Power and social inequality shape patterns of land use and resource management. This book explores this relationship from different perspectives, illuminating the complexity of interactions between human societies and nature. Most of the contributors use the perspective of "political ecology" as a point of departure, recognizing that human relations to the environment and human social relations are not separate phenomena but inextricably intertwined. What makes this volume unique is that it sets this approach in a trans-disciplinary, global, and historical framework.
Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives on Historical Political Ecology 1. Accumulation: Land as a Medium of Domination 2. Techno-Fix: Ecological Rifts and Capital Shifts 3. Empire: The Comparative Study of Imperialism 4. Islands: Ecologically Unequal Exchange and Landesque Capital 5. Guano: The Global Metabolic Rift and the Fertilizer Trade 6. Fleece: Imperial Metabolism in the Pre-Columbian Andes 7. Slaves: Inequality and Sustainable Agriculture in Pre-Colonial West Africa 8. Steam: Nineteenth-Century Mechanization and the Power of Capital 9. Ivory: Socio-ecological Consequences of the East African Ivory Trade 10. Lawns: Botanical Garden Design as Colonial Domination Part 2: Struggles over Material Resources in the Modern World 11. Footprints: The Division of Nations and Nature 12. Water: Irrigation and Resilience in the Tanzanian Highlands 13. Meat: The New Geopolitics of Food 14. Trees: Conflicts Between Pastoralists, Loggers and Conservationists in the Himalayas 15. Grass: From Local Pastures to Global Energy Markets in Eastern Tanzania 16. Forests: Capital Accumulation, Climate Change, and Crises in Chile and Sweden 17. Jatropha: A Magic Bullet Filled with Oil 18. Atoms: Nuclear Estrangement from Chernobyl to India 19. Safflower: Liberalisation or Participation in a Tanzanian Village 20. Land-Claims: Racialized Environmental Struggles in Latin America 21. Smoke: Cooking, Coughing and Collective Action in Kenya 22. Sugarcane: Agrofuels and Conflicting Land Uses in Brazil