelists might consider exploring questions such as:

  • How do the material and the affective co-constitute socio-political power and ecological change?
  • How are emotions deployed in projects of state-making through natural resource control and in resistance to these projects? How does this in turn transform people’s conceptions of and relations to their environment?
  • Working with emotions demands reflexivity, and listening in new ways; what possibilities does this offer for advancing the decolonising of knowledge in political ecology? 
  • How do emotions enable (and disable) collective mobilisation in environmental conflict and/or an ethics of care? 
  • How do we know emotion? In what ways are PE scholars engaging the methodological challenge posed by non-representational theories that recognise emotion can’t always be articulated in words?

We encourage non-traditional paper formats that explore knowledge production in creative ways. In the spirit of collectivising knowledge, we ask for presentations of 10-15 minutes maximum, to incorporate space for collective debate and brainstorming around the core topics at the end of the session. We will ask panelists to act as discussant on one of the other session papers/contributions to foster conversation.  

Please submit abstracts of 200-250 words by 9 December 2021 to: Alice Beban


Beban, A. (2021) Unwritten Rule. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

González-Hidalgo, M. and Zografos, C. (2020) ‘Emotions, power, and environmental conflict: Expanding the “emotional turn” in political ecology’, Progress in Human Geography, 44(2), pp. 235–255. doi: 10.1177/0309132518824644.

Nightingale, A. J. (2011) ‘Bounding difference: Intersectionality and the material production of gender, caste, class and environment in Nepal’, Geoforum, 42(2), p. 153. doi:

Ruiz-Junco, N. (2012) ‘Feeling Social Movements: Theoretical Contributions to Social Movement Research on Emotions’, Sociology Compass, 7(1), pp. 45–54.

Sultana, F. (2015) ‘Emotional Political Ecology’, in Bryant, R. (ed.) The International Handbook of Political Ecology. London: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 633–644.

CfP POLLEN22: Cultivating Critical Reflexivity in Conservation

*Please note that the conference organisers are yet to determine the conference format, whether it be in person, virtual, or hybrid – they will make a determination early in 2022, given the prevailing COVID-19 situation in South Africa and the national, provincial, and University of KwaZulu-Natal guidelines and protocols at that time.


Sam Staddon and Omar Saif (University of Edinburgh), Fleur Nash (University of Cambridge), and Timur Jack-Kadioglu (Fauna & Flora International)


Critical reflexivity can be thought of as “an embodiment – a personal and internal and constant consciousness. It is deeply embedded in the process towards a decolonial future and understood as the ability to reflect, learn, unlearn, and dismantle overt and subtle legacies of oppression in the process of knowledge production and practice…Critical reflexivity should make us hyper-sensitive to the multiple ways of knowing, being in and understanding the world” (Idahosa and Bradbury 2020, p.33). Compared to reflexivity, critical reflexivity thus aims to move us towards emancipatory goals of social and epistemic justice for marginalised peoples and world views. This session engages with the concept, practice and potential of critical reflexivity in conservation; it asks what cultivates critical reflexivity in conservation practice and research, and what the consequences and contributions of critical reflexivity may be for a more socially and epistemologically just conservation.  

Conservation has long been a focus for political ecologists interested in exposing social injustices associated with protected areas and in the knowledge politics of interventions to manage biodiversity. Calls for inclusive conservation practices that better account for the values, needs and demands of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) are increasingly heard amongst practitioners and researchers, as is the need to acknowledge and engage with the colonial histories and continuities of conservation, particularly in light of the 30×30 campaign and wider decolonial agendas in development and environmental governance. It is not just conservation as a sector but the practices of individual conservationists and conservation organisations that are being questioned, along intersectional lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender and nationality, and again with an abiding concern for social and epistemological justice. The identities and positions of those who research conservation, either working with conservation organisations or IPLCs, are also worthy of scrutiny, given the methodological demands and ethical imperatives of research, particularly from Westernised and neoliberal academic institutions.    

This session engages with these debates on conservation and conservation research through an explicit focus on critical reflexivity. It will explore whether critical reflexivity can enable conservation practitioners and researchers to ‘reflect, learn, unlearn’ and whether through this it is possible to ‘dismantle overt and subtle legacies of oppression’ associated with processes of knowledge production and practice in conservation. We invite papers from conservation practitioners and researchers from the Global South, North and beyond, and from those of diverse intersectional positionalities, that address questions such as:

  • Who is/should be engaging in critical reflexivity? Critical reflexivity amongst practitioners, researchers, others 
  • What can/should be critically reflected upon? Positionalities and power relations, structures of oppression within/through conservation, ‘failures’ and/or past practices, conservation aims and agendas, the contexts and histories of conservation, understanding of nature and other beings, etc.  
  • How does critical reflexivity take place? Formal/structured mechanisms, facilitated approaches or experiments, spontaneous/sub-conscious practices, through spoken word or writing or other forms of expression, over what time-frames, in groups or organisations and/or as individuals, etc. 
  • What are the consequences of critical reflexivity? Intended and unintended consequences, social and personal change, disruption of power dynamics within institutions, unsettling ideas of conservation as a needed intervention, potential negative unintended consequences e.g. punishment/repression or feelings of being over-whelmed/paralysis, etc. 
  • How can critical reflexivity be cultivated and understood? How do contexts for critical reflexivity affect practices, what is the role of emotions and care in cultivating critical reflexivity, what theories help us understand processes of critical reflexivity, etc.

