Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Last wednesday, 13 January 2016, I was interviewed on VPRO Bureau Buitenland on Radio 1 (in Dutch). The interviewed concerned a recent article that I published with my South African colleague Prof. Maano Ramutsindela, entitled ‘Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks‘.

Listen to the interview here:


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I was recently interviewed (in Dutch!) for the annual edition of the magazine ExperimentNL, published by the Dutch National Research Foundation NWO and the popular scientific magazine Quest. You can download a free copy of the magazine here: NWO-2015_geheel[1]

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Tomorrow (3 December 2015, 16:00 CET) is my Inaugural Professorial address at Wageningen University, entitled “Life and Capital. Development and Change in the 21st Century”.

For those who want to watch live over WUR TV, please check the link on http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/calendar-wageningen-ur/show/Inaugural-lecture-Prof.-B.E.-Bram-Buscher.htm

Oratie uitnodiging voorkant

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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Beside the postdoc position, we also have an exciting vacancy for a lecturer / assistant professor position at the ISS!

International Institute of Social Studies (The Hague) of Erasmus University Rotterdam


The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic centre for international development studies, and a University Institute of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). It is one of the oldest institutes in this field, having been established in 1952 by Dutch universities and the Netherlands Ministry of Education as a postgraduate institute for research, education and capacity building. The institute offers a PhD in Development Studies, a 15.5-month MA in Development studies with five Majors, and several post-graduate Diploma courses. Students come from over 50-60 countries.


The Staff Group Rural Development, Environment and Population Studies has a position (1.0 FTE) for an Assistant Professor level in the field of:


Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies


The Staff Group is engaged in research, teaching, advisory work and capacity building in international development studies. It has recently formed a research program (RP), “Political Economy of Resources, Environment and Population”. This research program includes two main inter-related research areas, namely Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES) and Population Dynamics and Social Policy (PSSP). This RP focuses on agrarian and rural development, environment and conservation, poverty, socio-economic security, population studies, and child and youth studies, and shares an explicit engagement with a political economy framework of analysis of power relations and processes of global change that reinforce rather than reduce poverty and socio-economic insecurity.




We are looking for top-talent which will contribute innovative high quality research and teaching capacity to a number of crucial issues relating to Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies in developing and/or transition countries, in a rapidly changing global context. AFES is focused on the interface between agricultural and environmental change within the context of global, political-economic transformations. It addresses challenges associated with the ownership, control, use, management and distribution of natural resources and the dynamic relationships between nature, agriculture and socioeconomic development. It pays particular attention to contemporary environmental and resource-related conflicts and how these can be understood and mediated with an eye at bringing about just, equitable and sustainable development in developing nations and beyond.


The approach of the AFES research and teaching is built on its innovative interpretation of conflicts and governance related to contestations over wealth and power based on and around the interconnected agrarian and environmental political economies. Building on this integrated vision, the group members analyze conflicts over nature, environment and resources as well as critically investigating governance structures that aim to respond to them. This shapes the group’s ongoing interest in a variety of issues that are among the most pressing social issues of the day, globally, including food and energy crises, land grabs, natural resource conflicts, biodiversity conservation, environmental degradation and climate change. The AFES group works on these themes not only aims at producing cutting edge scientific knowledge, but also to help bridge the academic world, development policy community, and civil society. The group’s current work currently informs political and policy-making processes both in developed and in the developing world, and actively engages with emerging popular alternatives such as ‘food sovereignty’, agro-ecology, and the (trans) national social movements and civil society that spearhead these.


Tasks and responsibilities:


  • Production and publication of high quality research output at international standards
  • • Preparation (individually or jointly with other staff) of externally funded research grant proposals
  • • Contribution to teaching in the AFES Major; Supervision of MA and PhD students in the AFES field



  • • A completed PhD in one of the social sciences
  • • Evidence of publication capacity, including both a strong publication track record and clear research and publication plans
  • • Teaching experience, preferably at post-graduate level
  • • Proven evidence of the ability to attract external finance for research and other projects
  • • Ability to work in an inter-disciplinary team
  • • Experience with gender-based analysis is welcomed
  • • While open to all regional specializations, we hope that the successful candidate will have at least one area specialization in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia or Indonesia.



This position is offered under the EUR tenure track policy which aims to select people with high potential and prepare these people for an academic career.


As part of this policy, ISS/EUR will offer an initial three year appointment with possibility to extend for a further three years with a view to promotion to Associate Professor and a tenure appointment at the end of the second contract. A decision to extend for a second period will require a positive assessment that criteria have been met, which includes outstanding research output and superior teaching capabilities.


