The SDC group at Wageningen University has a vacancy – we welcome applications!

Vacancy Wageningen UR – Associate or full (personal) Professor in Disaster and Crisis Studies (Tenure Track) (F/M)


The Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) chair group has a vacancy for an associate or full (personal) professor with demonstrated excellence in teaching and research in the area of crisis and disaster studies. This position contributes to the chair group by focusing on crises and disasters within the context of contemporary processes of development and social change. The chair group is characterized by its interdisciplinary character, its ethnographic and its critical approach to studying development and change in diverse settings. The candidate will contribute to and further a research agenda focusing on challenges related to natural and human-made hazards, crises, conflicts, and their effects against the background of broader political, economic, social, cultural and environmental change, including climate change and migration. As these developments will increasingly play out in highly populated areas, peri-urban and urban settings, they bring new conceptual and policy challenges that the SDC group is keen to study and address.

The position entails research, teaching and supervision of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD students, acquisition and related management tasks. We expect the candidate to have an affinity with educational innovation and a vision on leading and improving the disaster and crisis studies course portfolio.


The candidate must have:

  • a PhD degree in a relevant social science field (anthropology, sociology, geography, development studies, political science) with a focus on conflict or disaster studies,
  • relevant fieldwork experience,
  • a strong international network and an excellent publication record,
  • an innovative and creative approach to opening up new avenues for research and the acquisition of funding.

In addition, we expect the candidate to have experience with interdisciplinary work and connective capacity in creating a team-building atmosphere. The candidate should have a passion for education, proven by a track record of academic teaching and supervision. Interpersonal skills and the ability to enthuse students and colleagues are also key assets. The candidate should be fluent in English. Foreign candidates are expected to learn Dutch.


We offer a tenure track position as associate or full (personal) professor, depending on experience. Within Wageningen University, a full (personal) professorship is the outcome of a challenging career trajectory called Tenure Track (for more information about the Tenure Track at Wageningen UR visit www.wageningenur.nl/tenuretrack).
We are looking for high potentials who excel in education and research. The position is a permanent one, but the appointed (associate) professor starts with a temporary contract and will have to go through an assessment after 5 years (3 years for associate professor), on the basis of the tenure criteria that apply to personal professors. A part time position of 0.8 fte is negotiable.
Gross salary: from €64.937,- to €95.375,- per year, based on full time employment and dependent on expertise and experience.

Dienstverband: Temporary, Onbekend


Wageningen UR

SDC focuses on the structures and practices of development and change with a particular scientific interest in inequality, marginalization and political agency. The group’s vision is to be a world-leading, politically engaged and interdisciplinary research and educational centre in development studies, political ecology, anthropology of law and crisis and disaster studies. Our mission is to gain and communicate a deeper understanding of inequality and marginalisation generated by global and local structures of power and political-economy and so contribute to social and environmental justice. At the same time we study how actors generate forms of agency and practices that enable them to deal with these dynamics and create new opportunities.

For more information visit the SDC Group webpage: www.wageningenur.nl/sdc.

Wageningen University and Research Centre
Wageningen University & Research centre aims to deliver a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.
Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at www.wageningenur.nl/career.

Additionele informatie

To apply, please upload your letter of motivation and your CV, including a list of publications via our online ‘respond’ button (above), before 15 December 2015. You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours. Interviews will be held between 4 and 15 January 2015.

Please note that only applications sent through the online ‘respond’ button can be taken into consideration; please do not send your application via email.

A more detailed profile can be obtained from Ms. Marielle Takes ( Marielle.Takes@wur.nl), and from www.wageningenur.nl/dis. Additional enquiries should be addressed to the chair of the SDC group, Prof. Dr. Bram Büscher. (bram.buscher@wur.nl).

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.

The invitations for my inaugural lecture as Professor in Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University have been printed!

The title is ‘Life and Capital. Development and Change in the 21st Century’, and it will be held on 3 December 2015, 16:00 in the Aula at Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Oratie uitnodiging voorkantOratie uitnodiging achterkant

Vandaag gepubliceerd in Trouw: opiniestuk van Paul Hebinck en ondergetekende over Staatssecretaris Sharon Dijksma’s planning ter ondersteuning van de Wildlife Justice Commission in Den Haag.

natuur en milieu

16 oktober 2015 | door: Paul Hebinck en Bram Büscher, wetenschappelijk medewerkers Wageningen Universiteit

Internationale jacht op stropers vanuit Den Haag naïef en tegenstrijdig

Staatssecretaris Dijksma van EZ heeft financiële steun toegezegd aan de door WNF opgezette Wildlife Justice Commission om stroperij in Afrika en Azië te helpen bestrijden. De plannen zijn echter onrealistisch en naïef.

