Political Ecology Network

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Postdoc opportunity: Group Water Schemes in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin

12-month post-doctoral research position based in the Geography Department, Trinity College Dublin. This is the second of two post-doctoral research positions connected to this project.
The research project is based in Ireland and looks at Group Water Schemes (rural, community-managed water infrastructures). While Group Water Schemes are often understood as a minor, even residual component of Ireland’s water system, this project approaches them as potentially important sites for re-thinking key questions relating to the state, modernity, infrastructure and the hydro-social cycle (and thus relates to a broad body of infrastructure-related literature coming from political ecology, science and technology studies, and anthropology in recent years).
Post Summary
The EPA-funded research project WISDOM (Group Water Schemes: Community Infrastructure for Sustainable Development) based in the Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin, is seeking to appoint a Research Fellow (Post-Doctoral Researcher) working in the fields of political ecology and/or science and technology studies, preferably with a research interest in the core themes of water and/or infrastructure. The position is offered for 12 months on a Full-Time basis. The WISDOM project will examine the phenomenon of Group Water Schemes in Ireland within the context of: (1) complex political economic pressures, regulatory demands, and changing environmental conditions; (2) current theoretical debates on the material politics of infrastructures within political ecology, science and technology studies, and anthropology. Group Water Schemes are community-managed water infrastructures that provide drinking water to approximately 7% of the Irish population. While Group Water Schemes are often understood as a minor, even residual component of Ireland’s water system, this project approaches them as potentially important sites for re-thinking key questions relating to the state, modernity, infrastructure and the hydro-social cycle.
The position starts on 1st September and closing date for applications is 22nd June

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June Updates from the Political Ecology Network

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 14.22.19 (1)Dear POLLEN members and friends (with apologies for X-posting),

Greetings and welcome to another monthly update from POLLEN. There will be no newsletter next month as we will be busy with the POLLEN18 conference, so this is my last newsletter as secretary. Thank you for all your contributions and friendly emails, and happy scrolling!

A pdf version of this newsletter is available here.


The POLLEN General Assembly will be held at the POLLEN18 conference, OsloMet University at 17.30-18.30, 20th June 2018. This is a chance for POLLEN members to discuss the activities, organisation and future direction of POLLEN. If you would like to submit any agenda items, please contact us by email by 17.00 on 15th June.

In the next few weeks, we will be putting out a call for expressions of interest to host the next POLLEN conference, POLLEN20. This will be followed by a formal process – prospective hosts will be asked to submit a one-page proposal, which will be reviewed by the POLLEN secretariat at Lancaster and this year’s organising committee in Oslo. Details to follow.


Kenyas‘ Death Penalty for Poachers has Stirred a Hornet’s Nest by Francis Massé

El silencio del viento contrario by Massimo Paolini

Illegal wildlife trade & Nepal’s Ex-Prime Minister: Petition to the Supreme Court of Nepal by Kumar Paudel

From our friends at Entitle:

The Enlightenment of Steven Pinker: Eco-modernism as Rationalizing the Arrogance (and Violence) of Empire by Vijay Kolinjivadi


Trashopolis! Storytelling, waste research and global conflicts by Salvatore de Rosa


The Dystopian World of the Handmaid’s Tale, Part 2/2 by Joël Foramitti


And our friends at Greenmentality:


Expanding large-scale agriculture in the name of the green economy in Tanzania by Mikael Bergius, Tor A. Benjaminsen and Mats Widgren




Batterbury S.P.J. and M. Toscano. 2018.  Seeking justice through interdisciplinary environmental education at postgraduate level: lessons from Melbourne, Australia. International Journal of Education for Social Justice / Revista Internacional de Educación para la Justicia Social (RIEJS)  7(1): 141-156.

Batterbury S.P.J.  2018. Political ecology. In Castree N., M. Hulme and J. Proctor (eds.) The Companion to Environmental Studies. London: Routledge. 439-442.

Côte, M., and B. Korf. 2017. “Making concessions: Extractive enclaves, entangled capitalism and regulative pluralism at the gold mining frontier in Burkina Faso.”  World Development 101 (C):466-476.


Côte, M., and D. Gautier. 2018. “Fuelwood territorialities: Chantier d’Aménagement Forestier and the reproduction of “political forests” in Burkina Faso.”  Geographica Helvetica 73:165-175.


Escobar, A. 2018. Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Duke University Press.

