Publication
Title
The green economy as plantation ecology : when dehumanization and ecological simplification go 'green
Author
Abstract
The green economy is proposed as a solution to address growing and potentially irreversible ecological crises. But what happens when environmental solutions are premised on the same logics of brutal simplification and dehumanization that sustain and reinforce systems of oppression and ecological breakdown? In this article, we describe the transformation of the biophysical landscape of the planet into replicable blueprints of the plantation plot. The plantation as a colonial-era organizational template is an ongoing ecological process premised on disciplining bodies and landscapes into efficient, predictable, calculable, and controllable plots to optimize commodity production and is dependent on racialized and gendered processes of dehumanization. The visible cultural, physical, aesthetic, and political singularity of the plot, under the guise of objectivity and neutrality, permits a tangible depiction of the way ecological breakdown takes place. We interrogate the notion of "greening" as a strategy to combat the unintended impacts of colonial plantation ecology, arguing that such tactics further reinforce the template of plantation ecology rather than dismantle it. We first conceptualize the historical plantation and its biophysical, cognitive, and corporeal organizational principles. We then offer examples of "greening" as new, more inclusive (but equally detrimental) forms of plantation logics, and crucially identify how these extensions of plantation logic get co-opted by resistance agents, from social movements to disease and pestilence. We consider sustainability certifications of palm oil through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Colombia and compensatory afforestation programs designed to offset forest destruction through monoculture plantations in India. We conclude by highlighting how abolition ecologies can serve as an antidote to plantation logic and highlight necessary relationships of self-reflexivity, repair and collective solidarity required to disinvest in plantation ecology.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of political ecology: case studies in history and society. - -
Publication
2023
ISSN
1073-0451
DOI
10.2458/JPE.3022
Volume/pages
30 :1 (2023) , p. 1-27
ISI
001098844200024
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Defying the 'Plantationocene': Exploring the ways a 'Green Economy' can lead to socio-ecological transformation.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 11.10.2023
Last edited 30.01.2024
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