If you would like to present a paper in this session, please email us with yourName, affiliation, presentation title (maximum 20 words), abstract (maximum 250 words), and 3 keywords. As we are interested in hearing from a diversity of speakers from the Global South/North/Beyond and along intersectional lines, we encourage you to include some information on your positionality, as you deem appropriate.

Please email: 

Deadline: 21st January (we will let you know of the outcome by 31st January 2022, which is the deadline for session proposals to the conference organisers) 


Idahosa, G.E. & Bradbury, V. (2020) Challenging the way we know the world: overcoming paralysis and utilising discomfort through critical reflexive thought. Acta Academia, 52(1), 31-53. 

CfP POLLEN22: Political ecology of memory: Memories of violence and socio-environmental struggles


Esther Marijnen (Wageningen University and Research), David Mwambari (Kings College, London), Emmanuel Akampurira (Ghent University)

For this panel, we are looking for contributions that aim to make connections between political ecology and memory studies. To date, political ecologists have only spent sparse attention to the politics of memory related to ecologies and different types of landscapes, with notable exceptions (Osterhoudt, 2018, Mathevet et al. 2015, Moore, 1993; Baird and le Billon, 2012), while research in environmental history and environmental anthropology have probed the importance of how memories of violence become written on the land, and continue to influence politics of belonging and inform contemporary political contestations (Ranger, 1999; Katto, 2014; Poole, 2009). Osterhoudt (2018) is the first to explicitly introduce a “political ecology of memory” approach to history, “Examining how memories of extra-local political histories become embodied and articulated through personal stories of local ecologies” (2018). As Osterhoudt integrated political ecology and environmental anthropology to study the political ecology of memory, we aim to further this line of inquiry by integrating methodologies, theories, and concepts from memory studies.

Traditionally memory studies have focused extensively on World War I and II (Nora, 1989; Assmann and Czaplicka, 1995), yet with the transcultural debate research on the politics of memory increasingly looks beyond the ‘Global north’ (Bond and Rapson 2014), and beyond ‘the nation-state as the main agent of memory’ (Erll,2011), recognizing that memory is dynamic, multidirectional and is not site-bound (Rothberg, 2010). As such, there is an increasing body of literature focussing on the politics of memory in post-genocide and post-conflict societies globally (Longman, 2017; Jessee, 2017, Purdekova, 2017; Coundouriotis, 2006; Otele, 2021; Oyola, 2021). Focusing on what is remembered and/or forgotten in these memory processes, and how they shape societies in aftermath of violence (Buckley-Zistel, 2009; Rosoux, 2007; Eastmond and Selimovic, 2021). Debates have also explored relationships between both official and unofficial means of remembering (Mwambari, 2021); and interdisciplinary connections with forced displacement (Creet and Kitzmann, 2011).

We see ample opportunities to bring political ecology research together with memory studies, by not only asking how the politics of memory shape societies in the aftermath of violence, but also how they shape socio-environmental relations, struggles and landscapes in conjunction with each other.

Papers might focus on the following subjects/questions:
– How are people’s memories of violence attached to certain rivers, forests, mountains, and lakes, and how does this continue to influence their relationship with these landscapes?
– How do memories of past forms of violence, continue to inform current contestations around the control, ownership, and access to nature, and certain landscapes?
– How do memories of forced displacement, for example, continue to inform people’s practices and claims on certain landscapes, in, but also, beyond protected areas?
– How does the political ecology of memory help us to understand contemporary conservation conflicts?
– How are different environmental struggles impacted by memories of a violent past?
– How do environmental NGOs and interventions take into account people’s memories of violence within the landscapes, they aim to protect, restore or conserve?
– Critical reflection of the “cultural value approach” to conservation, where conservation NGOs ask people to relive their past cultural lives for conservation or tourism in areas where their ancestors were displaced.

Paper proposals are due 8 December 2021. We will let you know the result by the 10th of December.

Final submission to the conference organizers is on 15 December. Please send a 250-300 word abstract and title to,, and


Assmann, J., & Czaplicka, J. (1995). Collective memory and cultural identity. New german critique, (65), 125-133.

Baird, I. G., & Le Billon, P. (2012). Landscapes of political memories: War legacies and land negotiations in Laos. Political Geography, 31(5), 290-300.

