Social ecology meets political ecology: A chance to gain new perspectives?
How can social ecology benefit from political ecology and vice versa? An international two-day online workshop organized by ISOE researchers offered the opportunity for dialogue between these neighbouring research fields. What role do more-than-human entities such as plants, animals, rivers, resources, geomorphological formations and things play in conflict analysis? This was the overarching question of the session, which linked the concept of social-ecological systems with approaches of environmental justice, resistance and politics. In addition, the question, “What happens when theoretical claims of political ecology meet practical problems in transdisciplinary, social-ecological projects?” invited to reflect on power asymmetries in everyday research.
The role of plant characteristics in environmental conflicts
Soybeans are a crucial crop for the world economy. Argentina as the world’s third largest transgenic soy grower plays a key role in the global soy value chain with transgenic soy being a pillar of the country’s development model. Several conflicts are emerging around soy cultivation in Argentina and I focus on the conflict about royalties on transgenic soy seeds between farmers, the state and seed companies. Here, I will in particular show how some plant characteristics of soy have an effect on the emergence and the development of the conflicts.