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Imagining Environmental Futures Workshop

May 9, 2014


Faber Building. Room FG01, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square WC1H 0XG

Organisers Prof Rosaleen Duffy and Prof Peter Mollinga (Political Ecology Research Group, Development Studies, SOAS)

1.00pm Welcome

Prof Richard Black, SOAS

Prof Rosaleen Duffy, SOAS


Prof Peter Newell (Sussex)

The Political Economy of the Just Transition

Dr Chukwumerije Okereke (Reading)

Ubuntu is Dead! Capitalism Reigns! Drivers of African Managers’ Environmental Attitudes in Nigerian Extractive Industries

Prof Giorgos Kallis (UAB) Imaginaries of Hope: the Utopianism of Degrowth

3.15pm Coffee


Dr Jessica Budds (UEA)

The Hydrosocial Cycle: Analysis and Political Intervention for Water Governance               

Prof Kathy Homewood (UCL)

Environmentally sustainable futures in East African rangelands?

Prof Tim Forsyth (LSE)

The politics of science and expertise

5.20-5.30pm Closing Remarks – Prof Peter Mollinga

Imagining Environmental Futures

This workshop is to mark the establishment of a new Political Ecology Research Group at SOAS, and the associated MSc in Environment, Politics and Development. It will examine a key question: what does an environmentally sustainable future look like? In order to answer this we also need to think about the environment intersects with the challenges of development, and how to ensure social justice and equality. This symposium will bring together speakers to examine this critical question, with a view to interrogating and critiquing the dominant narratives around the interactions between environment and development.

Across a range of issues, including climate change, biodiversity conservation, energy production and fisheries management, various forms of market oriented approaches have been promoted as the solution to the ‘second contradiction’ of capitalism:  the drive for continual growth in the context of finite natural resources. This symposium will offer a critical examination of these approaches and offer alternative interpretations and imaginings of environment-development interactions. Critics are concerned that the coupling of environment with development via market based approaches will merely result in greater concentrations of capital, increased levels of inequality both within and between societies, and that they will can serve to deepen and extend environmental degradation.

More information on  the MSc

The workshop is free of charge and open to everyone. Space is limited at the workshop, so to book a place please contact Rosaleen Duffy