Donna Hornby, Adrian Nel, Samuel Chademana, Nompilo Khanyile. 2018. A Slipping Hold? Farm Dweller Precarity in South Africa’s Changing Agrarian Economy and Climate. Land, 7 (2). http://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/2/40

Horowitz, L.S., A. Keeling, F. Lévesque, T. Rodon, S. Schott, and S. Thériault. In press. Indigenous peoples’ relationships to large-scale mining in post/colonial contexts: Toward multidisciplinary comparative perspectives. The Extractive Industries and Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2018.05.004

Mathew Bukhi Mabele (2018): Just Conservation: Biodiversity, Wellbeing and Sustainability (Earthscan Conservation and Development Series), Forum for Development Studies, DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2018.1465637


Menga, F. and Swyngedouw, E. (Eds), Water, Technology and the Nation-State, Routledge Earthscan, 2018. Webpage: https://www.routledge.com/Water-Technology-and-the-Nation-State/Menga-Swyngedouw/p/book/9781138724655


Zinzani, A. 2018. “Development Initiatives and Transboundary Water Politics: the Conflicting Borderlands Hydrosocial Cycle in the Talas Waterscape (Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan), in Menga, F. and Swyngedouw, E. (Eds.), “Water, Technology and the Nation-State”, Routledge Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management, 147-166.


Job opportunities: 3 Lecturer/Senior Lecturer positions at the University of Lincoln


Call for Papers: Special issue of Gender, Technology and Development on Gender and Energy. Deadline 30 June 2018

PostDoc opportunity for South African scholars: 2018/19 NIHSS Sam Moyo Postdoctoral Fellowships in Land and Agrarian Reform. Details here, application form here. Deadline 29th June 2018.

Call for participants: Exploring Urbanization: Events, Resources, Risks and Movements, Wageningen, 18th-19th June 2018.

Call for papers: 2018 Eric Wolf Prize.

Call for participants: III Latin American Congress of Political Ecology, Bahia, Brasil, 5th-9th November 2018.

The Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre are excited to announce that Fred Pearce, Arian Wallach, and Mark Davis will be giving keynote presentations at the November nearly carbon-neutral conference ‘Feral.’ For more information and the CFP see http://perc.ac.nz/wordpress/feral/

The University of KwaZulu-Natal node shares reflections on feedback on their research into Zimbabwe Land reform.


NEW NODES – Welcome to POLLEN!


Best wishes,

Katharine Howell, Ben Neimark, John Childs, Simon Batterbury, Patrick Bigger, James Fraser, Giovanni Bettini & Guy Crawford

POLLEN secretariat, Lancaster University




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Call for participants: Exploring Urbanization: Events, Resources, Risks and Movements

A reminder to register for our two-day seminar EXPLORING URBANIZATION: EVENTS, RESOURCES, RISKS AND MOVEMENTSMonday 18 and Tuesday 19 June 2018

With PhD & MSc Urbanization masterclass: 20 June (09.30—12.30)

Venue: Wageningen University, Netherlands (Orion building)

Organized by WUR’s Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS)

Full program and registration: https://centreforspaceplacesociety.com/2018/03/28/seminar-exploring-urbanization-events-resources-risks-and-movements/

Short overview:

Day 1: 

  • Keynote 1: Prof. Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester)
  • Keynote 2: Prof. Anja Nygren (University of Helsinki)
  • THEME 1: The urban as hazardous environment (Dr. Markus Keck, Dr. Maartje van Eerd, Dr. Çaglar Akgüngör, Dr. Michelle Kooij, Prof. Patrick Pigeon)

Day 2:

  • THEME 2: Urbanization and peri-urban water security (Prof. M. Shah Alam Khan, Anushiya Shrestha, Prof. Dr. Vishal Narain, Monica Priya)
  • THEME 3: The urban as a seat of socio-political movements (Dr. Martijn Duineveld, Dr. Pieter de Vries, Dr. Flavio de Souza)
  • Keynote 3: Prof. Farhana Sultana (Syracuse University)
  • Panel discussion, closure and drinks

Day 3:

Masterclass: researching the urban (9.30-12.30) with Anja Nygren, Vishal Narain, and Flavio de Souza.

Participation is free, but a 35 Euro fee applies for lunches for two days and final drinks (end of day 2)!