Bond, L., & Rapson, J. (Eds.). (2014). The transcultural turn: Interrogating memory between and beyond borders (Vol. 15). Walter de Gruyter.

Coundouriotis, E. (2006). The” Contemporaneous Local” in Time: Problems of History in Shalini Puri’s The Caribbean Postcolonial. small axe, 10(1), 198-205.

Creet, J., & Kitzmann, A. (Eds.). (2014). Memory and migration: Multidisciplinary approaches to Memory Studies. University of Toronto Press.

Eastmond, M., & Selimovic, J. M. (2012). Silence as possibility in postwar everyday life. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 6(3), 502-524.

Jessee, E. (2017). The danger of a single story: Iconic stories in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Memory Studies, 10(2), 144-163.

Katto, J. (2014). Landscapes of belonging: Female ex-combatants remembering the liberation struggle in urban Maputo. Journal of Southern African Studies, 40(3), 539-557.

Longman, T. (2017). Memory and justice in post-genocide Rwanda. Cambridge University Press.

Mathevet, R., Peluso, N. L., Couespel, A., & Robbins, P. (2015). Using historical political ecology to understand the present: water, reeds, and biodiversity in the Camargue Biosphere Reserve, southern France. Ecology and Society, 20(4).

Moore, D. S. (1993). Contesting terrain in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands: political ecology, ethnography, and peasant resource struggles. Economic Geography, 69(4), 380-401.

Mwambari, D. (2021). Agaciro, vernacular memory, and the politics of memory in post-genocide Rwanda. African Affairs, 120(481), 611-628.

Nora, P. (1989). Between memory and history: Les lieux de mémoire. representations, 26, 7-24.

Osterhoudt, S. (2016). Written with seed: the political ecology of memory in Madagascar. Journal of Political Ecology, 23(1), 263-278.

Otele, O. (2021). Mourning in reluctant sites of memory: from Afrophobia to cultural productivity. In PostConflict Memorialization (pp. 35-54). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Oyola, S. M. R. (2021). Restoring the Human Dignity of Absent Bodies in Colombia. In Post-Conflict Memorialization (pp. 195-212). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Poole, A. (2009). Landscape and memory in peasant–state relations in Eritrea. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(4), 783-803.

Purdeková, A. (2017). Displacements of memory: struggles against the erosion and dislocation of the material record of violence in Burundi. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 11(2), 339-358.

Ranger, T. O. (1999). Voices from the Rocks: nature, culture & history in the Matopos Hills of Zimbabwe. Indiana University Press.

Rosoux, V. (2007). Rwanda: The Impossibility of a National Memory?. Ethnologie francaise, 37(3), 409-415. Rothberg, M. (2010). Introduction: Between memory and memory: From Lieux de mémoire to Noeuds de mémoire. Yale French Studies, (118/119), 3-12.hberg, 2010.

Buckley-Zistel, S. (2009). Nation, narration, unification? The politics of history teaching after the Rwandan genocide. Journal of Genocide Research, 11(1), 31-53.

CfP POLLEN22: Political Ecologies of Zoonosis

Session organizers:

Francis Massé, Northumbria University (main contact)
Brock Bersaglio, University of Birmingham
Charis Enns, University of Manchester


An estimated 60% of known emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, resulting from multispecies interactions. While clearly a public health concern, zoonotic diseases are also intimately connected to socio-ecological change and multispecies interactions. State and non- state actors are increasingly looking to intervene in multispecies interactions – in sectors ranging from wildlife trade to forestry to livestock farming – to reduce zoonotic spillover risks. However, both before and after the immediate moment and site of transmission from nonhuman to human lies a web of political ecological relations that shape zoonotic disease dynamics, spillover risks, vulnerabilities and exposure to illness, and policy responses and interventions.

Political ecology fills a gap in the study of zoonoses by bringing political-economic and other structural dynamics into conversation with existing research on zoonoses, which has often been apolitical. More specifically, political ecology perspectives on zoonosis centre the importance of shifting human-nonhuman relations, broader processes of socio-ecological change and other socio-environmental inequalities in zoonotic disease dynamics, risks and outcomes.

This panel seeks papers that offer political ecologies of zoonosis, including papers that: (1) critically engage with questions concerning how various material and discursive processes drive socio-ecological change to shape zoonotic risk and spillover; (2) aim to understand the differential risks and impacts of zoonoses and responses to zoonoses from intersectional and more-than- human perspectives; and (3) examine how knowledge about zoonotic diseases is produced, implemented, transformed and resisted or ignored.