Lees verder: http://www.opiniestukken.nl/opiniestukken/artikel/1096/Internationale-jacht-op-stropers-vanuit-Den-Haag-na-ef-en-tegenstrijdig

International Conference

Political Ecologies of Conflict, Capitalism and Contestation (PE-3C)

When: 7-9 July 2016
Where: Hotel Wageningse Berg, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Organised by: Wageningen University and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

We seem to have entered a new phase in the relation between violence and environment. This includes not just unprecedented surges of wildlife crime and associated military style retaliation, but also the conflicts and contestations that arise from structural unequal access to resources (ironically often exacerbated by environmental policies), and the epistemic and intellectual domination of specific ways of understanding, representing and enacting natures, animals and environments. These forms of conflict and violence are (again) becoming an ever more central aspect of the political ecologies of late capitalism and warrant renewed attention, conceptualization and critique. This international conference aims to bring together scholars, activists, non-governmental and governmental change-makers and interested individuals to discuss and increase our understanding of the causes, consequences, natures and politics of these dynamics and so inspire and understand contested 21st century political ecologies.

A second objective of the conference is to contribute to a broader understanding of the meaning and nature of political ecology in the 21st century. Political ecology, as the study of how different interests, forms of power and politics influence and frame access to, use and understand the environment, has become a mature field of academic and activist inquiry. One of the untapped strengths of this field is that those who call themselves political ecologists work within a wide variety of different disciplines, traditions and academic cultures. The aim of this conference is to bring these different disciplines, traditions and cultures together and so connect important discussions on the political ecologies of conflict, capitalism and contestation.

Paper and Panel themes: proposals for papers and panels are invited that address a combination of the following themes and issues:
·      Resources and land use practices including but not limited to: biodiversity and conservation, agriculture, agroecology, forests, water management, marine resources, etc;
·      Drivers of violence and conflict such as inequality, resource access, capitalism, markets, governmental policies, ecotourism, militarization, climate change, science and technology, war and crisis, conservation and development programs;
·      Forms and conceptions of violence including but not limited to structural and material forms of violence, symbolic and epistemic violence as well as practices of contestation, resistance and the development of alternatives;
·   Conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to political ecology and beyond: (post-)structuralist, (post-)Marxist, governance studies, ANT, discourse analysis, governmentality, biopolitics, cultural studies, posthumanist, ethnographic, etc.

We invite paper and full panel proposals (with a maximum of 4 paper presentations for 1 panel) for this conference; please send these to politicalecology2016@gmail.com before 15 December 2015. Abstracts of the papers as well as abstracts describing a full panel should not exceed 300 words.

Keynote speakers:
Elizabeth Lunstrum (York University)
Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace)
Philippe Le Billon (University of British Colombia)

Organizing committee
Wageningen University: Bram Büscher, Han v. Dijk, Rob Fletcher, Stasja Koot (SDC), Esther Turnhout (FNP), Rutgerd Boelens, Jeroen Vos (WRM), Kees Jansen (KTI), Clemens Driessen (GEO), Simon Bush (ENP)
SOAS, University of London: Rosaleen Duffy

Advisory committee (in progress)
1.     Giorgios Kallis (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
2.     Nik Heynen (University of Georgia)
3.     Nancy Peluso (UC Berkeley)
4.     Maano Ramutsindela (University of Cape Town)
5.     Rod Neumann (Florida International University)
6.     Murat Arsel (Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University)
7.     Ashish Kothari (Kalpavriksh)
8.     Tor Arve Benjaminsen (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
9.     Wolfram Dressler (University of Melbourne)
10.   Ben Neimark (Lancaster University)
11.   John Childs (Lancaster University)
12.   Jamie Lorimer (Oxford University)
13.   Padraig Carmody (Trinity College Dublin)
14.   Krithika Srinivasan (Exeter University)
15.   Anthony Bebbington (Clark University)
16.   Daniel Muenster (Heidelberg University)
17.   Gerardo Damonte (Univ Catol Peru)
18.   Tatiana Roa (CENSAT Colombia)
19.   Megan Ybarra (University of Washington)
20.   Alice Kelly (UC Berkeley, US)
21.   Chusak Wittayapak (Chiang Mai University)
22.   Edgar Isch (FORO Ecuador)
23.   Seema Kulkarni (SOPECOM India)
24.   Eric Swyngedouw (University of Manchester)
25.   Melissa Leach (IDS, Sussex University)
26.   KC Joy (Water Conflicts Forum, India)
27.   Aline Arroyo (CAMAREN, Ecuador)
28.   Joan Martinez-Allier (Barcelona)
29.   Patrick Bond (UKZN South Africa)
30.   Tom Perreault (Syracuse University)
31.   Esteban Castro (Newcastle University)
32.   Ben Crow (UC Santa Cruz)
33.   Arif Satria (Bogor Agricultural University)
34.   Robert Hitchcock (Michigan State University)
35.   Katja Neves (Concordia University)
36.   Danielle Hirsch (Both Ends)
37.   Simon Batterbury (Melbourne University)
38.   Francisco Peña (COLSAN Mexico)
39.   Ursula Münster (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Place and venue: beautiful Wageningen is an old, small Dutch city in the centre-east of the Netherlands, but only an hour away from Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Hotel De Wageningse Berg (the Wageningen Mountain) is situated at the edge of town, in the woods, with a magnificent view over the lower Rhine River.