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Call for participants: Hidden Figures and the Worlding of Global Environmental Politics

Call for Panel Participation on:

“Hidden Figures and the Worlding of Global Environmental Politics”

International Studies Association 60th Annual Convention

March 27-30, 2019. Toronto, Canada

Worlding means realizing the situatedness of our own knowledge and, thus, how it is constitutive of our worlds. The task of “worlding” aims  at unearthing what is hidden or obscured -actors, places, ecosystems, times, and processes- while also discovering why and howour concepts, theories, research designs and findings do not account for them. This move requires that we, as scholars, recognize that we are always making worlds. This panel gathers a group of scholars who reflect on their own ways of thinking about global environmental politics, and in this process, have identified a number of ways in which something or someone can be hidden.  In some cases, someone or something can be totally obscured to all perspectives at particular points in time. In other cases hiding takes place in making something or someone visible in particular ways that make certain aspects of their existence invisible. In still other ways, hiding takes place in the process of trying to unhide, when criticizing certain approaches reinforces their hegemony and hidesalternatives that would benefit from more research. In this sense, hidden figures can be considered as a methodology for worlding global environmental politics.

Please email Cristina Inoue at cris1999@gmail.com or Dimitris Stevis at dimitris.stevis@colostate.edu by May 27th.

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Call for papers: 2018 Eric Wolf Prize

** Posted on behalf of the Political Ecology Society (PESO) **

Announcement for the 2018 Eric Wolf Prize

The Political Ecology Society (PESO) announces the 2018 Eric Wolf Prize for the best article-length paper.  We seek papers based in substantive field research that make an innovative contribution to political ecology.  Clear links to specific political ecology ideas and literature are important.  To be eligible for the competition, scholars must be no more than two years past the Ph.D..  A cash prize of $500 accompanies the award, which will be presented together with delivering the paper at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (the committee is open to discussing arrangements for presenting the award at an alternative meeting as suited to the winning candidate).  The paper will be published in the Journal of Political Ecology; the prize reviewers may suggest revisions before the item is published.

The preferred format for papers is electronic.  (But, please contact us, if you need to send in some other format.)  Please use the style guidelines provided on the Journal of Political Ecology webpage: http://jpe.library.arizona.edu .

Electronic copies should be sent to Dr. Thomas K. Park ( tpark@email.arizona.edu ).

The deadline for submission is Aug.15, 2018, midnight Arizona time (Pacific time in August).

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PhD project: “What’s all the Buzz? Managing competing interests in developing Western Australia’s beekeeping industry” 

About the project:

An innovative and motivated PhD candidate is needed to develop new approaches for a ’license to operate’ tailored to the Western Australian beekeeping industry. The project will examine the social, political and ecological barriers and opportunities for securing optimal hive site accessibility (license to operate) now and into the future. A license to operate is a priority for ensuring the productivity and profitability of the WA beekeeping industry, and for negotiating with industry, hobbyists, the general public, and stakeholders over the reform needed to expand the industry in light of competing interests.

Currently, there is little understanding of the distribution, impact, and measures for managing bee sites as a means of a ‘licence to operate’. A boom in beekeeping has seen rising numbers of hobbyists and commercial operators compete for scarce resources. Honey bee sites are usually on public lands and may be remote. A ‘licence to operate’ must be developed in the context of competing land uses and resources, a wide range of stakeholders with diverse agendas and political agency, and compounding factors (such as wild bees, native species and environment conservation, declining honey yields, climate stressors, and prescribed burning or wildfires). To achieve effective community/stakeholder engagement in designing and implementing strategic policy interventions also requires myth-busting and evidenced-based recommendations.

This project serves to increase productivity and profitability of beekeepers, and to increase understanding of the competing interests in the management of honey bee hive sites in WA. The aim is to promote equitable, harmonious, and sustainable access to sites and the co-habitation of commercial apiaries with hobbyists, wild bees, native wildlife and natural bush environments, conservationists, and pastoralists. As such, this project will provide economic and health value to these bee hive sites, and inform state agencies and stakeholders for policy and planning consideration especially for stakeholder engagement, conservation, forestry, mining and bush-fire regulation.

The successful candidate will have scope to tailor the project in terms of methodology and theoretical approach to aid in the development of a sustainable and profitable WA beekeeping industry by addressing the following objectives:

  1. Identify the challenges and trade-offs facing the beekeeping industry and beekeeping practices across Southwest WA.
  2. Identify interventions and strategies to promote securing a sustainable future for native bushland, wildlife, and farming communities, that promotes a healthy commercial beekeeping industry.
  3. Develop a decision-making tool for honey bee hive sites development to optimise trade-offs between apiary activities and competing interests.

