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Archive for the ‘Violence’ Category

Rob Fletcher and I were asked to write a response to E.O. Wilson’s new book ‘Half Earth’. It was a shocking read, to say the least. Find our commentary online on the Aeon website:

https://aeon.co/opinions/why-e-o-wilson-is-wrong-about-how-to-save-the-earth

Opinion sized gettyimages 459113790

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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.

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Some great news yesterday: my VIDI grant proposal for a project entitled ‘Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times and Spaces of Exception’ was accepted by the Dutch Council for Scientific Research (NWO)! This means I will be able to appoint several PhDs and a postdoc and work together with them on new research in Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia for the coming five years.

The following summary gives an indication of what the project is all about:

This project will study the impacts of the current surge in large-scale resource extraction and wildlife crime, and the conservation responses they elicit. Recent political ecology iterature points at three reasons why this surge differs from earlier ones and why extraction and wildlife crime should be studied together. First, rising levels of affluence in Asian and other ‘emerging economies’ have triggered a sharp increase in the demand for fossil, mineral, timber and wildlife resources. Second, new extractive, military and information and communication technologies have rendered resource extraction and wildlife crime more effective, (potentially) lethal and destructive, and its impacts more visible to global publics. Third, they are increasingly overlapping in reality, thereby (further) blurring legal and illegal practices. The result has been a fertile ground for ‘crisis conservation’: high-pressure situations where urgent action is required to safeguard nature from destruction. The research will investigate and theorize crisis conservation situations as ‘spaces of exception’ where rules, norms and ideas about legality are violated by those perpetrating and those countering the threats. These spaces of exception often include violence and therefore dramatically change environmental governance, but exactly how and with what impacts on people and nature is ill understood.

Employing innovative multi-level ethnographic methods that connect the power and politics of actors through space and time, the project focuses on three countries where iconic species and ecosystems are acutely threatened by globally induced extraction and wildlife crime dynamics: Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. By investigating and comparing how actors respond to crisis conservation situations in these countries, the project will develop important policy-relevant knowledge on how better to deal with and respond to similar situations of exception while moving towards a novel theoretical synthesis that links political ecology literatures on violence, conflict and environmental governance with influential theories on exception.

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