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Organisation profile

Political ecology looks at the relationships between culture, politics and nature. 

The Political Ecology group is a distinct and vibrant research cluster in the UK. We offer critical perspectives on human-environmental issues and change. Reflecting political ecology’s multi-dimensionality, relevant themes addressed at Lancaster Environment Centre include:

  • food security
  • environmental justice and conservation governance
  • resource extraction
  • bioeconomy
  • water
  • urban natures
  • climate politics
  • science and technology
  • the Anthropocene

We understand political ecology (broadly defined) to coalesce around critiques of the relationship between culture, politics and nature. Research backgrounds may be in geography, anthropology, development studies, environmental sociology and other cognate disciplines.

Political ecology is the study of the ways in which use of, access to and control over natural environments play out in various social, political-economic, cultural, geographical and ecological contexts and the role of power in shaping these. Political ecology is a multi-dimensional field, coming in many different forms, and analytic traditions. Political ecologists work in a diverse array of empirical sites on issues coalescing around access to and control over valuable resources, extractives, moral economies, the politics of land, water, and ‘green’ grabbing, and the political economy of global environmental change, among other pressing issues.

We work nationally and internationally with a host of academic, government, civil society and private sector partners – from Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Indonesia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Brazil and Columbia. We have a dynamic, diverse and interdisciplinary research group and engage with other clusters of expertise across the University, including Sociology, Management and Political and Law and a central node in the international POLLEN network.

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