Irregular Ecologies: The Environmental Impact of Unconventional Warfare, A Workshop 

Florianopolis, Brazil, 20–21 July 2019

Conveners: Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich), Javier Puente (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Warfare seldom affects humans alone. While inflicting devastating effects on societies, armed conflicts also shape economic, cultural, sociopolitical, and ecological transformations. As violence territorializes, armed conflicts begin to affect the ecologies and livelihoods that once sustained them. Environmental transformation thus emerges as an inextricable correlate of human conflict. With the dawn of the Cold War, the environmental impacts of human conflict unfolded alongside the same geopolitical trends that engulfed the Global South. Decolonizing movements, guerrilla warfare, rural insurrections, and other forms of intrastate conflict developed from within ecologically fragile areas and eco-sensitive zones, including savannahs, valleys, watersheds, islands, mangroves, forests, plateaus, and jungles. Over the years, emerging and consolidated republics such as Ethiopia, Colombia, the DRC, Vietnam, Peru, Liberia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Philippines, Nepal, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria, among others, have become gruesome epicenters of armed conflict in sensitive ecosystems and precarious agrarian landscapes.

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) and the Armed Conflict and Environment Research Network (ACERN) invite paper proposals for a two-day workshop focused on the interaction between guerilla warfare and social and environmental transformations in the Global South, with a special focus on the last three decades. We invite papers on questions that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How has irregular warfare transformed or conserved environments?
  • How has it reconditioned everyday life?
  • What impact has it had on livelihoods and food access?
  • How were chemical cycles changed through irregular warfare?

Paper proposals (300 words) should be submitted by 15 December 2018 to <[email protected]>. Upon acceptance, full manuscripts (2000–3000 words) should be submitted by 15 June 2019 for pre-circulation. Successful applicants will receive travel support from the RCC. They will join a group of RCC alumni and ACERN members in Florianopolis, Brazil, on the eve of the Third World Congress of Environmental History (22–26 July 2019).

See website and pdf for more details: 190720_CfP_Irregular Ecologies

Image: Chamal N – Own work. A soldier of the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment demonstrating the use of a ghillie suit for camouflage, at the Army 60th Anniversary Exhibition. Image Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0