Latin American Conference on Political Ecology

Call for Abstracts

22-24 October 2014 – Santiago de Chile

The Organizing Committee of the Latin American Conference on Political Ecology invites the international academic community to participate in this event, which will be held in Santiago de Chile between the 22nd and 24th of October, 2014. The event is organized by the Geography Department of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Chile.

The Latin American Conference on Political Ecology is held in the context of the ENTITLE project, the European Network of Political Ecology. ENTITLE is a Marie Curie Actions initiative, part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union.

Political Ecology is a discipline with more than thirty years of theoretical development and practical applications. In general terms, it builds on the premise that environmental issues are in fact political problems, in which more often than not different social actors face each other in conflicts about alternative visions of development paths, imaginaries or values.

In this line of argument, Political Ecology criticises a-political explanations of environmental issues and seeks to re-politicise the debate on appropriate responses to global, regional and local development problems. In this context, the Academic Committee has defined as the central theme for the conference: “Problems and new approaches of Political Ecology in Latin America: post-neoliberalism, neo-extractivism and public policies”. By choosing this theme we aim to enhance discussions and reflections, from a multidisciplinary perspective, on conflicts and social movements, socio-natural disasters, and academic and institutional challenges for achieving environmental justice and the democratisation of environmental governance in our societies.

The  Conference  aims  to  emphasise  on  methodological  innovations,  action  research experiences  with  communities,  tendencies  and  new  lines  of  work  that  allow  for delving into the progress of Political Ecology in Latin America, while creating and
reinforcing links with European peers.

Thematic areas

The  invitation  to  participate  is  extended to  researchers working  in  the  following areas:

1.   Socio-­‐environmental conflicts and environmental justice

We look forward to receive abstracts focusing on the socio-­‐ecological and socio-­‐ environmental dimensions of conflicts related to land use, commodification of nature, and the ownership of natural resources with special emphasis on water justice and deterritorialisation of local communities. In that, we will give preference to empirical case studies that develop analytical and theoretical readings rather than mere narratives of facts or situations. Finally, researchers can contribute with philosophical or theoretical reflections, as inputs for the better understanding of the discourses and power relations at stake in environmental conflicts.

2.   Energy, water and mining

We   expect   to   receive   presentations   on   studies   related   to   conflicts   on   mining operations, associated with the extraction and processing of raw materials; energy generation, distribution and consumption; issues related to the property, use and management of water; analysis of energy policies and their implications for regional development; commodification and  privatization of  natural  resources, spaces and territories.

3.    Socio-natural Disasters

We  expect  to  receive  abstracts  on  the  multiscalarity  of  socio-­‐natural  risks  and disasters; impacts and control of natural hazards; componenets of vulnerability (exposure, senitivity and resilience); institutionalism and governance; prevention, confrontation and recovery strategies; social learning and education.

4.   The commons and new perspectives of development

We expect communications that discuss aspects on property, control and access to the commons in different social and economics aspects (water, forests and fishing, among others), implementation of management and regulatory mechanisms, evaluation of their social and ecological impacts, as well as conceptual presentations on their definition and evolution. We expect with particular interest presentations on potential progress towards a post­‐neoliberal  moment in terms of control, property and access to the commons.  In the same vein, we expect proposals that deal with concepts and practises that question the dominant development model, such as Buen Vivir and Post­‐Development, among others.

5.   State, environmental policies and democracy

We expect presentations that reveal existing tensions and conflicts related to the distribution of costs and benefits arising from the use of ecosystems, changes in the configurations of power in matters of environmental policies, the challenges and potentialities of democratic systems in Latin America and Europe to confront socio-­‐ environmental protests, among others. Priority is given to those papers that question the existing regimes using empirical evidence.

6.   Urban political ecology 

We expect abstracts that understand and analyse the issues and processes of urban transformation and  expansion  as  complex  socio­‐environmental   and  multi­‐scalar issues, and their effects on socio­‐spatial and socio­‐environmental inequality. Subjects to be treated include the critical analysis of new governance and planning approaches, such as new urbanism and smart growth, segregation and pollution problems, environmental and real estate speculation, public space and green corridors, environmental demands for the Right to the City, among others.

Types of Participation

1.   Papers. Framed in the above-­‐mentioned thematic areas.

Researchers interested in giving an oral presentation should submit an abstract of no more than 200 words, as detailed in the online registration form.

2.   Posters. For undergraduate and graduate students.

Students interested in presenting their work in the poster session should send an abstract of no more than 200 words, as detailed in the online registration form. Instructions for the participants presenting posters will be provided in due course at the website.

3.   Stands (for NGOs).

NGOs and civil society organisations are invited to signify their interest in participating by contacting the Organizing Committee by email. Please clearly indicate in the subject line of the email “NGO Stand”.

4.   Round Tables.

Proposals for round tables should include sessions of discussion and reflection on issues related to the thematic areas of the Conference; the organisers should also provide the names and affiliations of the participants of the round table discussion.  Proposals  should be sent by email. Please clearly indicate in the subject line of the email “Round table”.

Important Dates

Deadline for abstract submission: May 15th, 2014
Notification of acceptance: by June 30th, 2014
Early bird registration: until July 31th, 2014
Registration: until September 30th, 2014

For more information:



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