Call for papers: special issue ‘Legitimacy and Accountability in the Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions’

Dear colleagues,
I’m pleased to announce a call for papers towards a special issue of the new journal Global Transitions which I am editing along with Håvard Haarstad. The focus is on ‘Legitimacy and Accountability in the Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions’. We trust many of you have valuable perspectives to contribute on this emerging theme. Please find more details here:<><>
The special issue accompanies a workshop I am convening on a similar set of concerns during 15-16 May 2019 at the University of Bergen. This will be limited to a few participants to ensure a reflective, in-depth discussion, with priority accorded to authors selected to contribute to the special issue. A chance to participate in a fascinating conversation with exceptional invited speakers and experience beautiful springtime leading into city-wide Norwegian national day celebrations on 17 May. Preliminary details are available here:
Have a great week ahead!

Dr. Siddharth Sareen

Postdoctoral research fellow

Department of Geography

University of Bergen

Phone: +45 30 24 46 21

Political Ecology Syllabi

Just a brief note: the POLLEN website now includes a page to facilitate the sharing of political ecology-related course syllabi, curricula, and other teaching resources:

If you have a relevant syllabus that you would like to make available, kindly get in touch via the WordPress online interface, or at

Please join us in improving access to PE-related courses and other teaching materials!

CfP NGM 2019: Agency, Institutions, and Empirics in Environmentality Studies

** With apologies for cross-posting **

Agency, Institutions, and Empirics in Environmentality Studies
Call for Papers, 8th Nordic Geographers’ Meeting (NGM), Sustainable Geography – Geographies of Sustainability
Trondheim, Norway, 16-19 June 2019
Conference website:

Session organizers: Connor J. Cavanagh,1 Tor A. Benjaminsen,1 Rob Fletcher2
1 Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences
2 Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Abstract deadline: 10 December 2018

In human geography and political ecology, the last three decades have witnessed sustained interest with the ways in which Michel Foucault’s notion of ‘governmentality’ pertains (or does not) to the intertwined governance of human communities and the (bio)physical environment. Following key contributions by Luke (1995, 1999), Agrawal (2005), Fletcher (2010), and others, it might be said that these and similar inquiries have since led to the formation of an implicit sub-field of ‘green governmentality’ or ‘environmentality’ studies. Not least, research in this domain has recently been reinvigorated by a new wave of interest into the “multiple environmentalities” (Fletcher 2017) at work within efforts to address contemporary environment and development challenges, as well as how these may intersect, synergize, or even contradict each other within a variety of distinct historical and geographical conjunctures (see also Singh 2013; Youdelis 2013; Bluwstein 2017; Cavanagh 2018). 

Many of these studies have greatly enriched our understanding both of how power operates in and through the governance of the environment, as well as how distinct types of “environmental subjects” (Agrawal 2005) can be produced and reproduced over space and time. In doing so, however, they also raise a number of second-order political and methodological questions, which arguably warrant a renewed phase of explicit discussion and reflection. Indeed, the political stakes of these studies are perhaps especially relevant for political ecology if we conceive of the latter as an “explicitly normative” field of inquiry, concerned not only with “the hatchet” of analysis and critique, but also with “planting the seed” of alternative social and ecological relations (e.g. Robbins 2012: 13, see also Cavanagh and Benjaminsen 2017). Can scholars of environmentality, for instance, offer a more robust or detailed theory of individual and collective agency in the pursuit of such alternative ‘seeds’? How do Foucaultian insights into subject formation and “the conduct of conduct” complicate our understanding of both ‘resistance’ or other ‘responses from below’ (e.g. Hall et al. 2015) within the workings of multiple environmentalities? What is the role of variegated institutional arrangements – whether statutory or customary, formal or informal – in mediating, constraining, or enabling diverse environmentalities and the scope of responses to these? Most pressingly, perhaps, how should we conceive the role of historically and geographically diverse empirical data or knowledge in environmentality studies, and where might such knowledge be most productively reasserted as primarily the source or catalyst rather than the object of theoretical reflection?

Seeking to contribute to these ongoing discussions and debates, we invite paper proposals engaging the above questions and/or related methodological, political, and conceptual foci. Relevant topics might include, amongst others, the following:

  • ·      Methodology and the philosophy of science in environmentality studies
  • ·      Dialogues and debates between or across critical realism, “critical institutionalism” (Cleaver 2012; Hall et al. 2014), and Foucaultian social science
  • ·      Geographical and historical variegation in the workings of multiple governmentalities or environmentalities
  • ·      Critical perspectives on institutions and agency in Foucaultian theory and analysis
  • ·      Interactions between multiple environmentalities across divergently produced scales, spaces, and places
  • ·      Agency, ‘resistance’, counter-conduct or parrhesia (e.g. Legg 2018), and other ‘responses from below’ (Hall et al. 2015)
  • ·      Politics and “explicitly normative” (Robbins 2012) argumentation or analysis vis-à-vis Foucaultian theory and philosophy

Please send abstracts of approximately 250 words to Connor Joseph Cavanagh ( by 10 December 2018. Authors will be notified about the status of their submission as soon as possible thereafter.


Agrawal, A. (2005). Environmentality: technologies of government and the making of subjects. Durham: Duke University Press.

Bluwstein, J. (2017). Creating ecotourism territories: Environmentalities in Tanzania’s community-based conservation. Geoforum83, 101-113.

Cavanagh, C. J. (2018). Political ecologies of biopower: diversity, debates, and new frontiers of inquiry. Journal of Political Ecology25(1), 402-425.

Cavanagh, C. J., & Benjaminsen, T. A. Political ecology, variegated green economies, and the foreclosure of alternative sustainabilities. Journal of Political Ecology24(1), 200-216.