Contributions to the panel might engage with questions and themes such as the following:

  • What contributions have already been made within political ecology to understandings of zoonotic diseases? How might these be further developed moving forward?
  • How can political ecology add to understanding of the factors that shape exposure, risk and vulnerability to zoonoses? What insights and perspectives from other disciplines might help with this?
  • Are some ecologies, diseases, species and societal groups prioritised in public health responses compared to others during zoonotic outbreaks and what are the implications of this?
  • Who produces knowledge and practices for dealing with zoonotic disease? How are these knowledges taken up, transferred, transformed or ignored and with what implications?
  • How do political ecologies of zoonosis intersect with other public health and environmental justice concerns?
  • Conceptual and empirical examinations of the political-ecological effects of zoonotic outbreaks and/or related responses across species, racial, class, gendered, geographical and other line
  • In-depth case studies of specific diseases, species, processes of environmental change and related practices to further interrogate the politics and ecologies of zoonoses
  • Critical analyses of how the nonhuman is impacted by zoonoses and efforts to mitigate spillover, and also how the nonhuman is enrolled in the development of treatments to infectious disease
  • Political Ecologies of OneHealth

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words along with 3 keywords to Francis Massé (, Brock Bersaglio ( and Charis Enns ( by 21 January 2022.

CfP POLLEN22: Anti-Caste Environmentalism: Marginal Perspectives around Political Ecology in India

Session Organizers:
Dr Prashant Ingole, PhD (Cultural Studies & Environmental Humanities): Postdoctoral Fellow, Humanities & Social sciences, IIT Gandhinagar
Camellia Biswas (Environmental Anthropology): Doctoral Candidate, Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Gandhinagar

Ever since the onset of discussion around environmental politics in India, anti-caste environmentalism and its relationship with nature/ecology is very different from the popular climate change and environmental conservation narrative which is often heard today ( Dalit narratives have particularly been sidelined from mainstream environmentalism due to power politics and caste politics in the co-production of knowledge and scholarship. One may find nature and caste as inextricably interwoven in India. Nature is considered universal and ubiquitous. In contrast, caste as a social construct wherein the Dalits have been subjected to untouchability, owing to their lowest positionality in the Indian caste system (Sharma, 2018). The interrelationship between Dalits and Nature is complex and conflict-ridden. In Political Ecology, environmental conflict as widely explained by Paul Robbins (2004)talks about increasing scarcities produced through an appropriation by state authorities, private firms or powerful sections of the society that accelerates conflict between groups of gender, class or ethnicity. Similarly, the environmental problem becomes “politicized” when local groups secure control of collective resources at the expense of others by leveraging management-administration intervention by development authorities, state agents or private firms. Several such examples can be seen projecting out as some pioneer examples of Dalit environmentalism like the Mahad Satyagraha to drink water from the Chavdar tank at Mahad, led by B.R. Ambedkar, the struggle which is seen as the foundational of the anti-caste movement, the right to access to common resources. However, for Dalits, the idea of common in itself is very exclusionary. While commons are attractive for IEP (since they are seen as collective, inclusive, and supportive), they tend to be null and void for Dalits as Dalits do not have access to them and often see commons as an embodiment of caste segregation, a reminder of pain and suffering. This further brings us back to those elemental questions of who has the access, control and ownership of the nature/environment and its related knowledge? And makes us ponder on whether these inquiries can increasingly make the stakeholders such as state agencies, private or international firms (who are usually operated by upper caste) or even the mainstream Indian Environmentalist scholars ‘not’ ignore the daily struggles of the Dalit and acknowledge the Dalit environmentalism.

Whether it’s Global North, Global South or Just India, Scholarship around the globe has deliberately missed the Dalit perspectives. Mukul Sharma’s (2017) seminal work has investigated the responses of Dalits to the dominant narrative. It foregrounded an alternative vision from the viewpoint of Dalits. They have remained at the margins of both ecological discourses and practices in India. Nevertheless, even in their totality, most empirical research has invisibilized the caste factor in environmental politics and failed to provide a complete picture of the environmental struggles in India. This session plans to open up discussion around the dialectical relationship between the Dalits, caste politics and environmental conflicts. The aim is to determine the reasons and consequences of subjugation and alienation of the Dalits from the discourse of political ecology.

The oppressive politics against the Dalits and the other marginal sections of the society operates through the power of caste order. The exclusionary processes like caste not just create a hurdle in making progress for the marginalized communities, but it closes the doors to the oppressed masses to raise their voices at social, political and cultural levels. Similarly, when it comes to the debate around anti-caste knowledge production and environmental justice there is a lacuna in mainstream academia in bringing anti-caste pedagogical approaches when it comes to environmental studies.As a reason, anti-caste voices and their reading of “environmental casteism” remains invisible.

We invite paper abstracts addressing the challenges and experiences through the perspectives from the margins. Please send your abstract with a short bio (not more than 100 words) that should include name, affiliation, presentation title, abstract (not more than 350 words), and 3-5 keywords.

