“Some of the Best Movement People are Political Ecologists at Heart”: An Interview About Political Ecology With Nancy Peluso

  • Melanie Pichler Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt
Keywords: Indigenous Peoples, Interview, Migration and Environment, Political Ecology, Political Forests


Nancy Peluso pioneered political ecology research in Southeast Asia with her book on Rich Forest, Poor People (1992) that untangles peasant resistance and state control in Indonesian forest politics. Since then, the professor of political ecology at UC Berkeley, California, has done extensive ethnographic research on the effects of social difference (ethnic identity, class, gender) on resource access and control, dealing with forests, land, mining, and water conflicts in Indonesia and Malaysia. Her recent work investigates the relationships between migration and environmental change. Melanie Pichler spoke with her during the International Conference of the European Network of Political Ecology (ENTITLE) from 20 to 24 March in Stockholm where she delivered a keynote lecture on the unexpected impacts of women’s migration on the environment in a forest village in East Java. During the interview, Nancy reflected on current trends in political ecology research, the potential pitfalls of indigenous peoples' rights, the contradictory role of NGOs in socio-ecological conflicts, and the potential of political ecology research beyond academia.

Author Biography

Melanie Pichler, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt
Melanie Pichler is editor-in-chief of the Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies and a post-doc researcher at the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna, Austria.
How to Cite
Pichler, M. (2016) “‘Some of the Best Movement People are Political Ecologists at Heart’: An Interview About Political Ecology With Nancy Peluso”, Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 9(1), pp. 181-186. doi: 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2016.1-12.