Post-Socialist Political Ecologies 1

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Eurasian Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Political Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: 8216, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Jesse Swann-Quinn
Chairs: Jesse Swann-Quinn


Political ecologists traditionally investigate manifold, widespread patterns of political economy, governance, subjectivity, and social justice as they occur in diverse, multi-scalar environments. However, disparate political ecological inquiries are related by shared efforts "to expose the forces at work in ecological struggle" (Robbins, 2004, p. 13), shaping politics in every world region. Yet, surprisingly, few political ecologists pay attention to one vast region that exhibits the forces of diverse ecologies, capitalist (re)expansion, de/re-centralized governance, diverse cultural milieus, and tumultuous political identifications: the 'second' and 'developing' world of the former Soviet Union across Eurasia. Political Ecologists have seemingly neglected the rich, varied tapestry of socio-material forces producing Eurasia's geographies (notable exceptions include Agyeman & Ogneva-Himmelberger, 2009; Davidov, 2013; Fleming, 2014; Graybill, 2007; Wooden, 2017).

Such oversight has produced a critical lacuna in our knowledge of global political ecology (Peet, Robbins, & Watts, 2011) but also reveals fruitful avenues for investigation. This session aims to begin developing the foundation for critically investigating Post-Socialist Political Ecologies. What questions, empirics, and theoretical re-considerations are necessary for addressing political ecology in/of the post-socialist context? This session seeks empirically grounded case studies, theoretical considerations, and methodological interventions. The organizers welcome contributions from multiple perspectives and aim to produce an edited volume from vetted presentations. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

- Resource extraction and fossil fuels
- Capital expansion and FDI
- Environmental governance and subjectivities
- Arctic environments and climate change
- Regional environmental geopolitics
- Biodiversity and conservation
- Toxic and radioactive environments
- Forest resources
- Water governance
- Land and property reform
- Land use/land cover analyses
- Rural and agrarian livelihoods
- Political activism
- Applied policy frameworks

Interested participants should submit abstracts (under 250 words) to Jesse Swann-Quinn and Jessica Graybill by October 15, 2018 for full consideration.


Agyeman, J., & Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y. (Eds.). (2009). Environmental justice and sustainability in the former Soviet Union. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Davidov, V. (2013). Soviet and post-Soviet inequalities through the lens of political ecology: a foundation for further inquiry. Journal of Globalization Studies, 4(1).

Fleming, J. (2014). Political Ecology and the Geography of Science: Lesosady, Lysenkoism, and Soviet Science in Kyrgyzstan's Walnut–Fruit Forest. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(6), 1183–1198.

Graybill, J. K. (2007). Continuity and change: (re)constructing environmental geographies in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Area, 39(1), 6–19.

Peet, R., Robbins, P., & Watts, M. (2011). Global Nature. In R. Peet, P. Robbins, & M. Watts (Eds.), Global Political Ecology (pp. 1–47). New York: Routledge.

Robbins, P. (2004). Political ecology: a critical introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Wooden, A. (2017). Images of Harm, Imagining Justice: Gold Mining Contestation in Kyrgyzstan. In K. Jalbert, A. Willow, D. Casagrande, & S. Paladino (Eds.), ExtrACTION: Impacts, Engagements, and Alternative Futures (1 edition). Routledge.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Jesse Swann-Quinn Syracuse University 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Margit Koszegi*, Eötvös Loránd University, Zsolt Bottlik, Eötvös Loránd University, Tamás Telbisz, Eötvös Loránd Univeristy, Péter Gruber, Aggtelek National Park, The almighty state for the protection of nature: the Hungarian case study of post-socialist national parks 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Anne Sturød*, , The political ecology of Kyrgyz nature 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Vera Smirnova*, Higher School of Economics, New Land Enclosures in the Post-Socialist Periphery 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Jessica Graybill*, Colgate University, Barrels! Boom! Bust! …berries? Examining resource replacement when energy projects are shelved 20 9:20 AM

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