Nexus thinking has evolved over the last several years as a means of conceptualizing relationships and entanglements within complex socio-natural systems. In particular, scholars studying human-environment relations are increasingly using a “food-water-energy nexus” framework to examine the frictions and interdependencies between various “natural” and non-human resources, focusing particularly on the perturbations of global climate change to systems of resource production, distribution, and use, and their implications for environmental governance and (in)justice. The food-water-energy nexus framework has prompted a variety of planned and published special issues in such journals as Water; Sustainability; Environmental Science & Policy; Applied Energy; Resources, Conservation, and Recycling; and International Journal of Water Resources Development, as well as an NSF funding solicitation for research proposals for Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems. 


As this field advances and develops, we wonder what a political ecology framework can bring to such a network.


We are seeking scholars/activists who critically employ and interrogate the food-water-energy nexus by addressing questions including (but not limited to) the following: What does a “nexus” approach offer that is useful for theorizing intersections, contaminations, and inconsistencies between food, water, and energy systems? What do nexus frameworks obscure or erase? How might they perpetuate existing power structures under the guise of new, innovative frameworks? Does political ecology reveal weaknesses and strengths of the nexus approach? What components should we advocate and advance to create more equitable communities?


If you are interested, please submit an abstract of 250 words or less to Gretchen Sneegas (gsneegas [at] uga [dot] edu) and Michael Finewood (mfinewood [at] gmail [dot] com) no later than 5 PM on Friday, November 30. Participants will be notified of their status in advance of the December 15 registration deadline. Please also note that accepted papers are expected to register for and attend the DOPE conference in Lexington, KY from February 21-23.


In the spirit of ongoing efforts to change the compositions of panels, we want to strongly encourage traditionally underrepresented members of our community to participate. We welcome and value diverse perspectives and participants, but are particularly looking to strengthen our panel with voices women as well as LGBTQ+ & communities of color. Please reach out to us with any thoughts or questions.


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