An Approach to Political Ecology: How the political and the ecological can merge?
by Alfredo Lascoutx Ruiz
Political Ecology: a common reference used by scholars, politicians, NGO and philosophers. But, what is the concept that supports the idea? Is Political Ecology a social movement? Is an ideological construct, an ethic code, or an economic paradigm? Is it a scientific discipline…?
The concept of Political Ecology remains in an embryonic state due to theoretical weakness. Its common use and references rely more on personal visions or intuitiveness rather than on a precise concept and a disciplined object of study and methodology.
Headed by climate change and other calamities, the collapse of multiple and diverse ecosystems menaces to disrupt human social systems around the world. Developing a knowledgeable concept of Political Ecology seems a logical step to confront challenges of a global ecological crisis.
This paper relies on the idea that Political Ecology presents necessary elements to consider it a sub-discipline: a hybrid that must be constructed by linking social and natural sciences.
A brief anthology of ecopolitical thinking presents multiple views potentially feeding a concept of political ecology.
Following analysis on the formation of concepts, I explore some arguments in favor of a proposed definition: reducing ambiguity and vagueness is a preliminary problem to be addressed.
I intend to describe the contribution of political science to the idea of power as an object of study, and how can it be adapted. At the other hand -based on a biosphere’s planetary vision- ecology has the potential to provide a methodology. Its method is based on studying complex systems, where biotic and abiotic interact. A needed differentiation between Human Ecology and Social Ecology is presented.
Political Ecology has to reflect on its own object of study and develop appropriated methodologies to include and foster multidisciplinary research.
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ESAC Exploring Political Ecology Alternative Disciplinary Approach. Lascoutx, A.