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Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance. [Book review]

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Book review of "Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.", by Nick Estes. Women and Environments international magazine, issue 100/101, pages 90-91 (http://www.weimagazine.com/)
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As a necessarily political act, the theorizing, debating and enacting of ecological economies offer pathways to radical socioeconomic transformations that emphasize the ecological and prioritize justice. In response to a research agenda call for ecological economics, we propose and employ an ecofeminist frame to demonstrate how the logics of extractivist capitalism, which justify gender biased and anti-ecological power structures inherent in the growth paradigm, also directly inform the theoretical basis of ecological economics and its subsequent post-growth proposals. We offer pathways to reconcile these epistemological limitations through a synthesis of ecofeminist ethics and distributive justice imperatives, proposing leading questions to further the field. --- As white-settlers in the Region of Waterloo, we acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is also situated on the Haldimand Tract: land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometres on each side of the Grand River. We make this statement to act against the erasure of ongoing colonial legacies across Turtle Island and to acknowledge that we contribute to and benefit from the expulsion, assimilation, and genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
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Sustainability is a grand challenge that diverse communities of interest all over the world are currently focusing on at the local and global level. At the local level, thousands of cities have decided to address their sustainability goals through local cross-sector social partnerships, while at the global scale, governments of the world have agreed on the universal aim of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Cross-sector social partnerships have also been identified by researchers and policy makers as a way to address sustainability challenges, with partner organizations from across sectors playing a key role in the achievement of their sustainability goals. Organizations partnering for sustainability are the focus of this dissertation. Many researchers from diverse disciplines claim that organizations join partnerships for strategic reasons, and that sustainability is a strategic opportunity. Integrated literature on strategy, partnerships and sustainability, however, is sparse, and the strategic engagement of organizations in partnerships has been mostly assessed qualitatively. This dissertation draws on strategic management, cross-sector partnerships and sustainability literature to examine the strategic engagement of organizations partnering across sectors for community sustainability. Building on strategic management literature, this dissertation bases its research on three key variables: strategic goals represented as drivers for organizations to join sustainability partnerships, organizational structural features which reflect how organizations structure to implement the partnership’s collective sustainability strategy, and organizational outcomes as what organizations gain from partnering for sustainability. Drivers and outcomes are studied through the management perspective of resource-based view (RBV), that is complemented with a community capitals approach often used in the public policy literature, and structural features are examined through contingency theory drawing from management literature. The questions this dissertation aims to answer are focused on the strategic engagement of organizations in sustainability partnerships through the understanding of organizational structures, the value organizations assign to drivers and outcomes to assess resources through RBV, the implemented structural features to examine contingency theory, and the strategic relationships among these variables. This research collects data through a survey from 224 organizations partnering in large cross-sector partnerships. Each of these partnerships has an approximate minimum of one hundred partners implementing community sustainability plans; these are found in: Barcelona (Spain), Bristol (UK), Gwangju (South Korea), and Montreal (Canada). The survey reached a response rate of 26% allowing findings to be generalizable, showing good reliability, and with unbiased responses across organizations, partnerships, and types of organizations. Within this data set are responses from 71 businesses on their drivers to partner, structural features for partnering, and partner outcomes, which was complemented with qualitative content analyses to study the relationships between businesses partnering for local sustainability, and the SDGs as a proxy to global sustainability. Findings from this research show that organizations implement structures when partnering for sustainability. However, the findings further reveal that structures do not affect the relationships between goals and desired outcomes, and being highly structured is not imperative for achieving valuable outcomes. Results also show that society-oriented resources such as contributing positively to environmental challenges or collaborating with society are the most valuable drivers and outcomes for organizations; informal structural features are the most implemented for addressing sustainability partnerships (for example implementing plans and policies, or partnering with other organizations); and organizations achieve the goals that drive them to partner. No statistically significant relationships were found between drivers and structures, nor between structures and outcomes. Finally, research on businesses shows a positive relationship between business’ drivers and outcomes and the SDGs, representing an opportunity for businesses to achieve their goals and for business outcomes to contribute to global sustainability. Findings from this dissertation contribute to organizational strategic management, partnerships and sustainability literature by confirming quantitatively that sustainability partnerships are strategic for organizations. This dissertation also contributes to the strategy literature by highlighting the key roles of structures and context in the achievement of strategic goals, presenting a theoretical model that integrates different schools of thought. This research also contributes to the refinement of RBV by highlighting with empirical evidence how valuable societal resources are to organizations, and to contingency theory by confirming that informal structural features are how organizations address uncertain and complex environments such as sustainability. Another contribution from this research is to the partnerships literature by highlighting the power that large cross-sector partnerships have in the achievement of organizational goals. With respect to the business literature, this research also contributes to the understanding of businesses in the context of their engagement in local and global sustainability. From these specific contributions, two main conclusions and theoretical contributions arise. First is the relevance of large cross-sector sustainability partnerships, highlighting the contextual role they play, which together with organizational structures, lead organizations to achieve their strategic goals. And second is the value of societal resources, which can be considered strategic for organizations due to the importance that contributing to society has for organizations, and the way these resources are pursued through organizational engagement in cross-sector partnerships.
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A decade – more or less – past the publication of the edited collection Neoliberal Environments and Neil Smith’s ‘Nature as an Accumulation Strategy’, this forum aims to revisit and reflect on neoliberal natures, both out in the world and in the scholarly literature. In this time, there have been a number of advances in our conceptual apparatus for interpreting capital’s productions of nature, ranging from financialization to vital materialism to world ecology. Further, the world has not stood still in the intervening decade. Various schemes for neoliberalizing nature have come and gone while others have launched, and the financial crisis led to widespread and often retrenched austerity even as extractivism showed no sign of abating. In light of these developments, we convened this forum to ask: what are the failures and accomplishments of neoliberal natures? Our use of the world accomplishments is not normative. We have gathered insights to reflect on the material-semiotic effects of neoliberal hegemony in the environmental register, and how critical scholars interpret, and even intervene in, those effects. The forum begins with an introduction that parses some trends in the world ‘out there’ and then turns ‘in’ to examine the neoliberal natures literature. Reflecting on a bibliometric analysis and broader trends in the literature, we argue that there remain critical gaps in explanatory frameworks driven in part by geography’s troubling lack of racial and gender diversity.
