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Feminist Political Ecology

Beyond Limits and Scarcity: Feminist and Decolonial Contributions to Degrowth

Citation:

Mehta, Lyla, and Wendy Harcourt. 2021. “Beyond Limits and Scarcity: Feminist and Decolonial Contributions to Degrowth.” Political Geography, May, 102411. doi: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102411.

Authors: Lyla Mehta, Wendy Harcourt

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Summary:
"We welcome this opportunity to participate in this important dialogue between political ecology and degrowth. We bring to this debate two issues: (1) perspectives on limits and scarcity, and (2) the histories and knowledges of feminist political ecology and decolonial feminism as a way of enriching degrowth's political grammar and strategies" (Mehta & Harcourt 2021).
 
"We argue that degrowth needs to learn from feminist political ecology in how to imagine possible futures beyond the theories, policies, and practices of capitalist and socialist/state-capitalist growth. Changing our ways of thinking, and our desires, habits and ways of being with others, requires new relations of care. It is our common responsibility to care which is the political and substantive work of creating degrowth futures" (Mehta & Harcourt 2021).

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology

Year: 2021

Tigers and ‘Good Indian Wives’: Feminist Political Ecology Exposing the Gender-Based Violence of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rajasthan, India

Citation:

Doubleday, Kalli F. 2020. “Tigers and ‘Good Indian Wives’: Feminist Political Ecology Exposing the Gender-Based Violence of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rajasthan, India.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers: 1-19. 
 

Author: Kalli F. Doubleday

Keywords: conservation, feminist political ecology, gender-based violence, well-being

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Summary:
This qualitative study, based on fifty-two focus groups, interviews, and participant observation within a 10-km buffer around Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India, builds on Monica Ogra’s foundational work bringing together feminist political ecology and human–wildlife conflict studies. Specifically, it exposes gender-based violence as a hidden cost of the socioenvironmental network of the tiger reserve landscape. This study asks these questions: How do gendered geographies in and around a protected area influence tiger reintroduction, and how do tiger reintroductions influence gendered geographies? What is the nature of the relationships between women’s economic and gender roles and attitudes toward tigers (original and reintroduced), and what are the main factors influencing this relationship? This research finds that (1) gender-based violence is a hidden cost of women working in and around Sariska and the reintroduced tigers, a hidden cost of human–wildlife conflict otherwise unnoted in the literature, (2) this hidden cost is not solely the product of human–wildlife encounters but in large part a consequence of the highly patriarchal society that dictates gendered human–environmental relations. The results and presented framework seek to inform developing debates and theory around just conservation, gender-based violence in relation to environmental change, human dimensions of apex predator conservation, and sustainable rural livelihoods in and adjacent to protected areas. (Summary from original source)

 

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Gender, Floods and Mobile Subjects: A Postdisaster View

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Edsel E. Sajor. 2015. “Gender, Floods and Mobile Subjects: A Postdisaster View.” In Gendered Entanglements: Revisiting Gender in Rapidly Changing Asia, edited by Ragnhild Lund, Philippe Doneys, and Bernadette P. Resurrección, 207-34. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Edsel E. Sajor

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Summary:
“This chapter examines how people in a flood-prone coastal area of the Philippines employ mobility as a means to assuage livelihood insecurity in the face of frequent disasters in unequal gendered and social ways. In particular, this chapter is an attempt to understand: (i) how people make sense of their disaster experiences, (ii) the subjectivities that shape and eventually evolve out of these experiences of prolonged insecurity and increasing mobility or immobility, and (iii) institutional efforts to build disaster resilience and secure livelihoods, and their social effects. In short, this chapter examines the role of gendered mobility in people’s post-disaster efforts at resilience-building through livelihood engagements, and which is envisaged to enable a rethinking of gender in the disaster literature that has focused almost entirely on the impacts of disasters on women and men, citing women as a heavily-impacted, homogenous group. Secondly, the fact that women and men move or remain in-place does not influence views about resilience and disaster response, and if it does, it almost always assumes that men are more mobile than women, and thus reap more advantages. We argue that as people move or remain in place, they reproduce and materialize meanings about their gendered and social selves, and thereby influence how they face and deal with disaster risks and livelihood challenges. This chapter will also employ a feminist political ecology perspective that recognizes rural populations as being geographically mobile, where women and men reconfigure livelihoods, introducing new and possibly unequal patterns of access and control, and new forms of environmental governance at different scales (Elmhirst 2011; Watts 2000)” (Resurrección and Sajor 2015, 207-8).

