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Call for Papers: Biodiversity conservation, disruptive politics, and the challenges of (challenging) spatial injustices

Panel proposal and CfP for POLLEN 2022: The 4th Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network – 28-30 June 2022, #POLLEN22 | | @PolEcoNet

Organised by: Bram Büscher, Moenieba Isaacs and Lerato Thakholi

Abstract: In many places around the world, both north and south, efforts to promote coexistence between humans and the rest of nature often run up against deeply engrained forms of spatial injustice. Related often to historical patterns of accumulation and dispossession, spatial injustices result when the institutional, ownership and power structures of terrestrial and marine resource management reproduce forms of inequality in space (Thakholi and Büscher, in press). Often the only way to break through these engrained injustices is when disruptions happen that unsettle the status quo and open up space – in all its dimensions – for imagining change. We understand disruptive politics as forms of political action that combine these two elements: politics that seeks to disrupt the status quo while actively promoting imaginative alternatives. In relation to biodiversity conservation, such politics are often rare, but they are not uncommon either. All around the world, many communities and individuals resist forms of land, marine and resource dispossession while challenging forms of spatial injustice that explicitly include human-nonhuman relationships. Examples include environmental defenders, frontline indigenous and other communities, urban movements and many others. The convivial conservation initiative aims to tap into, learn from and support and extend such struggles for challenging various forms of (blue, green, social and other) forms of spatial injustice that take biodiversity conservation seriously (Jentoft et al, in press). This panel aims to convene papers that speak to the intersections between biodiversity conservation, disruptive politics and (challenging) spatial injustice. Topics and themes can include:

  • Theorizing disruptive politics and spatial injustice and their combinations;
  • Histories, geographies and politics of spatial injustice in relation to biodiversity (conservation)
  • Histories, geographies and politics of disruptive politics in relation to biodiversity (conservation)
  • Relations between capitalism and conservation in relation to biodiverse land- and seascapes
  • Spatial planning of land and oceans and the possibilities of disruptive politics
  • Theorizations of blue injustice in marine conservation
  • Theorizing the relations between (challenging) injustices related to biodiversity and land and in oceans/seas
  • The relations between spatial design and overcoming spatial injustice in different environments

Paper proposals are due 21 January 2022. Please send a 250-300 word proposal, with title, contact information, and three keywords as a Word attachment to, and


Thakholi, L. and B. Büscher (in press). Conserving Inequality: how private conservation and property developers deepen spatial injustice in South Africa. Environment and Planning E.

Jentoft, S, Chuenpagdee R, Said A, and Isaacs M, eds (in press). Blue Justice – Small-Scale Fisheries in a Sustainable Ocean Economy. MARE Publication Series.