The Political Ecology of Coastal Conservation, Development, and Livelihoods

Coastlines are points of convergence, where marine, terrestrial, and human systems come into contact. They are the edges of these systems, full of complex interactions, processes, and politics. Coastal areas are places where natural forces—rising sea levels, storms, erosion—collide with human livelihoods, histories, and political, economic, and ecological interventions. They are places full of biodiversity and what are often defined as valuable “resources” or “ecosystem services.” Coastlines are vibrant, complex, thriving places. But they are also places of degradation, overexploitation, pollution, and dispossession. This panel seeks to explore the political ecology of coastlines and/or coastal areas in a broad sense, through a series of multidisciplinary viewpoints. We seek critical perspectives on coastal political ecologies from scholars in the natural and social sciences in order to examine, broadly and creatively, what these places mean, how they function, and what futures we may expect for them.


Possible lines of inquiry include but are not limited to:


+climate change and the effects of rising sea levels

+the human dimensions of coastlines

+the biological impacts of humanity on coastal spaces

+the social, environmental, and political effects of coastal erosion

+coastal pollution and degradation

+mangrove deforestation and exploitation in coastal areas

+small-scale fisheries and resource access-based struggles to coastal space 

+conflicts between traditional small-scale fishing and large-scale commercial fishing operations

+marine protected areas

+environmental histories of coastlines

+large-scale coastal tourism development

+coastal ecotourism

+coastal real estate development and dispossession

If you would like to join this panel, please send your abstract (300 words or less) to Ryan Anderson at by Thursday, December 15, 2016. Please note that the Conference Registration deadline is also December 15, 2016. Please CC your email to Priyanka Ghosh at when you email your abstract to Ryan Anderson.

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