We have an exciting call for paper for the 2016 AAG in San Francisco:

Political Ecologies of Environmental Control, Conflict, and Crisis
Maano Ramutsindela, University of Cape Town: maano.ramutsindela@uct.ac.za
Bram Büscher, Wageningen University: bram.buscher@wur.nl
Libby Lunstrum, York University: lunstrum@yorku.ca

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 29 March – 2 April 2016, San Francisco

Twenty-First century political ecologies of environmental control, conflict, and crisis are rapidly changing. As environmental crises seem to deepen, we are witnessing a growing range of responses and a multitude of actors, including state conservation agencies, donor and development agencies, and border protection offices; mining and tourism companies and security firms; university researchers across disciplines, and national and international conservation NGOs. Such crises—arguably both real and perceived—along with the actors working to address them are yielding new patterns of environmental control and conflict, with profound impacts for land rights, livelihood opportunities, human rights, and nature-society relations more broadly. From the intersections of environmental conservation and natural resource extraction to commercial poaching and climate change adaptation and mitigation and beyond, this panel foregrounds the question of power in these dynamics. It examines in particular the impacts of these new modalities and relations of power on people, non-human nature, and their intersections.

Concretely, we are interested in understanding how these varied actors use, abuse, and rework power in order to establish modes of environmental control (materially, discursively, aesthetically, etc.) under situations of ‘crisis’ and conflict. The panel seeks to engage the following questions:
–       How can we understand changing dynamics of environmental control, conflict, and crisis?
–       What are the impacts of new dynamics of environmental control, conflict, and crisis for human and non-human nature? In particular, how do they relate to new patterns of green violence?
–       How is the notion of ‘crisis’ deployed in the context of different environmental challenges and what implications does this have for environmental control and conflict?
–       How do new forms of environmental control relate to new forms of surveillance?
–       How can we understand changing relationships and networks in the ‘control’ and management of environmental crises? For example, how are new partnerships forged? What promises and tensions rest within them?
–       How do different actors defend, maintain, or extend their interests, ideas, and stakes in instances of environmental crisis or conflict?
–       What are the roles of state, private sector, NGO, elites, etc., in these dynamics of environmental crisis or conflict?
–       How are scholars and the university complicit in or resistant to the consolidation of new patterns of environmental control? With what impact?
–       What types of resistance do we see against this consolidation of power over environmental resources, processes, and relations?
–       More broadly, how can we understand different forms of power in relation to these dynamics, and how do these challenge current conceptualisations of power?

We invite paper proposals on these and related topics. Please send your abstract to maano.ramutsindela@uct.ac.za before 22 October.

I have three exciting, fully funded PhD scholarships available to work on crisis conservation situations in Brazil, Indonesia or South Africa. The three vacancies are part of my recently acquired VIDI project on ‘Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times and Spaces of Exception’ (see here for a previous blogpost on the project).

The three positions are advertised separately:

Brazil: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/WUR/vacancy/29750/lang/en/

Indonesia: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/WUR/vacancy/29749/lang/en/

South Africa: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/WUR/vacancy/29748/lang/en/

I very much welcome applications through the Wageningen University application system (the link to which you can find through the above Academic Transfer links) and if you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If we want to meaningfully do something about the environment it is clear that we must heed Naomi Klein’s message that we have to – first of all – drastically – curtain oil/gas/coal consumption (and hence the companies that extract fossil fuels and promote their use!). See this scary interactive from the Guardian:


The Guardian's fossil fuel ticker


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