Call for papers to the panel: What can studies of the commons learn from feminist political ecology? at the Biennal conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), July 10-14, Utrecht, Netherlands
Panel conveners: Floriane Clement and Deepa Joshi
Both feminist and gender studies evidence the role that gender, intersecting with class, ethnicity, religion, caste, age, and other categories plays in access to and control over common pool resources (CPR), and in different approaches to collective action. Yet gender has been largely ignored by scholars of the commons, with a few notable exceptions (e.g. Meinzen-Dick and Zwarteveen, 1998; van Koppen, 1998; Westermann, Ashby and Pretty, 2005; Zwarteveen and Meinzen-Dick, 2001). To date, much analysis has been conceptualised in a binary manner (women/men) and the analysis has been restricted to gender relationships at a community level.
Feminist political ecology (FPE) emerged in the 1990s as an effort to enjoin feminist and political ecology scholarship. It offers a framework that initially focused on three themes (Rocheleau et al., 1996): gendered knowledge, gendered environmental rights and responsibilities and gendered politics and grassroots movements. FPE also strongly affirmed the need to ground research in local lives and realities, linked across scales, starting from the study of power relationships within the household up to community, national and international levels.
At the same time, however, FPE holds similar weaknesses with political ecology. These include a neglect of the influence of the biophysical characteristics on human-environmental interactions and a weak conceptual framework with which to study the rules and norms shaping collective action in common property management.
This panel aims to establish a dialogue between commons studies and FPE through papers that focus on collective action in CPR management and jointly examine material transformations in ecosystems and, through a gender lens, how these transformation relate to issues of power and social status. It is, above all, concerned about new understandings that can inform and support more gender-neutral and gender-sensitive approaches to landscape management in the context of growing pressures on natural capital by endogenous and exogenous factors.
Topics for papers could include (but are not limited to):
- How intra-household power relationships and gender dynamics affect CPR management
- How intersectionality affects collective action in the case of CPR
- How gender is ‘performed’ and gender relations shift within CPR management
- Gendered forms of ecological and scientific knowledge, intersected by caste, class, ethnicity, and how such knowledge shapes issues of access and control within CPR management
- How gender and the environment ‘co-produce’ each other and how this affects landscapes and resource access
- Gender and notions of masculinity in organisations managing CPR at different scales
- How gender, intersected by class, ethnicity, caste, and other categories, affect collective action in grassroots environmental activism
We also welcome theoretical contributions on potential synergies between commons studies and FPE.
Please email your abstract (max 500 words) to Floriane Clement f.clement(at)cgiar.org by October 10, 2016.