Tag Archives: Event

Seminar: “Renewable energy: North and South case studies on local politics and resistance”

“Renewable energy: North and South case studies on local politics and resistance”

Informal seminar by CSPS Political Agency at the Grassroots
March 7 2018, 15:00 – 17:00
Leeuwenborch V72, Wageningen


15:00 Pia Otte (Ruralis, Trondheim Norway): Energy impacts: Dilemmas and paradoxes of the Fosen wind energy project

15:30 Maite Hernando Arrese (Wageningen): Drawing lessons from the boom of the mini-hydros in southern Chile

16:00 Break

16:15 Michiel Köhne and Elisabet Rasch (Wageningen): Energy practices and imaginations of renewable energy futures

16:45 Discussion


Pia Otte – Energy impacts: Dilemmas and paradoxes of the Fosen wind energy project

Wind energy developments have experienced mixed levels of social acceptance. A wide range of literature investigates people’s perceptions of wind farms that in turn determine the social acceptance of these technologies. However, many studies seem to reduce the nature of these conflicts to mainly matters of social perceptions and NIMBY’ism. An increasing field of research within energy and social science has shown that energy impacts of wind energy projects go beyond their material impacts but embed deep social, cultural and political consequences. This presentation investigates discourses of energy impacts in case of Europe’s largest wind energy located in Central Norway, on the Fosen peninsula and reflects on their complex temporalities and scales. We apply a mix of qualitative methods including document, media analysis and semi-structured interviews with various interest groups. The study shows that the implications of the four discourses are complex and are tied to many uncertain socio-economic and political conditions that go far beyond the energy project itself.

Maite Hernando Arrese – Drawing lessons from the boom of the mini-hydros in southern Chile

In 2016, a Mini Hydro was built in Tránguil amid claims against the energy company RP Global for having appropriated a Mapuche private land and built part of the project over an indigenous cemetery. When the indigenous Community Newen de Tránguil (CNT) began to mobilize and demanding a reappraisal of the project, their members began to receive threats from their neighbours and relatives. In this context, the wife of the spokesperson of the CNT Macarena Valdés was murdered and hanged after her death, although her crime was initially catalogued as a suicide. Chile, like many other countries, has embarked on an energy transition that has involved moving from large hydropower dams to mini-hydros. Consequently, the governments have pushed forward the development of the ‘Plan 100 Mini Hydros for Chile’. Nonetheless, the chosen places to carry out the plan are inhabited by Mapuche communities, the largest indigenous population of the country, which have expressed their opposition to the build of any kind of hydropower infrastructure within their territory for affecting their livelihoods and well-being

Michiel Köhne and Elisabet Rasch – Energy practices and imaginations of renewable energy futures

This paper examines how imaginations and ideas of renewable energy futures are rooted in past and present local energy practices. It does so by way of a case study of the Noordoostpolder (The Netherlands), where a nuclear power plant was resisted in the 1980s, shale gas developments were contested between 2013 and 2017, one of the biggest wind parks of the country was opened in 2016, and large-scale farmers and horticulturalists have been involved in the production of renewable energy since the 1990s. These ‘energy practices’ shape, give form to and at the same time reflect the ways in which a just, future energy production is imagined, both  in terms of the production of energy, as in terms of the political organisation of it.


Film Viewing and Q&A with Susan Crate ‘The Anthropologist’

Film Viewing and Q&A with Susan Crate ‘The Anthropologist’

January 25, 2018, 15.00 – 17.30  Movie  W, Wilhelminaweg 3A, Wageningen.

Free for WUR card holders and participants of the WASS course “Advanced Qualitative Research Design and Data Collection”

At the core of The Anthropologist are the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. Uniquely revealed from their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides.

Susan Crate is an applied social scientist trained in cultural anthropology and human ecology with a focus on the complex issues of human-environment interactions. She practices ethnography and uses the contemporary theory intrinsic to human-ecological interactions, political ecology, sustainability studies and the politics of social change in her analyses.

More about the film:



A Merely Gorilla Christmas?: Presentation & discussion on two PhD projects studying gorilla territory in the African Great Lakes

The clusters Conflict, Tourism and Political Ecology clusters of the CSPS cordially invite you to…

A Merely Gorilla Christmas?

