In: Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Encyclopedia of Ecology (Second Edition), Volume 4 (2019), pages 391-396
Abstract: Political ecology is a field within environmental studies focusing on power relations as well as the coproduction of nature and society. Theoretical inspirations are taken from different sources such as political economy, poststructuralism, and peasant studies. Contributions to this field tend to question the status of powerful actors (e.g., governments, businesses, conservation organizations) and what is taken for granted in leading discourses. The place and role of “ecology” within political ecology remains an on-going discussion. Some political ecology contributions engage actively with natural science, while other parts of this literature remain within more social science-based theoretical debates where “ecology” refers to the environment more broadly.