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Feminist Political Ecology

Feminist Political Ecology Practices of Worlding: Art, Commoning and the Politics of Hope in the Classroom

Citation:

Harcourt, Wendy. 2019. “Feminist Political Ecology Practices of Worlding: Art, Commoning and the Politics of Hope in the Classroom.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 153–74.

Author: Wendy Harcourt

Abstract:

In the paper I argue that in a world where our lives are intricately interconnected and our environments are rapidly changing, commoning produces ecological imaginaries and understandings of places that could build a sense of global commons based on mutuality, reciprocity, and relationality. In exploring commoning in the international classroom, my paper contributes to ongoing dialogues on community economies and feminist political ecology in the Community Economies Research Network (CERN), and the newly formed EU project Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity (WEGO). In the article I first set out how I use commoning in my teaching. In section two I present my methodology, followed by section three where I present the community economies research network. In section four I present a case study of how I employ the community economies iceberg diagram in my teaching process using drawing/ art-making to create an emergent commons-in-practice. In section five I discuss the productivity of bringing community economies and commoning to a broader feminist, ecological justice project followed by a conclusion.

Keywords: commoning, community economies, feminist political ecology, gender, postdevelopment

Topics: Economies, Education, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Justice

Year: 2019

Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Elmhirst, Rebecca. 2015. “Feminist Political Ecology.” In The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology, edited by Tom Perreault, Gavin Bridge, and James McCarthy, 519–30. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

Feminist political ecology emerged as a subfield of Political Ecology in the 1990s, developing initially from gender and development studies, with which it shares a broad commitment to understanding the dynamics of gender in relation to the natural environment and in the context of natural resource-based livelihoods. As with Political Ecology more generally, Feminist Political Ecology (FPE hereafter) emphasizes politics and power at different scales, but goes further in highlighting gendered power relations, and in making an explicit commitment towards tackling gender disadvantage and inequality. FPE directs attention towards gendered processes within the politics of environmental degradation and conservation, the neoliberalization of nature and ongoing rounds of accumulation, enclosure and dispossession associated with each of these. Work within this field seeks to complicate arenas of assumed common interest, such as “community” and “household”, and to explore the connections between nature, gendered subject formation and the body. Of central interest are the gender dimensions of struggles over nature and the environment, and how might these intersect and be informed by feminist objectives, strategies and practices. Whilst FPE embraces a diversity of approaches and subject matters, there is a shared (if often implicit) commitment to feminist epistemology, methods and values, where dominant, masculinist conceptions and practices of knowledge and authority are recognized and challenged, and where emphasis is given to research and practice that empowers and promotes social and ecological transformation for women and other marginalized groups. (Routledge) 

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Households

Year: 2015

Introducing New Feminist Political Ecologies

Citation:

Elmhirst, Rebecca. 2011. “Introducing New Feminist Political Ecologies.” Geoforum 42 (2): 129–32. 

Author: Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

Political Ecology is firmly established as an important area of enquiry within Geography that attends to many of the most important questions of our age, including the politics of environmental degradation and conservation, the neoliberalisation of nature and ongoing rounds of accumulation, enclosure and dispossession, focusing on access and control of resources, and environmental struggles around knowledge and power, justice and governance. This short introductory paper considers how feminists working in this field of enquiry consider the gender dimension to such issues, and how political ecologies might intersect with a feminist objectives, strategies and practices: a focus for early iterations of a promising sub-field, labelled Feminist Political Ecology. It considers a number of epistemological, political and practical challenges that together may account for the relatively limited number of works that self-identify as feminist political ecology. Whilst this has made it difficult for Feminist Political Ecology to gain purchase as a sub- field within the political ecology cannon, this introductory piece highlights fruitful new ways that developments in feminist thinking enrich work in this field, evident in a flowering of recent publications.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, political ecology, gender, Subjectivity, scale, embodiment

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Governance, Justice

Year: 2011

Feminist Political Ecologies of the Commons and Commoning

Citation:

Clement, Floriane, Wendy Jane Harcourt, Deepa Joshi, and Chizu Sato. 2019. “Feminist Political Ecologies of the Commons and Commoning.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 1–15.

Authors: Floriane Clement, Wendy Jane Harcourt, Deepa Joshi, Chizu Sato

Keywords: commoning, commons, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality, multiscalar, power, subjectivities

Annotation:

Summary:
"It has been almost a decade since Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009 and transformed in no small measure, environmental governance studies. On the one hand, her alternative ideas on polycentric governance, collective action and commons management created legitimate space and authority for grassroots structures to self-govern the commons. Less visibly, her work also enabled a storming into masculine spaces of political science and economics (Wall 2014). Viewed through a feminist perspective, these acts were both profoundly political. And yet, although her work ‘challenged many extreme neoliberal concerns by emphasizing cooperative behaviour and the possibility for solutions not involving private property’ (Forsyth and Johnson 2014, 1106)—it did not [re]politicize the field of new institutional economics, i.e. allow a critical analysis of how power operates in commons management (Łapniewska 2016). This special issue offers a set of papers that defend the pertinence and value of integrating power and power relationships in the analysis of the commons, from a feminist perspective" (Clement et al. 2019, 2).

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Governance

Year: 2019

Economy for the Earth: The Labour Theory of Value without the Subject/Object Distinction

Citation:

Brennan, Teresa. 1997. “Economy for the Earth: The Labour Theory of Value without the Subject/Object Distinction.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 175–85. 