Employment conditions:

In accordance with those applied at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and indicated in the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO NU) of the Dutch universities. Salary being dependent on the candidate’s experience ranges from € 3.237,- to € 4.418,- gross per month (CAO NU scale 11) under full-time contract. In addition, ISS pays an 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year payment which is for 2013: 8,3%.



Applications, accompanied by a detailed Curriculum Vitae and the names of three Referees, should reach ISS before the 20th of May, 2013 addressed to the Personnel Office (Ms. Sabine Zebel), International Institute of Social Studies, P.O. Box 29776, 2502LT, The Hague, The Netherlands, preferably send in electronic form directed to vacancy AT iss.nl. With equal qualifications preference will be given to a woman. Short-listed candidates will be requested to supply samples of published output and at that stage their referees will be contacted. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place from 3-5 June 2013 in The Hague, The Netherlands. Additional information concerning this vacancy may be obtained from Professor Max Spoor, Chair of the Staff Group and Research Programme (spoor AT iss.nl, tel.: +31704260559). General information on the ISS may be found on our website: http://www.iss.nl.

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Ingrid Nelson and I are organising a session at the AAG meetings in April 2013, this is the Call for Papers:

Nature 2.0: Social Media, Online Activism and the cyberpolitics of Global Biodiversity Conservation

 Paper Session and CfP for the annual AAG meetings, 9-13 April 2012, Los Angeles, USA

Organized by: Bram Büscher (ISS, Erasmus University, the Netherlands) and

                     Ingrid L. Nelson (ISS, Erasmus University, the Netherlands)

With much global biodiversity, ecosystems and natural landscapes in persistent rapid decline, conservation actors and concerned individuals and organisations are looking for novel ways to pursue conservation objectives. A major new frontier is the so-called ‘web 2.0’ and related social media. Web 2.0 applications like Wikipedia and YouTube and social media such as Facebook and Twitter allow people to create, rate and change online content and share these within cyberspace. These developments enable internet-users to now ‘co-create’ and co-produce the online activities, services, spaces and information they produce or consume, at least within the limits of possible action. Conservation actors are rapidly deploying new web 2.0 and social media techniques and facilities, allowing those who are concerned about global biodiversity and ecosystem decline to (seemingly) more directly engage with conservation activities in other parts of the world. The term ‘Nature 2.0’ aims to capture these dynamics and the natures to which they lead.

This paper session aims to inspire curiosity and encourage exchange among scholars from a wide range of perspectives regarding the concept (and practices) of Nature 2.0 and the way it changes the global political economy of conservation in our neoliberal times. We invite papers that critically interrogate how social media, web 2.0 applications and new forms of online activism change the politics and material/cultural forms and practices of global conservation and how they affect people and biodiversity in different spatial and temporal contexts. Of special interest are papers that connect spaces of online conservation consumption (through activism, images, videos, fundraising, etc) with offline spaces of conservation production (protected areas, biodiversity hotspots, wildlife corridors, etc) in/from different parts of the globe.

In sum, the paper session aims to address the following core questions:

–          How can we conceptualize Nature 2.0 as a new space of enacting/practicing/experiencing global conservation and what new (or familiar) political conservation geographies follow from this?

–          Does the concept of Nature 2.0 reflect an emerging political economy of global conservation and what roles do variously positioned conservation ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’ play in this?

–          In what ways do web 2.0 technologies constrain and/or broaden the field of possible practices and discourses of conservation?

–          What are the epistemological and methodological challenges of conducting Nature 2.0 research?

–          How can we identify the relevant negative and productive aspects of power at work in the spaces/bodies/publics of and in relation to Nature 2.0?

–          How have social media and web 2.0 changed online conservation activism and the cyberpolitics of global biodiversity conservation?

–          What are some of the dominant Nature 2.0 on-line practices and how do they influence the work and activities of conservation producers and consumers?

–          How do online and offline conservation spaces affect and involve each other, and how does that influence global, national and local politics of conservation?

–          In which ways is Nature 2.0 characterized and influenced by broader changes in neoliberal capitalism, and which aspects of nature 2.0 are not sufficiently explained by these dynamics?

–          How can race, gender, sexuality, class, emotion, and other concepts inform our understanding of Nature 2.0?

We request paper abstracts by Oct. 15th. Please send a 250 word abstract, with title, contact information, and three keywords as an attachment to buscher AT iss DOT nl and nelson AT iss DOT nl.

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