By Bram Büscher, author of The Truth about Nature: Environmentalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics and Platform Capitalism

Environmental organizations have become fully dependent on social media platforms. This is not just getting in the way of meaningfully tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. It will make them worse and more complicated. It is time for environmentalists to rethink digital media and start organizing counterpower.

Read the entire blog on: https://www.ucpress.edu/blog/55422/why-tackling-environmental-crises-requires-challenging-big-tech-power/

Available as from today, 15 December 2020, around the world!

Get your copy via The University of California Press website, or any other bookshop!

Coming soon with University of California Press:


New blog post By Robert Fletcher, Bram Büscher & Kate Massarella, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

When 2020 was declared a “super year” for biodiversity conservation, no one suspected that a particular form of this biodiversity would proliferate to such an extent as to bring all of this fanfare to a screeching halt. With species and ecosystems in dangerous decline the world over, there is growing recognition that previous conservation strategies have been largely inadequate to the challenges they face, and that something radically different will be needed. A series of global meetings to address this deficiency were scheduled to take place in 2020. Most centrally, the IUCN’s quadrennial World Conservation Congress, slated for June in France, was intended to feed into the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity to be held in October in China, during which the global biodiversity targets for the next decade would be established. Concurrently, the 26th COP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would meet in November in Scotland to plan for the future of climate change intervention, upon which biodiversity conservation crucially depends.

See the entire blog post on: https://t2sresearch.org/output/close-the-tap-covid-19-and-the-need-for-convivial-conservation/

Out now and available worldwide:



“In our era of unprecedented conservation needs and challenges, this hard-hitting, clear-sighted book offers a radical and timely way forward. Two eminent and committed political ecologists cut a path through old and new conservation debates and dichotomies—people vs. nature, capitalism vs. post-capitalism—to offer a new paradigm and politics around conviviality. Vital reading, and a vital manifesto for all concerned with how people and non-human natures can live well together.”
– Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

“Buscher and Fletcher significantly advance radical alternatives to mainstream conservation, especially by locating them within the need for systemic alternatives to capitalism (and hopefully by implication, though not explicitly stated, patriarchy). Their notion of convivial conservation, building on innovative traditions that have broken away from dominant notions of progress and development, helps envisage an end to the human domination of the earth, so desperately needed.”
– Ashish Kothari, co-author with A. Shrivastava of Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India

“This book is a remarkable intellectual and political achievement, demonstrating nothing less than how to organize and practice revolutionary conservation beyond the Anthropocene, but within the ruins of uneven socio-ecological capitalist development. A razor-sharp analysis of conservation and how to politicize its futures.”
– Erik Swyngedouw, Professor, University of Manchester

“The debate over the conservation of creation is necessarily deep and contentious–this new approach deserves a careful reading from everyone who cares about human and more-than-human nature!”
– Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

Conservation Revolution – cover FINAL LARGE

New blog post on the great new ‘undisciplined environments’ platform -check it out:

In the face of the sixth extinction, rising wildlife crime and biodiversity under dire threat around the globe, environmental conservation finds itself in desperate times. A new approach is needed, one that takes seriously our economic system’s structural pressures, violent socio-ecological realities, escalating extinctions and increasingly authoritarian politics. Convivial conservation is such an approach.

These days it is difficult to keep track of all the devastating conservation news appearing. While some profess ‘conservation optimism’, most of the scientific news about species, ecosystems and the climate is far from positive. The Living Planet Report 2018 states that 60% of all wild animals have disappeared since 1970. Other recent studies, including the major IPBES report launched in June 2019, show that extinction rates are accelerating and that global biodiversity thresholds may soon surpass ‘planetary boundaries’ beyond which even more dramatic decline is inevitable.

All of this is happening in a broader context wherein alt-right and authoritarian politicians like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump in the US, Johnson in the UK, Putin in Russia, Erdoğan in Turkey and many others promote an explicitly elitist, anti-environmentalist and divisive politics that could make things much worse for decades to come.