Cleaver, F. (2012). Development through bricolage: Rethinking institutions for natural resource management. London: Routledge.

Fletcher, R. (2010). Neoliberal environmentality: towards a poststructuralist political ecology of the conservation debate. Conservation and society8(3), 171-181.

Fletcher, R. (2017). Environmentality unbound: Multiple governmentalities in environmental politics. Geoforum85, 311-315.

Hall, K., Cleaver, F., Franks, T., & Maganga, F. (2014). Capturing critical institutionalism: A synthesis of key themes and debates. The European Journal of Development Research26(1), 71-86.

Hall, R., Edelman, M., Borras Jr, S. M., Scoones, I., White, B., & Wolford, W. (2015). Resistance, acquiescence or incorporation? An introduction to land grabbing and political reactions ‘from below’. Journal of Peasant Studies42(3-4), 467-488.

Luke, T.W. 1995. On environmentality: geo-power and eco-knowledge in the discourses of contemporary environmentalism. Cultural Critique 31: 57-81.

Luke, T.W. 1999. Environmentality as green governmentality. In Darier, E. (ed.). Discourses of the environment. Oxford: Blackwell. Pp. 121-151.

Legg, S. (2018). Subjects of truth: Resisting governmentality in Foucault’s 1980s. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Robbins, P. (2012). Political ecology: a critical introduction. Second edition. Oxford: Wily-Blackwell.

Singh, N. M. (2013). The affective labor of growing forests and the becoming of environmental subjects: Rethinking environmentality in Odisha, India. Geoforum47, 189-198.

Youdelis, M. (2013). The competitive (dis)advantages of ecotourism in Northern Thailand. Geoforum50, 161-171.

Dr. Connor Joseph Cavanagh
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Department of International Environment and Development Studies
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
NMBU Staff Profile | Google Scholar ResearchGate | Twitter 
Latest publications:
Sandbrook, C. and C.J. Cavanagh and D. Tumusiime (eds). (2018). Conservation and Development in UgandaNew York and London: Routledge/Earthscan.
Cavanagh, C.J. (2018). Political ecologies of biopower: diversity, debates, and new frontiers of inquiry.Journal of Political Ecology 25(1): 402-425.
Cavanagh, C.J. (2018). Critical ecosystem infrastructure? Governing the forests-water nexus in the Kenyan highlands. In R. Boelens, T. Perreault, and J. Vos (eds). Water JusticeCambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 302-315.
Cavanagh, CJ. (2018). Enclosure, dispossession, and the ‘green economy’: new contours of internal displacement in Liberia and Sierra Leone? African Geographical Review 37(2): 120-133.

Workshop for young researchers – Water as a transdisciplinary challenge – Delft, May 2019

Dear all,
The Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) and the Delft Institute for Water Education (IHE) are pleased to invite you to participate to the Workshop for young researchers that will take place on May 30, 2019, in Delft, Netherlands.
The topic of the workshop will be “Studying water as a transdisciplinary challenge: from environmental governance to knowledge and territorial politics”.
The objective of the workshop is to connect young researchers in the Netherlands and Europe working on issues related to water, providing a highly participatory space with various thematic master classes.
The workshop will welcome two guest speakers (tba) to contribute to an academic-activist dialogue, and will be followed by a water/common scholar’s Lecture at CEDLA on May 31, 2019.
If you are interested to participate, please send your abstract to before January 18, 2019.
Feel free to share this call with your students or networks in your respective countries.
Waiting for receiving your contributions!
Best regards,
Dr. Emilie Dupuits
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Postdoc
Guest researcher

Universidad Central del Ecuador – Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas
Ciudadela Universitaria, Quito, Ecuador
+593 99 775 81 36 / +33 6 23 34 05 13    @emidts

Call for proposals: “Repositioning global development: changing actors, geographies and ontologies”

On behalf of the Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR), it is my pleasure to invite you to submit your proposals for sessions to our forthcoming conference, Development Days 2019. The conference “Repositioning global development: changing actors, geographies and ontologies” will take place from 27.2-1.3.2019, in Helsinki. It will feature three keynote speeches, delivered by Rosalba Icaza Garza, Mohan Giles and Ashish Kothari. The conference also includes one Master and one PhD seminar (taking place on 27.2.), as well as a side event for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The conference call is attached to this email and can also be accessed at: The conference website is available at:

We kindly invite you to submit your proposals for sessions by email to the Chair of the Organizing Committee, Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen, at: sabaheta.ramcilovik-suominen(at), with the following subject of the message: “WG proposals for Dev Days 2019”. The session proposal format is also attached to this email. The deadline for session proposals is 31.10.2018.

Please feel free to distribute this call to your networks, including junior and more senior students and scholars, as well as practitioners. Many thanks in advance and we are looking forward to your session proposals.

In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,


Chair of the Conference Organising Committee

Finnish Society of Development Research

CSPS SYMPOSIUM: TOWARDS CONVIVIAL CONSERVATION? Governing Human-Wildlife Relations in the ‘Anthropocene’ (CONVIVA)

POSTER conviva

Please click here for the website and full program of this symposium.

Convivial conservation is a new conservation approach that aims to move beyond currently dominant paradigms that promote nature-culture dualisms and market-based funding mechanisms. Both of these are increasingly recognized as obstacles to sustainable conservation, yet viable alternatives for transcending them have yet to be organized into a new paradigm and approach. The convivial conservation proposal has been conceptualized to fill this precise gap in envisioning integrated landscapes and new forms of wealth redistribution. Yet for its further practical operationalization, broader discussions amongst different conservation actors are needed.

This research symposium aims to give a strong impetus to these discussions by focusing on different responses to human-wildlife conflict cases around the world that may contain elements of a broader convivial conservation approach.