Please send your abstract to and no later than December 1, 2021. We will submit our final proposal for the paper session, including selected presentations, in the POLLEN portal on December 10, 2021.

CfP POLLEN22: Decolonizing conservation: Strategies of local-to-global initiatives

Session organizers: Dr. Riccarda Flemmer (FU Berlin), Dr. Charlotte Schumann (FU Berlin)

The current redefinition of global initiatives to halt biodiversity loss and prevent climate change (COP 15 CBD; Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework) calls into question the conventional measures to achieve reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the conservation of livelihoods. Especially, classical “fine-and-fence” or “fortress-conservation“ models are challenged by critique of traditional and indigenous peoples and scandals involving the denial of access to traditional land, displacement, persecution, and killing of these communities.

International actors, such as the World Food Organization (FAO), Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as well as IUCN or WWF, increasingly acknowledge that indigenous peoples and local communities have proved to be more successful in sustaining ecosystems with their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), than the global system of protected areas (FAO and FILAC 2021; IPBES 2019). Further, civil society actors denounce that conservation projects violate rights to self-determination and Free, Prior and Informed consent as well as in many cases even rights to cultural and physical integrity. In this context, the panel aims to revise and discuss counter-strategies that offer models of local-to-global conservation, in which community driven strategies are at the heart of programs and implementation steps. In between these strategies, we identify for example the strategic use of (inter)national law (Rights of nature and indigenous guardianships); technical solutions (Earth Defender Toolkit); participation structures from below (ICCA Consortium); interventions in (inter)national conservation projects (grievance redress mechanisms); or international funding initiatives (GEF inclusive conservation initiative).

The aim of this panel is to present an overview about current strategies to oppose colonial conservation models as well as to exchange on success stories – what worked, why, and how? Thereby, the panel will contribute to the networking of a global initiative of local-to-global conservation activists and scientists.

We invite contributions on cases from the Global South and North by scholars, practitioners, and activists. If you are interested to join our panel, please send us your abstract (max 250 words) including the title of the paper and your affiliation until 5 December 2021.

Submit to and

CfP POLLEN22: Power, knowledge and multi-species perspectives in smallholder agriculture

Session organizers

Klara Fischer, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Maya Marshak, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town
Rachel Wynberg, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town

Farming is critical for livelihood security, particularly for smallholders in the Global South (Bezner Kerr, 2013; Fischer, 2021; Marshak et al., 2021), but also in the Global North (van der Ploeg, 2010; Davidova and Thomson, 2014). Multiple agricultural development initiatives target smallholder farming due to its importance for rural livelihoods, but these efforts are often not based on an appreciation of what smallholders want and need. Instead, knowledge is framed as universal and linear, with modernist, science-based knowledge typically characterising ‘successful’ farming (Hebinck et al., 2011; Chenais and Fischer, 2018). Empirical evidence, as well as research on knowledge production, repeatedly tells us that this is a far call from reality. Knowledge is social, contextual and situated; and smallholders’ knowledge production is entangled with their farming practices and the wider agroecological context (Richards, 1993; Chenais and Fischer, 2018).
Research within critical development and agrarian studies has highlighted the ideologies and wider relations of power that prevent agricultural development from being attuned to smallholder needs and priorities (Ferguson, 1990; Scott, 1998; McMichael, 2009; Patel, 2012; Clapp, 2014; Moseley et al., 2015), while participatory and ethnographic research has revealed approaches to understand smallholder farming priorities (Dawson et al., 2008; Mzamu, 2012; Chenais and Fischer, 2018; Lunt et al., 2018; Marshak et al., 2021). These are important contributions that deserve attention. Disentangling the material and ideological dynamics that keep development efforts from being useful for smallholders, and understanding the reasoning of farmers as to why they might adopt or reject new farming practices and technologies such as vaccines, pesticides, or ‘improved’ varieties of crops or livestock, are essential if agriculture development is to support the priorities and needs of smallholder farmers.

To date, this important field of research has mainly centred on humans and their relationships with each other, and less on the multi-species entanglements in which smallholders act. Because the farming practices and knowledge production of smallholders is intimately related with the environments in which they farm (Chambers et al., 1989; Richards, 1993; Chenais and Fischer, 2018), a wider, more holistic multi-species lens has the potential to add important dimensions to our understandings of how smallholders can be supported in meaningful ways, and with technologies that are appropriate and desirable. Within this context, this session seeks to draw attention to multi-species understandings of the relational agencies that shape smallholder farming; and of how entanglements between crops, livestock, insects and pathogens shape farmers’ practices and situated knowledges. Importantly, we seek efforts that engage in such multi-species perspectives without losing sight of wider systems of power and control.