Continue to read here: http://undisciplinedenvironments.org/index.php/2019/10/01/the-case-for-convivial-conservation/

The Six-day intensive PhD workshop ‘SMART Political Ecologies? On the Nature and Power of Environmental Technologies and their Implications for Just Futures’ will be held from 27 June – 3 July 2019 in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The workshop gives motivated PhD candidates the chance to deepen their knowledge on how the field of political ecology is adapting to the contemporary era of multiplying, intensifying and proliferating environmental technologies. On the one hand, this refers to governmental technologies in the Foucauldian sense, where new techniques, politics and forms of governmental oversight, intervention and management are rapidly changing human-nature relations and access to and control over nonhuman natures. On the other hand, we have seen the rapid emergence of a host of new technologies in the material sense, driven by the Internet-of-Things, new SMART technologies, and social media platforms, among others. These technological developments and their integrated possibilities are further changing environmental governance and politics around the planet. Environmental studies and political ecology scholars have started to register these developments yet have only begun to investigate and understand their implications. The 2019 Wageningen Political Ecology Summer school focuses on these two sides of ‘environmental technologies’ and welcomes PhD candidates to join a great line-up of speakers to discuss their implications for political ecology and just futures.

Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy


Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times of Extinction, Exception and Enmity


Organized by: Prof. Bram Büscher (Wageningen University, the Netherlands).


Date: 10-16 May 2020


Place: Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy (an old abbey two hours from Rome, which now functions as an eco-friendly organic farm and a venue for a variety of gatherings). For more information, see http://abbaziadisangiusto.com/.


The topic:

Conservation and crisis are no strangers. Conservation science has long been seen as a ‘crisis discipline’ while conservationists often have to respond to or work in crisis situations. And while conservation has booked successes, the sense of crisis has not gone away. To the contrary, it has rapidly increased, especially over the last years. Three elements seem particularly pertinent. First, a cascading extinction crisis. Many scientists now believe we have entered the sixth extinction event in the history of the planet, the first one that is human-induced. Second, we are seeing an increasing number of high-pressure situations around the world where urgent action is required to safeguard important species or ecosystems from destruction. These disparate crises seem to be the outcome of a recent surge in large-scale resource extraction and wildlife crime. They have in turn elicited new types of conservation responses, leading to myriad ‘spaces of exception’ where violence, illegality and uncertainty drastically change environmental governance. Third, all this is taking place in a global political climate that increasingly revolves around deep-seated forms of antagonism. An increasing number of authoritarian leaders openly flirt with fascism, dismiss democratic institutions and base their politics on distinctions between friends and enemies.[1] This politics of enmity does not make it easier to focus our attention on conservation crises deemed so urgent that they threaten humanity’s very survival.

As part of this work/writeshop, we are interested to investigate and theorize crisis conservation in times of extinction, exception and enmity. We are interested in papers that make empirical and/or theoretical connections between all or some of these elements and seek to understand the changes they lead to and their (potential) impacts on people and nature. The workshop will be used to discuss advanced drafts of papers in order to produce a coherent special issue for a top political ecology, human geography or related journal.


The idea: through this CfP, I would like to invite scholars working on crisis conservation and interested in the links between extinction, exception and enmity to submit an abstract for a dedicated work/writeshop in May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto in Italy. The idea is to come together with a small group of scholars (max. 10-12) to present and discuss draft papers on this topic and have them ready for submission to a journal by the end of the week or very soon thereafter. The workshop will be held in a beautiful agriturismo (Abbazia di San Giusto), with plenty of time and space for hikes, discussions, good dinners and creative leisure time.

If you feel that your research fits this description, or that you can quite easily extend your current research to fit the topic, do consider submitting an abstract. From the abstracts, we will choose 4-6 participants to join 6 others already involved in the crisis conservation project (see www.crisisconservation.org) for this exciting workshop. If your abstract is selected, your participation will be fully funded. Scholars from the global south are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.


Deadline for abstracts: We request paper abstracts by 4 March 2019. Please send a 250 word abstract, with title, contact information, and three keywords as an attachment to bram.buscher@wur.nl. If approved, full papers are due 1 March 2020.


More information: if you want more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch: bram.buscher@wur.nl.


For more content info, see also the following papers, which can be downloaded from www.brambuscher.com/publications:



[1] See https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2018-07-27-from-the-politics-of-enmity-to-the-politics-of-respect/, accessed 11 November 2018.

We have another exciting Tenure Track vacancy for a (senior) Assistant Professor in Agrarian Sociology and Rural Development at our Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) group at Wageningen University (next to yet another similar position at our sister group, the Rural Sociology group (RSO)!).

