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Bringing the other into political ecology: Reflecting on preoccupations in a research field


Soyeun Kim (email:


For all its vitality political ecology often appears to be a project in which work by Anglo-Americans in particular, if it is not privileged, certainly predominates. This trend reflects wider language and intellectual tendencies in human geography and the social sciences that distort the development of the field by downplaying or obscuring the contributions of many non-Anglo-Americans and by naturalizing Anglo-American assumptions at the heart of research. The latter in turn determine what constitutes ‘good’ work – even as there is no single definition of political ecology. Arguing against this tendency, this paper draws on postcolonial thinking to emphasize the need to reassess and reorient the field as ‘other’ political ecologies are feasible and desirable.