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The Political Ecology of Violence: Lessons Since “Violent Environments”

Authors: Bilal Butt*, University of Michigan
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Cultural Ecology, Environment
Keywords: Political Ecology, Violence, Securitization, Conflict, Data, Climate Change
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the last two decades since Peluso and Watts’ seminal text on Violent Environments, there have been a number of important conceptual, theoretical and empirical advances in our understandings of the Political Ecology of Violence. In this presentation I outline some of these advances on the basis of three important periods of change: the age of security; the age of datafication; and the climate change crisis. Each of these major episodes has resulted in profound changes in the ways that we think about environmental violence. I discuss how scholars have approached violence based on periodicity (fast vs slow violence), non-human objects (pesticides, oceans, mountains, particulate matter), and bodily harms. In doing so, I want to draw broad lessons on the body of work around the political ecology of violence that has grown in the last twenty years.

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