Presentation & discussion on two PhD projects studying gorilla territory in the African Great Lakes Region


Date: 13th December 2017

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Location: Lumen, room 2


3:00:  Opening and upcoming events of the CSPS clusters

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.: Ghost of Research Past

  • Presentation Christine Ampumuza (GEO):

“When roads move. the multiple roles of materiality in tourism policy and planning processes at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.: Break with Christmas cookies

4:15 – 5:00 p.m.: Ghosts of Research Yet to Come

  • Presentation Lisa Trogisch (SDC):

“Gorilla tracking for peace? Tourism promises and violent realities around the transboundary Virunga Conservation Area”

5:00 p.m.: Drinks @ the SPOT

PhD Summer School: Political Ecologies in/of the Anthropocene: value, life and critique

We are excited to announce that enrollment for our next Political Ecology PhD summer school course is now open!! More information and a link to the registration page can be found here. The course fee is 500 € for non-Wageningen participants, which includes lunch and refreshments throughout the course. We’ve set the enrollment limit at 25 so it is likely to fill up quickly. This course immediately precedes our international conference ‘The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications’ on 28-30 June which is shaping up to be quite an interesting event as well. You can registration for the larger conference here.

We hope to see many of you soon. A brief description of the course is as follows:

Political Ecologies in/of the Anthropocene: value, life and critique

Annual Political Ecology PhD summer school, Wageningen University

21-27 June 2017


Bram Büscher and Robert Fletcher


Bram Büscher (Wageningen University)

Robert Fletcher (Wageningen University)

Mindi Scheider (Institute of Social Studies)

Clemens Driessen (Wageningen University)

Neera Singh (University of Toronto)

Wolfram Dressler (University of Melbourne)

Chizu Sato (Wageningen University)

Rutgerd Boelens (Wageningen University / University of Amsterdam)

The five-day intensive PhD summer school ‘Political Ecologies in/of the Anthropocene: value, life and critique’ precedes the inaugural Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) conference on ‘the Value of Life’, held from 28-30 June in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The summer school gives motivated PhD students the chance to deepen their knowledge on political ecologies in the Anthropocene, and to interact with several conference speakers and other interesting invited scholars. In line with the theme of the conference, the course covers two broad and interrelated thematic areas of interest in contemporary political ecology:

1. The emergence of the ‘Anthropocene’ and its competitors

It is increasingly asserted that we have entered a new phase in world history, namely the so-called ‘Anthropocene’. The term ‘Anthropocene’ was invented to signal ‘humanity’s’ enormous – even geology-changing – footprint on the earth; yet for many is a profoundly unsatisfying term. Jason Moore and others have recently started talking about the ‘capitalocene’ instead, while yet others talk about many different ‘o-cenes’ in designating this new era. Among other issues, such critics suggest that the term Anthropocene obscures the role of political economy in environmental impact as well as distinctions among the types and degree of impact caused by different groups of people.

The terms Anthropocene and capitalocene thus raise new yet somewhat familiar challenges for political ecology, for instance, in terms of longstanding questions of how to deal with the ‘ecology’ now that this is (again) being defined on a dramatically expanded geological level and timescale. The course will engage these issues in exploring how political ecology should/could address the Anthropocene discussion.

2. The value of life in the Anthropocene

If the Anthropocene signals a profound shift in the conditions of life on earth, how can we understand this shift, and what meanings does it give to human and non-human life? How does it change the governance of life, and how do we conceptualise this in terms of power, politics and ecology? How does this relate to growing discussions concerning how to ‘properly’ value life vis-à-vis, for instance, newfound promotion of ecosystem service valuation and natural capital accounting? The course will thus wrestle with the politics of how to value life in the Anthropocene as well.

These two themes are both complex yet intricately and intrinsically connected. The PhD course aims to provide students with an advanced introduction to these two themes, their interconnections, and recent academic thinking on both. In the introductions and discussions, the theme and practice of ‘contestation’ will be central. Theories on the Anthropocene are, of course, contested. We will delve into these contestations and employ them productively to get a handle on different trends and traditions in political ecology. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying contestations between and among different theoretical traditions, empirical settings, material resources and political objectives that inform, or form the subject of, various political ecology studies. What consequences do different choices with regard to these ‘ingredients’ have for the types of political ecology presented in the literature and presentations? And how can we employ the contestations inherent in them to inform our own understanding and use of political ecology? One of the outcomes of the course, then, is to answer the question how to start thinking about a political ecology of the Anthropocene.