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Transforming asymmetrical conflicts over natural resources in the Global South

Eleanor Fisher, University of Reading
Maarten Bavinck, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam; Norwegian College of Fisheries, UiT Arctic University of Norway
Aklilu Amsalu, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Addis Ababa University


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This Special Feature re-examines the relationship between natural resources and processes of conflict and cooperation as they occur in the Global South. Here we introduce key issues and reflect on learning from recent research. While covering a range of resources, contributions share an emphasis on middle-range theory in terms of moving from empirical phenomenon to analytical understanding. What emerges are nuanced understandings of conflict and cooperation, as embedded within specific contexts and wider processes of power and accumulation. In considering how social-ecological resilience can emerge for the poorest and most marginalized groups in the Global South, middle-range theory built upon comparative case study research and data-rich analyses brings issues of environmental (in)justice in resource access and distribution to the fore. Our conclusions reiterate a view of conflict transformation whose dynamics are locally situated with complex drivers that negate any conjuring of simplistic solutions and underline the important role research can play in informing appropriate development action.

Key words

conflict; cooperation; Global South; natural resources; social-ecological resilience

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087