Vandaag (18 April 2018) ben ik geinterviewd door Roelof Hemmen voor zijn programma ‘Hemmen’ op BNR nieuwsradio. Zie hier de link:

https://www.bnr.nl/player/audio/10080722/10342889 – het interview begint bij 19:11.


We are looking for

The Sociology of Development and Change Group (SDC) at Wageningen University seeks a candidate for a (sandwich*) Postdoc in Political Ecology, as part of the Netherlands Research Foundation (NWO) funded VIDI project entitled Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times and Spaces of Exception, led by Prof. Bram Büscher. Candidates with a background in relevant social sciences (anthropology, geography, sociology, political science, etc.) will be considered, especially candidates who have recently completed a PhD in the broad areas of environment and development, political ecology and conservation with a focus on crisis, conflict and/or violence. Your main responsibility will be to develop and carry out your own research project within the broad remit of the Crisis Conservation project, to publish articles based on your previous work and to contribute to the project in a broad sense (develop the website, co-organising activities, presenting at conferences, supporting the PhDs in the project, and so forth). Besides these core activities, you are expected to do some teaching and supervision of Msc theses (especially in development theory and political ecology).


We ask

As a Sandwich Postdoc in political ecology you have:

  • a PhD in anthropology, sociology, geography, or a related field;
  • proven or demonstrable 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;
  • good didactic qualities and enthusiasm for teaching and working with students;
  • a willingness to contribute to the intellectual life of the SDC chair group and the Wageningen Centre for Space, Place and Society;
  • a willingness to do (ethnographic) fieldwork


We offer

We offer a temporary sandwich postdoc contract for 40 hours per week and a monthly allowance of 2100,- EUR. You will be given the opportunity to develop your own research line. The postdoc includes additional funds for research, conferences, etc.


To apply

To apply for this position, please submit an application letter to secretariaat.sade AT wur.nl, indicating your suitability for the position and some first ideas about the direction you would want to take in the sandwich postdoc position, and how this would contribute to the goals and themes of the project (for more information on the project, see: https://crisisconservation.org/). Besides the letter, please include your Curriculum Vitae and one writing sample (a published paper or a chapter of your dissertation).


Contact info

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. dr. Bram Büscher  (bram.buscher AT wur.nl or +31 317 48 2015 or 2075)
Deadline for application: 25 April 2018. Please note that (Skype) Interviews will be held on 7 or 8 May 2018.


Preferred starting date: 1 June or as soon as possible thereafter. The VIDI project (and therefore also this sandwich postdoc position) will end November 2020.


*This is an international (sandwich) postdoc position, which means that Dutch candidates unfortunately cannot be considered.


Wageningen University and Research

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 marginalization 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. The SDC group is part of the Wageningen University Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS), which aims to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences and with a particular focus on issues of socio-spatial and environmental justice. See: https://centreforspaceplacesociety.com/.


For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at http://www.jobsat.wur.nl.

Zondag 14 januari gaf ik een zondaguniversiteit college in de bibliotheek in Wageningen – zie hieronder de abstract en powerpoint:

Natuurlijk kapitaal, en andere sprookjes: wat zijn realistische wegen om het milieu te redden?

Bijna iedereen is het er wel over eens dat het niet goed gaat met ons milieu en dat dringende actie noodzakelijk is. De hamvraag is natuurlijk, ‘hoe’? Wat veel recente oplossingen gemeen hebben is dat ze de natuur winstgevend willen maken. Zo wordt het economisch aantrekkelijk om er beter zorg voor te dragen, is de redenering. Eén van de meest prominente oplossingen is het idee van ‘natuurlijk kapitaal’. Natuurlijk kapitaal zou dan gelijk staan aan de wereldwijde voorraad natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Door dit vervolgens gelijk te stellen en te balanceren met andere vormen van (financieel, menselijk, materieel) kapitaal, kunnen we zowel een circulaire economie als verdere groei bevorderen. Er is echter één groot probleem: net als bij andere sprookjes kan dit niet werken in de echte wereld. Sterker nog: het zal het milieu probleem alleen maar verergeren. Waarom is dit zo? En wat zijn dan wel oplossingsrichtingen waarin we kunnen denken? In de lezing zet Prof. Bram Büscher het idee van ‘natuurlijk kapitaal’ in een bredere historische en politiek-economische context en draagt hij ideeën aan die de fundering van het natuurdebat op een nieuwe en vernieuwende weg plaatsen.

Klik hier om de powerpoint presentatie te downloaden




Joel Wainwright and I recently wrote and published a Geoforum editorial about the urgent need to divest from Elsevier en the corporate publishing model:


The commercial scientific publishing model is broken. The basic problem is simple. We scholars give the products of our labour our research papers, reviews, and so forth — for free to for-profit corporations. These corporations then sell the same products of our labour back to us, via libraries. This arrangement might be acceptable if the publishing industry charged only modest fees or contributed some fundamental quality to the work. But they do neither. No matter how much they say they care about knowledge, their main priority is —  as with any for-profit corporation — maximizing returns for private investors. In pursuing this goal, they employ creative means to extract resources from the public purse to pay for exorbitant journal fees – funds that otherwise could be invested in public research and education. In the process, the publishing corporations intensify a perverse focus on impact factors, citation counts, ‘clickbait’ articles and academic branding, rather than genuine engagement. All this degrades the quality of academic work and serves to undermine the conditions in which many of us work.
Simply put, the publishing industry works against the interests of the scholarly community. And yet, as with other perverse political economies, we academics are deeply implicated in this unjust situation. Although many curse the status quo, we actively reproduce it through our collaboration— above all, by continuing to contribute the products of our labour freely. Despite widespread frustration, it has proven difficult even to get critical scholars to agree on a course of action that would challenge the model. Particularly frustrating is that untenured scholars are basically trapped in the system, forced to reproduce their own exploitation in order to survive in academia.


Related image

If environmental conservation doesn’t face the current political movement by becoming much more radical there will soon be precious little biodiversity to conserve.

Robert Fletcher’s and my most recent blog post:



New paper out in Oryx:


Half-Earth or Whole Earth? Radical ideas for conservation, and their implications


We question whether the increasingly popular, radical idea of turning half the Earth into a network of protected areas is either feasible or just. We argue that this Half-Earth plan would have widespread negative consequences for human populations and would not meet its conservation objectives. It offers no agenda for managing biodiversity within a human half of Earth. We call instead for alternative radical action that is both more effective and more equitable, focused directly on the main drivers of biodiversity loss by shifting the global economy from its current foundation in growth while simultaneously redressing inequality.



Image result for oryx journal

Mijn nieuwe blog:


We leven in een tijd waarin het niet meer te ontkennen valt dat de economie grote negatieve gevolgen heeft voor biodiversiteit, ecosystemen, klimaat en natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Dringende actie is nodig om de impact terug te dringen en zo mogelijk positief te maken. Volgens velen kun je de kapitalistische groei-economie verenigen met natuurbehoud door natuur tot kapitaal te verheffen. Zo kan natuurbehoud uitgedrukt worden in termen die economen, beleidsmakers en CEO’s kunnen begrijpen. Volgens hoogleraar Bram Büscher is ‘natuurlijk kapitaal’ echter een gevaarlijke mythe die het zicht op de echte vragen versluiert.