Securing accumulation by restoration – Exploring spectacular corporate conservation, coal mining and biodiversity compensation in the German Rhineland

German energy giant and coal mine operator RWE makes two products: cheap electricity and ‘pretty new landscapes’. These ‘pretty new landscapes’ are biodiversity offsets to compensate for the destruction of the ancient Hambacher Forest for the world’s largest opencast lignite coal mine in the German Rhineland. Drawing on in-depth fieldwork including participant observation and interviews…

Resource warfare, pacification and the spectacle of ‘green’ development: Logics of violence in engineering extraction in southern Madagascar

Bringing political ecology’s concern with the critical politics of nature and resource violence into dialogue with key debates in political geography, critical security studies and research on the geographies and phenomenology of violence and warfare, this paper explores strategies ‘from above’ in relation to the establishment and operation of the Rio Tinto QIT-Madagascar Minerals (QMM)…

Political Ecology and Differential Vulnerabilities to Droughts among Livestock Farmers in South Africa: A Case Study of Mpakeni Community

The enormous contributions livestock production makes to rural livelihood in communal areas are perhaps why it is deemed a vehicle that can reduce the high poverty and inequality levels through the injection of effective policies.

Green Transformations, Charcoal and Social Justice in Rural East-Central Tanzania

Over the last 30 years, Tanzania has taken different policy approaches towards the conservation of forests. Intriguingly, from the earlier integrated conservation and development approach to the ‘newer’ green economy, the idea that providing livelihood benefits is a key strategy for achieving conservation effectiveness has dominated. This one-dimensional conception of what ‘local people’ value and…

Kenya’s Youth Agricultural Livelihoods and the Land–Water–Environment Nexus

This paper elucidates the extent to which the proposition for greening youth livelihoods is plausible by examining how young farmers navigate the land–water–environment nexus. The main question addressed here is ‘to what extent does the land–water–environment nexus influence (and, indeed, is influenced by) youth agricultural livelihoods?’

Irrigating Zimbabwe after land reform: The potential of farmer-led systems

Farmer-led irrigation is far more extensive in Zimbabwe than realised by planners and policymakers. This paper explores the pattern of farmer-led irrigation in neighbouring post-land reform smallholder resettlement sites in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo district.

Young people and land in Zimbabwe: livelihood challenges after land reform

This article explores the livelihood challenges and opportunities of young people following Zimbabwe’s land reform in 2000. The article explores the life courses of a cohort of men and women, all children of land reform settlers, in two contrasting smallholder land reform sites.

Transforming Access to Clean Technology: Learning From Lighting Africa

The working paper analyses the case of Lighting Africa, which successfully transformed access to solar lighting in Kenya and, as far as we are aware, conceptualises and illustrates for the first time Lighting Africa’s approach. This builds on past STEPS research that focusses on building sociotechnical innovation systems.

Crises in Variegated Capitalism, Co-produced, Hydro-Social Impacts

Drawing on fieldwork undertaken on Dutch aid in the Mozambican waterscape, this working paper asks how seemingly unrelated crises jointly reproduced politico-economic and hydro-social conditions in Mozambique. To this end, literature on the political ecology of crisis and austerity is mobilised and adapted to the needs of this paper through the notion of variegated capitalism. This relational approach helps to make sense of interdependencies between the two crises (and the responses they triggered) in a singular global, but spatially differentiated, capitalism.