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Security Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2015

Listening to the Landscapes of Mama Tingo: From the ‘Woman Question’ in Sustainable Development to Feminist Political Ecology in Zambrana-Chacuey, Dominican Republic

Citation:

Rocheleau, Dianne. 2007. “Listening to the Landscapes of Mama Tingo: From the ‘Woman Question’ in Sustainable Development to Feminist Political Ecology in Zambrana-Chacuey, Dominican Republic.” In A Companion to Feminist Geography, edited by Lise Nelson and Joni Seager, 419–33. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Author: Dianne Rocheleau

Abstract:

Summary:
“In the rural countryside of the Dominican Republic environmental change has long been tied to livelihoods and landscapes and enmeshed in struggles for social justice and rights to land. In the early 1990s I went with a team of three other researchers to the rolling hills of the Zambrana–Chacuey region in the center of the country to learn about and document the recent community forestry experience of women and men who had been engaged in peasant land struggles against large commercial landowners for decades. Our goal was to see how gender and class had affected their sustainable development and forestry enterprise efforts, and in turn, how these initiatives had changed gendered social relations in the region. We ended up in a dialogue that I call “listening to the landscape,” since every feature in this patchwork of farms, forests, gardens, and homesteads was tied to stories of individual lives, families, communities, and social movements” (Rocheleau, 2007, 419).

Topics: Class, Development, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Dominican Republic

Year: 2007

Patriarchy and (Electric) Power? A Feminist Political Ecology of Solar Energy Use in Mexico and the United States

Citation:

Buechler, Stephanie, Verónica Vázquez-García, Karina Guadalupe Martínez-Molina, and Dulce María Sosa-Capistrán. 2020. “Patriarchy and (Electric) Power? A Feminist Political Ecology of Solar Energy Use in Mexico and the United States.” Energy Research & Social Science 70: 1-10.

Authors: Stephanie Buechler, Verónica Vázquez-García, Karina Guadalupe Martínez-Molina, Dulce María Sosa-Capistrán

Abstract:

This study combines the use of feminist political ecology and a water-energy-food nexus lens to analyze gender, age and social class in women’s experiences with small-scale solar energy projects in urban and rural Arizona, USA and Zacatecas, Mexico. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy lends itself to more decentralized forms of production, offering an opportunity for individuals and communities (rather than corporations) to shape a more sustainable energy landscape. Understanding women’s roles and needs related to small-scale solar energy projects is essential; women remain the most important decision-makers and laborers for household and small-scale livelihood-related energy use. The study focused on the roles of women community leaders and male self-taught innovators in small-scale solar energy technology training, uptake and dissemination. It also analyzed barriers for elderly and low-income women to access solar energy. Most of the solar energy was related to water use for household chores or for irrigation of urban or rural agriculture. Some projects assisted women in meeting their household and livelihood needs in multiple ways and were part of broader household and community-level sustainability initiatives. The policy and institutional context in which the small-scale projects were inserted shaped women’s access to training and technologies. Some projects and programs missed the very populations they were intended to serve due to funding politicization. 

 

Keywords: feminist political ecology, WEF nexus, solar energy, women, Arizona, Zacatecas

Topics: Age, Class, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico, United States of America

Year: 2020

Introduction: Troubling Gender Expertise in Environment and Development

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2020. "Introduction: Troubling Gender Expertise in Environment and Development.” In Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development: Voices from Feminist Political Ecology, 1-24. London: Routledge.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book discusses the daily struggles and achievements of ‘gender experts’ in the environment and development world. It explores the possible tensions and ruptures that are involved in bringing the feminist knowledges that underpin gender mainstreaming into the realm of technical and scientific knowledges that inform the work of environment and technical development organisations. The book presents a collection of polyvocal essays written together with ‘gender experts’ working in technical and environmental science-led organisations, whose work is for the most part geographically located in the global South. The ‘doing’ of gender mainstreaming or gender-inclusive work has led to the emergence of the ‘gender expert’, a figure that is central to the professionalisation of ‘gender’ within the realm of environment and development organisations, programmes and interventions.

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 2020

Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P. 2019. “Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View.” In People and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Social Justice, edited by Lisa Reyes Mason and Jonathan Rigg, 51–67. New York: Oxford University Press. 
 

