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Political Ecology and Resilience Debate

I was really interested to see the recent debate on resilience and Political Ecology at Uppsala University in Sweden. The event included Garry Peterson, Stockholm Resilience Centre and Alf Hornborg, Human Ecology Division, Lund University, and was moderated by Eva Friman from the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, Uppsala University.

You can watch the full event, and will see that the discussion becomes quite heated at times. It presents an interesting set of arguments and propositions, but the protagonists often talked past each other. The discussion was often more about how the science itself is constructed, rather than about how the approaches provide analytical tools to analyse environment and societal relations and change or to contribute towards sustainable development.

I see this interesting and challenging space at the intersection of the approaches as being particularly rich and it’s where I try to position much of my own work. Resilience thinking gives us extremely powerful and innovative ways of understanding change processes and for re-assessing the role of risk and uncertainty; political ecology reminds us of the importance of power, winners and losers, plural perspectives and narratives, and to always question the framings and values behind knowledge claims and science. What could be more interesting and exciting for research I wonder?????
See the Grasping Sustainability, poster (pdf file) for more information.

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