Political Ecology Network

CfP POLLEN18: Political Ecologies of Violence in a Hyper-Extractive Age

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POLLEN18: Political Ecology Network – Biennial Conference, Oslo, Norway – June 20-22, 2018

Political Ecologies of Violence in a Hyper-Extractive Age

Organizers: Garrett Graddy-Lovelace (American University, School of International Service) and Shai Divon (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Noragric)

What differentiates the particular violence of this, the Hyper-Extractive Age? Neither extraction nor violence are new, of course, but the vastness and velocity of contemporary extractivism demands attention and analysis—particularly from political ecology scholarship. We invite scholars and activists to join us in a panel exploring the causes, consequences, policies, and paradigms of extreme environmental injustices—and ways to counter and transform such cycles of ecological violence.

Extractive violence is not an accident, side effect, or even deliberate practice but rather a core logic of 21st century global experience, disproportionately suffered by indigenous, African-diaspora, women, im/migrants, the poor, and other marginalized communities. In addition to increased rates of brutal suppression of local rural and urban environmental and labor activists in sites of extraction, extractive violence also permeates realms of urban sanitation, water infrastructure, farm policy, international development aid, and nature conservation—among others. Ironically, much of this accelerated violence is cloaked in new governmental language of ‘climate-smart’ ‘green development,’ and new technologies, geoengineering, and certification standards. A longue duree lens, however, helps trace the coloniality of this violence, and its centuries-old colonialist roots. Focusing on the criminalization of agrarian protest, for instance, expands the lens from isolated conflicts to broader state-sanctioned, industry-oriented modes of repression, vilification, and violence against land and water defenders. It calls into investigation the juridical, political, and political-economic aspects of policing and police brutality even as it foregrounds the racialized and gendered tactics and tendencies embedded within the psychosocial aspects of systemic violence.

We therefore seek research—empirical, theoretical, exploratory, and/or public—that explores the extractivist quality of contemporary life and its political-ecological underpinnings. Please join us with papers or presentations related to any of the following questions:

  1. How does the spectrum of violence— from dramatic/direct to slow/hidden—permeate contemporary collective life, and thus ecology, and thus politics?
  2. What distinguishes this age as a Hyper-Extractive Age, given that there is significant historical legacy of extraction bound up with the long histories of colonialism, capitalism, and neoliberalism?
  3. Why do particular forms of violence appear to be inherent to an Extractive Age?
  4. In what ways do different social groupings respond to, or think beyond, extractive violence given that it appears so fundamental to the dynamics of the age?
  5. What are the roles of political ecology scholarship in documenting, contextualizing, analyzing, articulating–and countering–cycles of extractivism, exploitation, and ecological violence?

Please send a 250 word abstract to Garrett Graddy-Lovelace (graddy@american.edu, American University School of International Service) or Shai Divon (shai.divon@nmbu.no, Noragric) by December 8th.

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Author: Connor Joseph Cavanagh

Research Fellow, Faculty of Landscape and Society, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Contact: connor.cavanagh@nmbu.no

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