The SDC vacancy: https://www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Vacancies/Show/Assistant-Professor-of-Agrarian-Sociology-and-Rural-Development-Tenure-Track-.htm

The RSO vacancy: https://www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Vacancies/Show/Assistant-Professor-in-Agrarian-Sociology-chair-group-RSO-Tenure-Track-.htm

Assistant Professor of Agrarian Sociology and Rural Development (Tenure Track)

We are looking for
The Sociology of Development and Change Group (SDC) at Wageningen University seeks a candidate for an assistant professor position (0.8 – 1.0 FTE, Tenure Track position) in agrarian sociology, with links to rural development studies and political ecology. Candidates with a background in relevant social sciences (e.g. anthropology, geography, sociology, political science) will be considered, especially candidates with expertise in the broad areas of rural (smallholder) dynamics and agrarian change, social and environmental justice and livelihoods, land and water politics, and gender. Experience with interdisciplinary research, methodology and critical (development) theory will be an advantage. Your responsibilities include teaching courses at undergraduate and graduate levels (BSc, MSc and PhD) for development studies and other students, student supervision, developing and performing original research within our domain and publishing the results, participating in management or service activities, and generating external financial support for an innovative research agenda.
Approximately 40-45% of your time will be spent on research, 40- 45% on education and 10-20% on management and service activities. Candidates from and/or with research experience in the global south are particularly encouraged to apply.
We ask
As assistant professor in agrarian sociology and rural development you have:

  • a (recent or nearly completed) PhD in anthropology, sociology, geography, politics or a related field;
  • proven ability to publish in high-quality academic journals and with top academic publishers;
  • ability to work in interdisciplinary and international research teams;
  • excellent communication and writing skills;
  • ample research experience in different geographical settings (especially in the global south);
  • affinity with ethnographic and other qualitative research methods;
  • very good didactic qualities and enthusiasm for teaching and working with students from various disciplines and backgrounds;
  • ability to develop high-quality research proposals and to be(come) competitive in terms of acquiring external funding for research;
  • fluency in English and willingness to learn Dutch.

We offer
We offer talented scholars a challenging career trajectory called Tenure Track. You will be given the opportunity to build up your own research line. From the position of Assistant Professor you can grow into the position of a Professor holding a Personal Chair in twelve years. Training and coaching are provided and interdisciplinary (international) cooperation is stimulated.

The Tenure Track starts with a temporary contract for 0.8 to 1.0 fte, with the possibility of extension, and should lead to a permanent employment contract. The gross salary for an Assistant Professor ranges from € 3.545 to € 4.852 per month based on full time employment and depending on qualifications and experience. In addition we offer an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end- of-year bonus (8.3%), the ABP Pension scheme and training and career development. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may also qualify for a temporary special tax relief, in which 30% of their salary is exempt from tax.

For more information about Tenure Track within Wageningen UR look at http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Jobs/Your-development-in-focus/Tenure-Track.htm

More information

Contact info
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from the chair of the Sociology of Development and Change Group: Prof Dr Bram Büscher (bram.buscher@wur.nl or +31 317 48 2015 or 2075)

Information about Wageningen University, the Sociology of Development and Change Group, the sub-department SADE and CSPS can be obtained through one of the following links.

To apply, please upload the following via our online application button on the Wageningen UR vacancies webpage (http://www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Vacancies.htm)before 14 November 2018:

  • Letter of motivation
  • A current Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications
  • Names and contact details of two referees
  • One selected publication
  • A teaching dossier or statement of teaching interests and experience (including teaching outlines and evaluations if available)

You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours. Please note that only applications sent through the online application button can be taken into consideration.

Job interviews will be held on 20 or 21 November 2018. A second interview including a (public) lecture will be held on 18, 19 or 20 December 2018. Candidates invited for a second interview will also be asked to submit a written statement on their research vision of the advertised position and its relation to the research domain of the Sociology of Development and Change Group and of the Centre for Space, Place & Society (1000 words max).

We are

Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering 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.

The Sociology of Development and Change Group (SDC)
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. Together with the Rural Sociology, Cultural Geography, Health and Society and the Sociology of Consumers and Household groups, the SDC group is a member of the WUR Centre for Space, Place and Society (see  https://centreforspaceplacesociety.wordpress.com/).