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"Coastal grab" refers to the contested appropriation of coastal (shore and inshore) space and resources by outside interests. This paper explores the phenomenon of coastal grabbing and the effects of such appropriation on community-based conservation of local resources and environment. The approach combines social-ecological systems analysis with socio-legal property rights studies. Evidence of coastal grab is provided from four country settings (Canada, Brazil, India and South Africa), distinguishing the identity of the 'grabbers' (industry, government) and 'victims', the scale and intensity of the process, and the resultant 'booty'. The paper also considers the responses of the communities. While emphasizing the scale of coastal grab and its deleterious consequences for local communities and their conservation efforts, the paper also recognizes the strength of community responses, and the alliances/partnerships with academia and civil society, which assist in countering some of the negative effects.
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Tourism impacts the livelihoods of destination communities for both good and ill. This study restructures the sustainable livelihood framework to analyze tourism and rural sustenance at Hetu Town, Anhui Province, China. A mixed methods research design is adopted, incorporating a quantitative questionnaire survey and qualitative semi-structured interviews. Data were collected from April 2015 to February 2016. Improvements in livelihood diversity were identified with most residents adopting a multi-activity strategy using synergistic relationships between tourism and other sources of income, thereby enhancing overall livelihood sustainability. However, freedom to engage in new livelihoods varies as those with limited assets are difficult to participate in tourism. An income gap has emerged within the community. Such social risks have not been considered by the local government and are not reflected in local policies. Practical implications are discussed to enhance tourism participation and ensure appropriate benefit sharing with an emphasis on the roles of government.
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What do witches have to do with the Anthropocene? More than one might think. In this article we undertake an in-depth book review of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch to demonstrate how the rise of a division between the productive and reproductive realm, engendered in part through the witch hunts, is a founding condition of the Anthropocene.
Chapter
For thousands of years, the many diverse environments of Australia were sustained by the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations. Integral to these cultures are the law- and life-ways of Indigenous women. Then came the colonial apocalypse. Non-Indigenous ecofeminists—like all non-Indigenous peoples in a colonized land—are the continuing beneficiaries of the violent dispossession of the women who were here before from the homelands they had managed for centuries. How, then, can non-Indigenous ecofeminists ethically advocate for justice in relation to women and the environment from this fraught position? This chapter suggests that non-Indigenous scholars must respect Indigenous sovereignty and meaningfully enact this respect, including through the layered process of listening to the voices of Indigenous women.
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As Kay and Kenney-Lazar show, the concept of value holds appeal for political ecologists who seek to demystify and politicize the socio-ecological relations underpinning capitalist productions of nature. But there are challenges to using value to understand capitalist natures. Much of nature is not priced, and no nature labours for a wage. This makes the labour theory of value, which tends to be prominent even in discussions of a broadly defined value, difficult to apply to nature. Having wrangled with this ourselves, we turn (as Kay and Kenney-Lazar do) to feminist political economists, who have long theorized the unwaged realm within capitalist social relations. We find that these feminists, while not unconcerned with value, are instead often set on understanding how some work is persistently devalued, or denigrated, seen as worthless – which leads them to centre patriarchy in their analyses. Building from this, we suggest the need to centre anthropocentrism – to historicize and denaturalize devaluations of nature – within work on value and capitalist natures.
Chapter
As social and ecological problems escalate, involving stakeholder groups in helping solve these issues becomes critical for reaching solutions. The UN Sustainable Development Goal #17 recognizes the importance of partnerships and collaborative governance. However, organizing large multi-stakeholder groups (or partnerships) requires sophisticated implementation structures for ensuring collaborative action. Understanding the relationship between implementation structures and the outcomes is central to designing successful partnerships for sustainability. In the context of sustainable community plan implementation, the larger research project of which the results presented in this book chapter are one part of, examines how stakeholders configure to achieve results. To date, we have the data from a survey completed by 111 local governments around the world. The survey was offered in English, French, Spanish, and Korean. Seventeen integrated environmental, social, and economic topics are considered, including climate change, waste, ecological diversity, and local economy. Despite the prevalence of sustainable community plan implementation in local authorities around the world, there is scant empirical data on the topics covered in these plans internationally, the partners involved in implementation, and the costs and savings to the local governments that implement in partnership with their communities. The results presented in this book chapter show that sustainable community plans continue to be created and implemented in a diversity of communities around the world, are integrated in the sustainability topics that they cover, involve local organizations as partners in implementation, act as motivators of resource investment by the local government in community sustainability, and result in savings for the local government.
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The prevalence and complexity of local sustainable development challenges require coordinated action from multiple actors in the business, public, and civil society sectors. Large multi-stakeholder partnerships that build capacity by developing and leveraging the diverse perspectives and resources of partner organizations are becoming an increasingly popular approach to addressing such challenges. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are designed to address and prioritize a social problem, so it can be challenging to define the value proposition to each specific partner. Using a resource-based view, this study examines partner outcomes from the perspective of the strategic interest of the partner as distinct from the strategic goal of the partnership. Based on 47 interviews with representatives of partner organizations in four Canadian case studies of community sustainability plan implementation, this article details 10 resources partners can gain from engaging in a multi-stakeholder partnership.