The multispecies perspective on which this session builds is inspired by feminist science studies (Barad, 2007; Haraway, 2008), science and technology studies (STS) (Latour, 2005), the wider field of environmentally interested social sciences and humanities (Whatmore, 2006) and political ecology (Fischer, 2021; Karlsson, 2021; Sinha, 2021). Like much traditional political ecology, multispecies perspectives address the entanglements between nature and society and strive to shift our ontological standpoints away from modernist dualist places towards relational ways of being and relating. An important contribution of multispecies perspectives to political ecology is the heightened attention to the particular materialities of different plants and animals, in addition to wider ecologies. Although available studies in this growing field highlight the relevance of this perspective for understanding the role of agriculture in political-ecological challenges (Head and Atchison, 2016; Donati, 2019; Guthman, 2019; Fischer, 2021), multi-species social sciences have paid comparatively limited attention to agriculture (Galvin, 2018).

This session aims specifically to bring multi-species social sciences into dialogue with political ecology in an exploration of the relationship between non-human agency, smallholder knowledges and practices and wider systems of governance in agriculture. We invite paper presentations from empirical contexts in the Global South and North, that have a strong interest in smallholder farming and a firm political ecology base, but also have a clear interest in making use of a multi-species perspective for understanding and supporting smallholder agriculture. We will prioritize abstracts that fall within the scope of the session and are academically rigorous. We will also strive to construct a diverse session in terms of presenters and empirical cases presented across the Global South and North.

If you want to present a paper in our session, please send you abstract to no later than December 1, 2021. The abstract should be max 250 words (excluding title and author info).

We will submit our final proposal for a paper session, including selected presentations, in the POLLEN portal on December 10, 2021.


Barad, K., 2007. Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke university Press.

Bezner Kerr, R., 2013. Seed struggles and food sovereignty in northern Malawi. Journal of Peasant Studies 40, 867‐897.

Chambers, R., Pacey, A., Thrupp, L.A., 1989. Farmer first: farmer innovation and agricultural research. Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd. London.

Chenais, E., Fischer, K., 2018. Increasing the local relevance of epidemiological research: Situated knowledge of cattle disease among Basongora pastoralists in Uganda. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5, 119.

Clapp, J., 2014. Financialization, distance and global food politics. The Journal of Peasant Studies 41, 797‐814.

Davidova, S., Thomson, K., 2014. Family Farming in Europe: Challenges and Prospects. European Union, Brussels.

Dawson, J.C., Murphy, K.M., Jones, S.S., 2008. Decentralized selection and participatory approaches in plant breeding for low‐input systems. Euphytica 160, 143‐154.

Donati, K., 2019. ‘Herding is his favourite thing in the world’: Convivial world‐making on a multispecies farm. Journal of Rural Studies 66, 119‐129.

Ferguson, J., 1990. The Anti‐Politics Machine: “Development”, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Cambridge University Press.

Fischer, K., 2021. Why Africa’s New Green Revolution is failing–Maize as a commodity and anti commodity in South Africa. Geoforum.

Galvin, S.S., 2018. Interspecies relations and agrarian worlds. Annual Review of Anthropology 47, 233‐249.

Guthman, J., 2019. Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry. University of California Press.

Haraway, D.J., 2008. When species meet. University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis and London.

Head, L., Atchison, J., 2016. Ingrained: a human bio‐geography of wheat. Routledge.

Hebinck, P., Fay, D., Kondlo, K., 2011. Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province: Caught by Continuities. Journal of Agrarian Change 11, 220‐240.

Karlsson, B.G., 2021. The imperial weight of tea: On the politics of plants, plantations and science. Geoforum.

Latour, B., 2005. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor‐Network‐Theory. Oxford University Press, USA.

Lunt, T., Ellis‐Jones, J., Mekonnen, K., Schulz, S., Thorne, P., Schulte‐Geldermann, E., Sharma, K., 2018. Participatory community analysis: identifying and addressing challenges to Ethiopian smallholder livelihoods. Development in Practice 28, 208‐226.

Marshak, M., Wickson, F., Herrero, A., Wynberg, R., 2021. Losing practices, relationships and agency: ecological deskilling as a consequence of the uptake of modern seed varieties among South African Smallholders. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 1‐24.

McMichael, P., 2009. Banking on Agriculture: A Review of the World Development Report 2008. Journal of Agrarian Change 9, 235‐246.

Moseley, W., Schnurr, M., Bezner Kerr, R., 2015. Interrogating the technocratic (neoliberal) agenda for agricultural development and hunger alleviation in Africa. African Geographical Review 34, 1‐7.

Mzamu, J.J., 2012. The Ways of Maize: food, poverty, policy and the politics of meaning among the Chewa of Malawi. Social Anthropology University of Bergen Bergen.

Patel, R., 2012. The Long Green Revolution. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1‐63.

Richards, P., 1993. Cultivation: knowledge or performance? In: Hobart, M. (Ed.), An Anthropological Critique of Development: The Growth of Ignorance. Routledge, Oxon, 61‐78.

