Lightning Session: Methods in Political Ecology

In this session, we follow Paul Robbins (2012) in exploring Political Ecology’s unique capacity to work between empirical and theoretical realms, shaping what practitioners inhabit as a ‘field.’ Robbins describes Political Ecology as a set of powerful analytic and methodological tools that are grounded in a wide array of theoretical perspectives, ranging from Common Property Theory and Peasant Studies to Postcolonial Theory and Feminist Development Studies. In this session we hope to highlight the dynamism of political ecology in action by sharing and discussing a range of methodological approaches in political ecology in a fast­moving and engaging format.


Participants will give focused 5­10 minute presentations addressing ways to put theory into practice, accompanied by no more than 3 slides as a visual aid if desired. In an effort to continue expanding the political ecology toolkit, we are particularly interested in how people who are inspired by recent theoretical or methodological trends (e.g. interspecies ethnography, posthumanism) actually do that work, fitting it with the mission of Political Ecology or challenging its traditional commitments. We are especially looking for participants who wish to discuss how political ecologists go about their work, the challenges of applying methods in the field, and particularly useful methods for capturing the complex relationship between processes of ecological and social change. We welcome interventions based in empirically and theoretically grounded work at any stage of development.


We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words submitted to Lucy Miller ( and Sophie Moore ( by Monday, November 21st. Participants will be notified by Friday, November 25th and will need to register at by Thursday, December 1st.



Robbins, Paul. Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction. 2nd edition. Malden: Wiley­Blackwell, 2012. 

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