Doing political ecology inside and outside the academy
Source TitleINTERNATIONAL HANDBOOK OF POLITICAL ECOLOGY
PublisherEDWARD ELGAR PUBLISHING LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sBatterbury, Simon
AffiliationResource Management and Geography
CitationsBatterbury, S, Doing political ecology inside and outside the academy, INTERNATIONAL HANDBOOK OF POLITICAL ECOLOGY, 2015, pp. 27 - 43
Access StatusOpen Access
This chapter reflects on some practical settings in which political ecology is practised inside and beyond academia. I survey political ecology scholarship, and the extent to which it treads its own path as a way to explain complex socio-environmental dynamics. Its particular type of interdisciplinary thinking continues to clash and merge with other approaches to understanding nature–society interactions and relationships. After defining the field, I examine the context for political ecology work in academic institutions, including a fast-changing environment for critical scholarship. Publication outlets include several dedicated journals, and in recent years an increase in the volume of political ecology articles and other outputs. I then argue that teaching is usually an essential component of being a political ecologist, noting that the number of political ecology classes is growing. The presence of political ecology outside the academy is gaining strength too (albeit slowly), and so is its potential for alliances and academic engagement, notably with NGOs and social movements (who already have their own analytical tools and strategies for engaging in environmental politics). A logical outcome for scholars who interrogate causes of inequality and environmental injustice is personal engagement – critically and on the ground – potentially involving advocacy and activism.
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