Scott, J.C., 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press New Haven and London.

Sinha, S., 2021. From cotton to paddy: Political crops in the India Punjab. Geoforum. van der Ploeg, J.D., 2010. The peasantries of the twenty‐first century: the commoditisation debate revisited. The Journal of Peasant Studies 37, 1‐30.

Whatmore, S., 2006. Materialist returns: practising cultural geography in and for a more‐than‐human world. Cultural geographies 13, 600‐609.

CfP POLLEN 2022: “From Overtourism to Undertourism…and Back Again? Confronting Post-Pandemic Tourism ‘Regrowth’ with Postcapitalist Pathways”

Organised by:
Asunción Blanco-Romero, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona:
Macià Blázquez-Salom, Universitat de les Illes Balears:
Robert Fletcher, Wageningen University:


The ongoing COVID pandemic has dramatically impacted tourism in nearly every destination worldwide. One of the most striking of these impacts can been the way it quickly and decisively ended growing complaints about “overtourism” in many popular destinations in the years prior to the pandemic, instead replacing these with newfound concerns about the
negative economic consequences of the resulting “undertourism” produced by pandemic travel restrictions. Most tourism planners are now strategizing to manage the tourism regrowth already beginning or projected to begin once the pandemic further recedes. Yet these responses take very different forms in different locations: while some places aim merely to restimulate tourism to pre-pandemic levels or beyond, even further liberalizing regulation to achieve this, others appear to be taking the pandemic as an opportunity to proactively manage or limit tourism regrowth to forestall a return of overtourism and its discontents. But a less analyzed option is degrowth, through a reorientation the activity in the Global North in favor of improvements in equity, justice and collective well-being. Starting from the basis that tourism does not have to be a capitalist activity, it is proposed that sustainable tourism requires the acceptance of limits based on the commons and promoting them through post-capitalist forms of production and exchange.

In this panel, we explore how a range of prominent tourism destinations previously experiencing overtourism are situated within this spectrum. Taking documentation of the preCOVID debates concerning overtourism as a baseline, we explore how these discussions and associated policy measures have transformed in the time since in preparation for a postpandemic future. We ask how new measures introduced or proposed promise to address the pre- or mid-pandemic tourism impacts to which they are directed and what the likely outcomes of such interventions will therefore be in years to come. We also explore more radical proposals to reform tourism more dramatically away from the growth-oriented model long dominating the global tourism industry. The purpose of this call for contributions is therefore, on the one hand, to diagnose re-growth trends and, on the other, to explore alternative ‘spaces of hope’ to develop a roadmap of pathways towards post-capitalist tourism.

The aim is to develop a programme comprising multiple sessions addressing these different yet interconnected themes, and then to use these discussions to develop, within the next year, two new proposals for journal special theme collections: one focused on current proposals to address post-pandemic regrowth in destinations previously experiencing overtourism; the other focused on possibilities (both conceptual and theoretical) for more dramatic postcapitalist transformation. So in responding to this call, please also indicate whether you are interested to have your contribution considered for either of these collections (and if so which).

Please send a title and abstract (max. 250 words) to, and by Friday 26 November.

We will let you know soon after whether we can include you in the programme for official submission before the 15 December deadline.

CfP POLLEN22: Deagrarianisation: what are the underlying reasons and effects with focus on livelihoods, poverty reduction and climate change

Session organizers:

Klara Fischer, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sheona Shackleton, African Climate & Development Initiative, University of Cape Town
Flora Hajdu, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Across several parts of the world, there is evidence that smallholder farmers are ceasing farming (Hebinck, 2018, Bryceson, 2019, Bilewicz and Bukraba‐Rylska, 2021, Fibæk, 2021, Majumdar, 2020). For example, over half a million households in South Africa’s communal areas (former homelands) disengaged from farming between 2011 and 2016 (Statistics South Africa1); a loss of one in five crop farming households. Going beyond South Africa, deagrarianisation and depesantisation is seen across the Global North and South, stimulated by various drivers and with different consequences for farmers and societies (Hebinck, 2018, Majumdar, 2020, Bilewicz and Bukraba‐Rylska, 2021, Mamonova et al., 2020, Adaman et al., 2018). Abandonment of farming does not necessarily happen because better opportunities arise, nor necessarily because farming is not valued as important by those abandoning it. Deagrarianisation of South Africa’s former homelands is happening in a situation with high joblessness and widespread food insecurity (Hajdu et al., 2020, Fischer and Hajdu, 2015). At the same time, research shows that a currently unplanted field does not mean that it is abandoned or not valued by its owners (Ferguson, 2013).

