Political Ecology

Christian Brannstrom

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI:
Political Ecology

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Political ecology emerged in the 1980s within the field of geography from cultural ecology and development studies traditions. Initially phrased by Piers Blaikie, an expert in rural development and resource governance, as the multiscale analysis of environmental degradation from a political economy perspective, political ecology rejected neo-Malthusian explanations of human impacts on the environment. Instead, the subfield understands environmental change as a result of power relations, which cause highly variable access to resources. Debate exists on whether political ecologists created a theory of human–environment interactions or whether they established a research framework. Moreover, scholars have debated whether political ecology is sufficiently “political” or “ecological.” In the late 1990s and early 2000s, political ecology fragmented into several subareas that have since developed into vigorous research areas. Political ecologists share affinity with several groups of scholars, including anthropologists who self-identify as political ecologists, economic geographers interested in resources and commodities, political geographers interested in environmental politics, and scholars specializing in cultural ecology and environmental justice.

Article.  10649 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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