Author: Bernadette P. Resurrección

Keywords: feminist political ecology, water, neoliberalism, emotions, subjectivities

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Summary:
This chapter applies a feminist political ecology lens to episodes of climate change-related water insecurity in three Southeast Asian peri-urban area sites affected by flooding, water shortages, and pollution induced by long dry spells and heavy precipitation. It presents highlights from a 3-year research project that examined the everyday lives of women as they “deal with water” in the context of increasing water pollution, water scarcity, and flooding compounded by neoliberal socioeconomic conditions. These accounts illustrate how in water- and climate-change contexts, the neoliberal logics of privatization, commercialization, and reified separation between “the natural” and “the social” engage closely with emotions and intersectional gender subjectivities. The use of a feminist political ecology lens offers more holistic and grounded ways of probing into people’s experiences of climate-related water insecurity and stresses, aspects of which are often missed: gendered violence, hierarchies of place, affect, and insecurity in everyday life. (Summary from Oxford Scholarship Online)
 

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Privatization, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development

Citation:

Stock, Ryan. 2021. “Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development.” World Development 138. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105196.

Author: Ryan Stock

Abstract:

India is undergoing a rapid transition to renewable energy; the Gujarat Solar Park typifies this transition. In addition to mitigating climate change, the Gujarat Solar Park boasts female empowerment through social development schemes. This manuscript is inspired by the following research question: To what extent are ‘gender positive’ processes and projects associated with solar development in India realized on the ground? Utilizing mixed methods fieldwork and drawing on literature from feminist political ecology, this paper demonstrates how the modalities of solar park development represent an antinomy of a nature-society relation. New configurations of labor under the political economy of solar have produced a gendered surplus population of landless peasants who are not absorbed into wage-labor employment in the solar park. Further, associated social development schemes actually disempower women, despite mandates of ‘gender positive’ outcomes by UN-based climate treaties to which this project is beholden. The opportunity to participate in one such scheme for female empowerment was reserved for only women of middle-to-high class status and those of dominant castes, thereby reproducing class and caste-based social power asymmetries. Female (dis)empowerment eclipses ‘gender positive’ guarantees of the solar park. This study highlights some unintended consequences of sustainable energy transitions in the Global South at the local scale. Designing development interventions related to climate change mitigation that boast ‘gender positive’ outcomes must be careful not to exacerbate gender disparities and economic exclusion in rural areas.

Keywords: energy transition, solar park, antinomy, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2021

Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Sundberg, Juanita. 2017. “Feminist Political Ecology.” In International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Author: Juanita Sundberg

Abstract:

Feminist political ecology is a subfield that brings feminist theory, objectives, and practices to political ecology, which is an analytical framework based on the assumption that ecological issues must be understood and analyzed in relation to political economy (and vice versa). Feminist political ecologists hold that gender is a crucial variable – in relation to class, race, and other relevant dimensions of political ecological life – in constituting access to, control over, and knowledge of natural resources. In addition, research in feminist political ecology demonstrates how social identities are constituted in and through relations with nature and everyday material practices.

Topics: Class, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Race

Year: 2017

Emotional Political Ecology

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2017. “Emotional Political Ecology.” In The International Handbook of Political Ecology, edited by Raymond L. Bryant, 633-645. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publsihing

 

Author: Farhana Sultana

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Summary:
This chapter develops an emotional political ecology approach by integrating scholarship in feminist political ecology, resources management and emotional geographies. Emotions matter in resource struggles. They influence outcomes of practices and processes of resource access, use and control while shaping how resources-related interactions are actually experienced in everyday lives. I demonstrate the importance of heeding the various emotions and meanings attached to resource access, use and conflict in order to better elucidate the emotionality thereby engaged in everyday struggles. Through a case study of a water crisis, the chapter draws attention to the emotional geographies of water that are important in explaining the ways that feeling subjects relate to water and how water mediates broader social relations. Conflicts over resources are thus as much about embodied emotions, feelings and lived experiences as they are about property rights and entitlements, long the focus in political ecology. Not only does such an approach lead to greater nuance in understanding resources struggles and politics; it also rejects the idea that ‘real’ scholarship is about ‘rational’ social interactions over resources that leaves emotive realities about how resources are accessed, used and fought over firmly to one side. Indeed, (feminist) political ecology will be immeasurably strengthened when often abstract articulations of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples and resources, enabling enhanced comprehension of how resources and emotions intermingle in everyday resource management practices. I believe that more comprehensive and productive analyses are possible that can greatly expand current debates to better explain why and how specific nature–society relations play out the way they do. An emotional political ecology approach thus elucidates how emotions matter in nature–society relations, and can thus greatly enhance future political ecology scholarship. (Summary from ElgarOnline)

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2017

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