Destruction-prone conservation policies: one pathway to sustainability?

By Niak Sian Koh (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden) and Amos Ochieng (Department of Forestry, Biodiversity and Tourism, Makerere University, Uganda) In an attempt to address the crucial problem of biodiversity loss, governments, conservation NGOs and the private sector are experimenting with different approaches to increase sources of funding for conservation. On a global level, the…

Reflections on Authoritarian Populism: Democracy, Technology and Ecological Destruction

Using anarchist critique to unearth the ‘roots’ of authoritarian populism can offer a productive gateway for understanding the origins and continuation of socio-ecological and economic crises. The language of ‘authoritarian populism’ creates the potential for a broad spectrum of inquiry, which can ignite timely and much-needed debate on the nature and mechanisms of authoritarian political…

Should political ecology be populist?

By Diego Andreucci Political ecology should take populism seriously, not only because of its authoritarian or regressive manifestations, but also for its transformative potential. The rise of right-wing populism is intimately connected to the failure of what Marxist Feminist philosopher Nancy Fraser dubbed ‘progressive neoliberalism’. For Fraser, the Left should reject the false choice between the…

small fishing boats with flags waving in the breeze

Views from the coast: uncertainty beyond climate change

Coastal areas are a poster child for climate vulnerability. They are marked and scarred by sea level rise, salinization, warming water, declining fish stocks, storms, changes in currents and weather patterns. But there are other currents and other patterns too. Against the global background of climatic change, a more careful look at places and communities…

Headless populism and the political ecology of alienation

Populism of the kind displayed by the Yellow Vests is a revolt against social and ecological alienation and an affirmation of collective popular power. Since the gilets jaunes (‘Yellow Vests’) erupted onto the French national stage on the 17th of November, erecting blockades and occupying roundabouts ostensibly to protest President Emanuel Macron’s new tax on fuel, the movement…

Extinction Rebellion

Diets not riots: what would massive public dialogue on climate change look like?

The UN’s COP24 climate conference reaches its halfway point this weekend, and carbon emissions are going in the wrong direction worldwide. Debates about the best ways to tackle climate change are spilling out on to the streets and making headlines beyond the conference in Poland. In France, the gilets jaunes have made a violent and…

Authoritarianism, populism and political ecology

by Amber Huff and Levi van Sant Based on a number of events convened under the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative, we introduce a series of interventions that explore how political ecologies can help us to better understand and confront the emergence of contemporary authoritarian populism. Shaped by the crises of progressive neoliberalism – and its contradictory nexus of elite cosmopolitanism,…

Hilary Wainwright talking at the seminar

Video: Hilary Wainwright on knowledge, politics and the left

On 31 October 2018 Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper magazine and author of the book ‘A New Politics From The Left’, spoke at a STEPS/IDS seminar at the Institute of Development Studies. The seminar linked to our work with the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative on how people are responding and reacting to a new…

Petrol station in a dry landscape with goats in foreground

Who benefits and loses from large developments in Eastern Africa’s rangelands?

The past ten years have seen the spread of large-scale investments in infrastructure, resources and land across pastoral areas of eastern Africa. In the past, these areas were insignificant to states in the region and large capital from beyond – at least, compared to the region’s agrarian highlands and Indian Ocean coast. But the recent…

Elif Sarican speaks as part of a panel at the 'Report from Rojava: Revolution at a Crossroads' event

Report from Rojava: Revolution at a Crossroads

Rojava’s revolution is one of the most promising projects of democratization and social transformation afoot in the current conjuncture in the Middle East. Its context within the ongoing Syrian War – a war entangling local, regional, and global powers – marks it as highly precarious. Those struggling for positive societal transformation require solidarity with those…