Author: Teresa Brennan

Abstract:

This is a theoretical paper which applies feminist and ecological feminist critiques of the subject/object distinction in philosophy to Marx's labour theory of value. It argues that much of the use of Marx's political economy has been undermined by the centrality of the subject/object distinction in his theory. His deployment of this distinction led him to an exclusive emphasis on subjective human labour-power as the key factor in profit. The main part of the paper reworks Marx's value-theory without the subject/object distinction. Used this way, the paper argues, Marx's value theory becomes a theory of time and speed, in which nature overall is the source of value, and the time of natural reproduction is disregarded in the interests of profit. The paper contends that this reworking of the labour theory of value extends its explanatory force.

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

Year: 1997

To Measure and to Narrate: Paths Toward a Sustainable Future

Citation:

Berik, Günseli. 2018. “To Measure and to Narrate: Paths Toward a Sustainable Future.” Feminist Economics 24 (3): 136–59.

Author: Günseli Berik

Abstract:

This contribution engages with the question of measurement of economic well-being from a feminist ecological perspective. It starts from the dual premises that it is necessary to recognize and value as important the economic, social, and environmental contributors to economic welfare and desirable for ecological and feminist economists to collaborate in moving toward a sustainable future. The study examines the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), formulated and developed by environmental-ecological economists, as a potentially useful measure that responds to both feminist and ecological economic concerns by making visible unpaid care labor and the environment. As an accounting framework that applies the monetary imputation approach, the GPI is objectionable to some ecological and feminist economists. Reviewing debates among feminist and ecological economists, this study argues that the goals and potential objections of both groups may be addressed by complementing GPI with a narrative approach in a plural and conditional policy-input process.

Keywords: Genuine Progress Indicator, unpaid care work, sustainability, ecology

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Feminist Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Livelihoods

Year: 2018

Rethinking Gender and Nature from a Material(ist) Perspective: Feminist Economics, Queer Ecologies and Resource Politics

Citation:

Bauhardt, Christine. 2013. “Rethinking Gender and Nature from a Material(ist) Perspective: Feminist Economics, Queer Ecologies and Resource Politics.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 20 (4): 361–75.

Author: Christine Bauhardt

Abstract:

After the cultural turn, it has become necessary to reconsider society’s relations to nature. This article provides a theoretically sound basis for feminist interventions in global environmental policies drawing on feminist economics and queer ecologies to theorize material(ist) perspectives on gender and nature. This is the starting point for rethinking social and gender relations to nature from the resource politics approach. Beyond the feminization of environmental responsibility this approach aims at an understanding of human life embedded in material and discursive processes – without putting the potential (re)productivity of the female body on the ideological pedestal of heterosexual maternity.

Keywords: ecological crisis, environmental policies, gender and sustainability, naturecultures, social relations to nature

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology

Year: 2013

Gendered Spaces of Activism in Exurbia: Politicizing an Ethic of Care from the Household to the Region

Citation:

Abbruzzese, Teresa V., and Gerda R. Wekerle. 2011. “Gendered Spaces of Activism in Exurbia: Politicizing an Ethic of Care from the Household to the Region.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 32 (2): 140–69. 

Authors: Teresa V. Abbruzzese, Gerda R. Wekerle

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The purpose of this paper is to analyze the convergence of women, environment, and place through the examination of an empirical case study of women’s activism in an exurban campaign against sprawl in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada. While there is a considerable literature on women’s urban activism, there is virtually no research on women’s engagement in antisprawl campaigns or campaigns to preserve near-urban nature threatened by growth and development pressures, even though these particular environmental movements are widespread and growing in number. While this campaign to “Save the Oak Ridges Moraine” was not considered a women’s grassroots movement in public and academic debates or by the women activists themselves, women emerged as grassroots activists and spokespersons for the campaign and were politically effective in mobilizing a regionwide campaign that was instrumental in gaining provincial legislation to preserve the moraine and restrict development" (Abbruzzese and Wekerle 2011, 141). 

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2011

Ecofeminism and Climate Change

Citation:

Gaard, Greta. 2015. "Ecofeminism and Climate Change." Women's Studies International Forum 49: 20-33. 

Author: Greta Gaard

Annotation:

Summary: 
Issues that women traditionally organize around—environmental health, habitats, livelihoods— have been marginalized in debates that treat climate change as a scientific problem requiring technological and scientific solutions without substantially transforming ideologies and economies of domination, exploitation and colonialism. Issues that GLBTQ people organize around—bullying in the schools, hate crimes, marriage equality, fair housing and health care—aren't even noted in climate change discussions. Feminist analyses are well positioned to address these and other structural inequalities in climate crises, and to unmask the gendered character of first-world overconsumption; moreover, both feminist animal studies and posthumanism bring awareness of species as an unexamined dimension in climate change. A queer, posthumanist, ecological and feminist approach—brought together through the intersectional lens of ecofeminism—is needed to tackle the antifeminist threads companioning the scientific response to climate change: the linked rhetorics of population control, erotophobia and ecophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, and increased militarism. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2015

Cyborg and Ecofeminist Interventions: Challenges for an Environmental Feminism

Citation:

Alaimo, Stacy. 1994. “Cyborg and Ecofeminist Interventions: Challenges for an Environmental Feminism.” Feminist Studies 20 (1): 133–52. 

Author: Stacy Alaimo

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Drawing upon cultural studies and post-Marxist theory, this article questions the ideologies of cyborgs, ecofeminists, and popular culture texts in order to map out a feminist ecological position within and between the cyborg and ecofeminist poles. On the one hand, Mother Earth and ecofeminist glorifications of nature play into the pockets of patriarchal capitalism; on the other hand, cyborgs forsake alliances between women and nature and may bolster a destructive technophilia. Articulating women and nature as agents in a mutual struggle, however, could strengthen environmental feminism's political impetus while opposing the appropriation of nature as passive resource" (Alaimo 1994, 133). 

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 1994

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