More specifically, this PhD project, over the course of 3.5 years, will identify solutions for competitive and harmonious co-habitation between wild, commercial species and a range of anthropogenic factors across spatially and ecologically-diverse native environments and commercial beekeeping arrangements that are distinctive to WA.  This may include qualitative and mixed methods research to examine the geographies of apiary site management and the demands of competing interests to better understand their impact on Western Australia beekeeping productivity and profitability. Through mixed-methods research this project will develop a process for resolving relevant policy issues (see Gill, 1996) based on sound science: toward developing a decision-making framework and/or decision support tool for honey bee hive sites.

Working with beekeepers, conservationists, and scientists, this project will contribute to the bee hive sites programme of the UWA Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products (CRC-HPB). The wider programme is a new Cooperative Research Centre facilitating the collaboration between industry, researchers and the community to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of WA’s honey industry. Visit http://www.crchoneybeeproducts.com/research-programs/honey-bee-hive-sites/ and http://www.crchoneybeeproducts.com/training-and-education/post-graduates-optional/project-1-3-whats-the-buzz-managing-competing-interests-in-developing-was-beekeeping-industry/ to find out more about our group and the wider programme. Successful candidates will be working at a leading Australian university and living in a spectacular landscape rich with cultural and biophysical history. The University of Western Australia is one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and the premier research institution in WA (www.uwa.edu.au/).

Specific readings that will help inform your thinking include:

Gill, R. (1996) The Benefits to the Beekeeping Industry and Society from Secure Access to Public Lands and their Melliferous Resources (97/026). Honeybee Research & Development Council of Australia, Armidale NSW.

Manning, R. J. G. (1992) Honey production, economic value and geographical significance of apiary sites in Western Australia: final report (from a natural resource questionnaire for beekeepers). South Perth, W.A.: Apiculture Section, Western Australian Dept. of Agriculture.

The scholarship is a $30,000 p.a. tax-free stipend for 3.5 years.

The research team:
Dr Clare Mouat
 is a Geography and Planning Lecturer in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment (SAgE) with degrees in geography, economics, and planning. Her multi-disciplinary research extends from political economies of community development to political ecologies of healthy environments. Her expertise lies in social sustainability of housing and land-use development at local to metropolitan scales, public policy and governance, community health and well-being, conflict and civility in transformational change. Over her career, her work has emphasised what being in community means for sustainable development and managing conflict in contemporary theories and practices. This project is designed to generate evidence-led policies and practices towards equitable outcomes solving pressing real-world problems where humans/non-humans and their environment interact and compete for space and resources. She is a registered bee-keeper and qualified queen-bee breeder interested in the urban wild, post-humanism, and people.

Dr Bryan Boruff is a Geographer and Senior Lecturer in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment (SAgE). His expertise lies in the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing technologies to the study of environmental hazards. Over the past decade, his research interests have expanded to encompass a range of environmental management issues including agricultural and renewable energy production, population health, sustainable livelihoods, geographic information delivery, and development of spatially enabled eResearch tools.

How to apply:

The requirements of a UWA PhD and the application process are found at https://study.uwa.edu.au/how-to-apply/lodging-your-application.  Submit your application  by 1 June, 2018 directly to both myself (clare.mouat@uwa.edu.auand Mei Han (mei.han@uwa.edu.au or to any authorised UWA representative).

Your application should include:

  • A fully completed research application form
  • All certified documents as listed on the application form
  • A brief outline of your proposed research project*

Note that we will use our Faculty of Science standard here for 750 words (not the 250 words it says in the application form and online).

We look forward to hearing from interested candidates.

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Broadcasted Seminar on “Water Justice and the Commons”

Broadcasted Seminar on “Water Justice and the Commons”

Date: Thursday, May 24th 2018
Time: From 15 to 18h
Venue: Room Z/022 ICTA-UAB

The conventional theory of the commons has been criticized for its relative inattention to how historically-shaped patterns of power, conflict, the ‘state’ and the broader political-economic context shape the access to and uses of common resources, and distributional consequences of different institutional arrangements for community-based natural resource management. The tragedy of the commons that Hardin had so popularized is not just the result of commoners’ individualistic behavior but may well also stem from the acts of more powerful, profit-seeking actors. Benefits and costs of resource management are commonly unequally distributed and shaped by power relations and political-economic structures; these conditions often lead to social movements and conflicts. Indeed, it has been argued that the history of commons has always been a history of struggle between the dynamic of enclosures driven by the systemic need for capital accumulation, and that of commoning to defend and reconstitute commons. Continue reading