Too often, explanations of society-nature relations have been fragmented along disciplinary lines and plagued by dualistic thinking that analytically isolates physical and social phenomena. Political ecology is an interdisciplinary, non-dualistic strategy that remains under development, and perhaps deliberately so, seeking to describe the dynamic ways in which, on the one hand, political and economic power can shape ecological futures and, on the other, how ecologies can shape political and economic possibilities. Often identified with political economy, political ecology frequently takes political economy’s interest in the expression and influence of state and corporate power on environmental politics and combines this with insights derived from understanding and analyzing environmental influences on social activity. In this manner, political ecology extends theoretical inquiry beyond the insights of the conventional social and natural sciences. Political ecology’s ability to engage the philosophy and values of ecological justice has made it attractive to many who expect analysis to facilitate social change.
CEEP has developed a range of seminars and undertaken a variety of projects and activities that have examined, developed, and applied political ecology. Many CEEP students have employed this approach in their own research.
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