A combination of ecological, political and economic drivers have been found to stimulate deagrarianisation. New risks associated with climate change are one disincentive for smallholder cropping. More erratic and extreme rainfall, floods, high temperatures and droughts, as well as changes in the start and end of rainy season makes cultivation more difficult (Terra et al., 2012, Brown et al., 2019, Moore et al., 2017). In South Africa, the trend of reduced cultivation has also been linked to many other drivers including access to appropriate and affordable seed, changing urban‐rural linkages,
reductions in the flow of remittances, lack of (or inappropriate) government support, the erosion of collective work parties, changes in livestock ownership and herding practices, soil fertility loss, lack of interest in farming from the younger generation, as well as lack of profitability and high risks farming (Hebinck et al., 2018, Fischer and Hajdu, 2015, Hajdu et al., 2020, Shackleton et al., 2019, Shackleton and Hebinck, 2018). Global trends of the upscaling of farming, concentration of the seed sector, land grabbing, and the supermarketisation of our food systems are other important drivers with impact within and beyond South Africa (van der Ploeg et al., 2015, McMichael, 2009, Hebinck, 2018, Fischer, 2021, Adaman et al., 2018, Mamonova et al., 2020).

In this session, we invite presentations from across the Global South and North to discuss how we might understand trends variously discussed as deagrarianisation and depesantisation, how and why trends differ across contexts, and what lessons we might learn from cross‐context comparison. We will present and discuss research and build new networks ‐ forging a better understanding of the reasons behind and the effects of deagrarianisation across contexts, as well as how smallholder agriculture might be revitalized and food security and sovereignty supported.

We invite paper presentations based on empirical studies of deagrarianisation and depesantisation across the Global South and North. If you want to present a paper in our session, please send your abstract to no later than December 1, 2021. The abstract should be max 250 words (excluding title and author info). If we have to make a selection amongst submitted abstracts we will select abstracts based on 1) the academic quality of the abstract, and 2) our aim of getting a diverse session in terms of presenters and empirical cases presented across the Global South and North. We will submit our final proposal for a paper session, including selected presentations, in the POLLEN portal on December 10, 2021.


ADAMAN, F., ARSEL, M. & AKBULUT, B. 2018. Neoliberal developmentalism, authoritarian populism, and extractivism in the countryside: the Soma mining disaster in Turkey. Critical Agrarian Studies, 154.

BILEWICZ, A. & BUKRABA‐RYLSKA, I. 2021. Deagrarianization in the making: The decline of family farming in central Poland, its roots and social consequences. Journal of Rural Studies.

BROWN, P. R., AFROZ, S., CHIALUE, L., CHIRANJEEVI, T., EL, S., GRÜNBÜHEL, C. M., KHAN, I., PITKIN, C., REDDY, V. R. & ROTH, C. H. 2019. Constraints to the capacity of smallholder farming households to adapt to climate change in South and Southeast Asia. Climate and Development, 11, 383‐400.

BRYCESON, D. F. 2019. Gender and generational patterns of African deagrarianization: Evolving labour and land allocation in smallholder peasant household farming, 1980–2015. World Development, 113, 60‐72.

FERGUSON, J. 2013. How to do things with land: A distributive perspective on rural livelihoods in Southern Africa. Journal of Agrarian Change, 13, 166‐174.

FIBÆK, M. M. 2021. Rural differentiation and rural change: Microlevel evidence from Kenya. Journal of Agrarian Change.

FISCHER, K. 2021. Why Africa’s New Green Revolution is failing–Maize as a commodity and anti‐commodity in South Africa. Geoforum.

FISCHER, K. & HAJDU, F. 2015. Does raising maize yields lead to poverty reduction? A case study of the Massive Food Production Programme in South Africa. Land Use Policy, 46, 304‐313.

HAJDU, F., NEVES, D. & GRANLUND, S. 2020. Changing Livelihoods in rural eastern cape, South Africa (2002–2016): diminishing employment and expanding social protection. Journal of Southern African Studies, 46, 743‐772.

HEBINCK, P. 2018. De‐/re‐agrarianisation: Global perspectives. Journal of Rural Studies, 61, 227‐235.

HEBINCK, P., MTATI, N. & SHACKLETON, C. 2018. More than just fields: Reframing deagrarianisation in landscapes and livelihoods. Journal of rural studies, 61, 323‐334.

MAJUMDAR, K. 2020. Rural Transformation in India: Deagrarianization and the Transition from a Farming to Non‐farming Economy. Journal of Developing Societies, 36, 182‐205.

MAMONOVA, N., FRANQUESA, J. & BROOKS, S. 2020. ‘Actually existing’right‐wing populism in rural Europe: insights from eastern Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Critical Agrarian Studies, 420.

MCMICHAEL, P. 2009. A Food Regime Analysis of the ‘World Food Crisis’. Agriculture and Human Values, 26, 281‐295.

MOORE, F. C., BALDOS, U., HERTEL, T. & DIAZ, D. 2017. New science of climate change impacts on agriculture implies higher social cost of carbon. Nature Communications, 8, 1607.