Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Political Ecology

In a recent post I wondered what a political ecologist looked like. This was an admittedly off-hand comment triggered by a reference to political economists. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that in fact there ARE political ecologists! Who knew?! I've yet to meet one, or at least be aware of meeting one, so I can't answer my original question yet. However, reading a couple articles from the Journal of Political Ecology I can say that it bears little resemblance to ecology as I know it. According to Wikipedia (my goto source for weird terminology)
Political ecology is the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes. Political ecology differs from apolitical ecological studies by politicizing environmental issues and phenomena.
My first thought was "AHA, I'm an apolitical ecologist", but no, I'm not sure that's true either, because later the article refers to ecological social sciences - another term that's left me puzzled. Anyway, its clear that I'm not a political ecologist, despite being an ecologist that is engaging with policy and politics. Phew.


  1. I took a "Political Ecology" course during my Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. I know I am not a political ecologist but this is the guy who taught the class: